It's nice when Beyoncé gives us time to prepare for a new Beyoncé drop. This time it's in the form of Black Is King, a visual album based on the music of her The Lion King: The Gift LP, that is set to premiere globally on Disney+ on July 31. Even better, it's written, directed, and executive produced by Beyoncé herself, and its release comes on the heels of the one-year anniversary of Jon Favreau's Lion King remake. (Who among us could've guessed this would be the movie that keeps on giving?)
The visual album is set to star some of The Gift's featured artists (which included Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, and Pharrell Williams) as well a few special guest appearances. It will also feature the videos for the songs "My Power," "Mood 4 Eva," and "Brown Skin Girl," with an overall message of reimagining the lessons from The Lion King in the hopes of empowering young people.
"The voyages of Black families, throughout time, are honored in a tale about a young king's transcendent journey through betrayal, love and self-identity," Disney and Beyoncé's Parkwood Entertainment said in their joint statement announcing the visual album. "Black Is King is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience."
On Juneteenth, Beyoncé surprise released the song "Black Parade," co-written with her husband Jay-Z, and was recently one of the featured speakers at YouTube's Dear Class of 2020 event. In her address, she encouraged activism and offered her praise for the ongoing protests around the world fighting against police brutality. "Thank you for using your collective voice in letting the word know that Black Lives Matter," she said. "Real change has started with you, this new generation of high school and college graduates we celebrate today."
July is going to be a big month on Disney+ as a whole. Ahead of the release of Black Is King, the filmed stage version of Hamilton: An American Musical will premiere on the streaming service on July 3. Prepare accordingly!