Black is King, which has been in the works for a year, will debut on July 31st. The visual album will highlight and celebrate Black culture. It will be based off of the music from The Lion King: The Gift which Beyoncé curated for the 2019 live-action The Lion King. Beyoncé voiced Nala in the film.
Guest appearances will include Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Donald Glover, Pharrell, Blue Ivy Carter, and more. According to Beyoncé’s production company Parkwood entertainment, “The visual album from Beyoncé re-imagines the lessons of The Lion King for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns”. Black is King will be “an affirmation of a grand purpose, with lush visuals that celebrate Black resilience and culture” by highlighting the beauty of tradition and Black excellence.”
In preparation for the visual album’s release later this summer, a short trailer was released on Beyoncé’s website and Walt Disney Studios YouTube page.
Black is King will depict “a young king’s transcendent journey through betrayal, love, and self-identity,” similar to Simba’s experiences in The Lion King. In the film, the young king’s ancestors help guide him toward his destiny, and with his father’s teachings and guidance from his childhood love, he earns the virtues needed to reclaim his home and throne”.
Earlier this month, Beyoncé released a single on Juneteenth entitled Black Parade. She announced on her website that all revenue the song generated would be given to support Black-owned small businesses through the BeyGOOD initiative.
Both the live action and original animated versions of The Lion King, its two sequels, and The Lion Guard television show are on Disney+. Black is King will soon join the collection.