Early Friday morning (July 31), fans joyously unwrapped Beyoncé’s visual album Black Is King on Disney+.
Designed to be a re-imagination of the 2019 film The Lion King, Queen Bey looks to recreate the Black experience, mainly for young African American boys and girls on the project.
Studded with an army of talented dancers, actors and famous guest stars, Beyoncé’s passion project is a crystal-clear illumination of the importance of Black pride and excellence.
Trekking through various countries to shoot the film, Bey nimbly revisits her 2019 soundtrack The Lion King: The Gift to help explore the richness and depth of the Black community. “My hope for this movie is that it shifts the global perception about the word ‘black’. It’s always meant inspiration, love, strength, and beauty to me,” she explained on Thursday (July 30) in an interview with Good Morning America.
Here are five things we learned from watching Black Is King.
Beyoncé Gives Hope to Young Black Kings:
With Black males being killed at an alarming rate, Beyoncé aims to instill hope and courage to the young kings destined to spark change. In the opening scenes, she cradles a baby, who later blooms into a powerful ruler a la Simba in The Lion King. Her words of affirmation: “If you think you are insignificant, you better think again,” “you’re part of something way bigger” and “we are winners” are poignant and vital to Blacks who have been scarred by the claws of racial injustice and prejudice.
Black Is Regal & The Star Power Proves It
With Beyoncé dictating the tempo, Queen B enlisted a bevy of superstar talent to anchor her visual album. On “Water,” we encounter Pharrell, while “Mood 4 Eva” allows us to see the final evolution of the young king who grows up to become Jay-Z in his dream. In the latter, we walk into a celebratory tea party that features Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, as well as her former Destiny’s Child bandmate, Kelly Rowland. The biggest gem proves to be “Brown Skin Girl” with star cameos led by Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, and Beyoncé’s daughters, Blue Ivy and Rumi.
Beyoncé Shows the Beauty of Location
Beyoncé didn’t hold back in spreading the wealth in terms of locations. The iconic singer ventured to Belgium, West Africa, London, New York and Los Angeles to helm her hour-plus long film. The singer even shot some vibrant scenes right at home. “It all started in my backyard,” she told GMA. “So from my house to Johannesburg, to Ghana, to London, to Belgium, to the Grand Canyon, it was truly a journey to bring this film to life.”
Black Is King Preaches Values Essential to the Black Community
The 90-minute film masterfully exudes the importance of family, female empowerment, self-identity, beauty and more. The striking re-imagination is noble, as Beyoncé and company attempt to remedy the numerous tragedies endured by Blacks, specifically when it comes to police brutality. By pouring out uplifting messages throughout the film, BIK is a sincere reminder that no battle can drown the swagger and confidence of Blacks in America.
Beyoncé Continues to Use Her Platform Justly
Queen Bey’s celestial power has exponentially grown due to her fearlessness in using her platform. Since her 2016 magnum opus Lemonade, Beyoncé hasn’t shied away from addressing systemic racism. With songs like “Freedom” and “Formation” at her disposal, Bey valiantly sacked the issues of police brutality and praised the valor of African American women.
With Black Is King she provides a visual masterpiece designed to disarm any dubious suspicions about Blacks and explore the richness of their culture. The inclusion of African creatives and traditions, along with Beyoncé’s icon status and partnership with Disney + added more resonance to her message.