Beyoncé, or Queen Bey, like the Bey Hive fondly calls her, has been singing the message that Black Lives Matter long before the entire world joined the movement. She’s now put her voice and artistic expertise once again to this message in her new pan-African project, Black is King. Spoiler alert: the delivery is stellar!
On Friday, July 30, Beyoncé released Black is King, the movie on the Disney+ streaming service. Since the project’s release, social media has literally been taken over by visuals from the project. Every new trailer shared has earned a huge social media approval and the Bey Hive couldn’t be more excited. Black is King review Beyonce.
“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.
~ Black is King Intro
Three hours before the movie’s release, Beyoncé teased fans with yet another trailer on her Instagram. On the morning of the movie’s release, she dropped a surprise video for the song ‘Already’ featuring Ghanaian artiste, Shatta Wale, off her Lion King: The Gift album. The entire visual album is based on songs from this album.
“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. His 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,” the movie bio reads. Black is King review Beyonce.
“These timeless lessons are revealed and reflected through Black voices of today, now sitting in their power. Black Is King is an affirmation of a grand purpose, with lush visuals that celebrate Black resilience and culture. The film highlights the beauty of tradition and Black excellence.”
A Common Ancestry
As the project rightly proclaims, African Americans and Black people all over the world can trace their ancestry to Africa, which they often like to call the motherland.
The story of Black is King revolves around a young boy – like Simba in Lion King – who grows through situations to become who he is destined to be.
Throughout the project, Beyoncé promotes diverse African traditional and contemporary fashion, beauty, and cultures as she uses elements like the ‘African aunty’ in a gele look, ethnic hairstyles, and dancers dressed in colorful African-inspired attires and painted with a myriad of tribal patterns. Contemporary dance moves like the Zanku, Gbese and Shaku Shaku also make appearances in many of the spirited scenes.
Black Artists United
The movie is filled with scenes bringing together all the top artists featured in The Lion King album including spouse, JAY Z, Shatta Wale, Childish Gambino, Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Tierra Whack, Destiny Child sister, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams. She also features Adut Akech and second mom, Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, her mom, Tina Knowles Lawson and children, Blue Ivy Carter, Sir and Rumi.
Speaking to Good Morning America about the 85-minute visual Album, Beyoncé said “It all started in my backyard, 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,” she continued, “Black Is King’ means Black is regal and rich in history, in purpose and lineage.” Black is King review Beyonce.
The Reviews are Favorable
Many former critics have applauded Beyonce for a wonderful delivery on the Black is King project, especially on ‘Already’ in which she features Ghanaian superstar Shatta Wale.
“…Particularly profound is her understanding that the “Black” man in America and wherever he may be found in the west, is a direct descendant of the African man, and that both are Kings. To underscore this, she rightfully places the African man via @Shattawalenima on a King’s throne. This singular act, in my view, is so powerful and a step in the right direction to begin shattering the very destructive narrative of Africans and correspondingly Black people, globally.”
Read her full commentary below….
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When the West volunteers itself to tell Africa's narrative, it historically tells an extremely offensive post-colonial narrative of a “dark continent” filled with “savages,” in need of a western, usually white savior. Indeed, over the past decade, I have written too many articles to count, criticizing this myopic and offensive view that fails to account for Africa’s rich contribution to the world’s civilization and devalues an entire continent, effectively crippling it from competing in the global economy. The world is always “gifting” Africa with something, and never the other way around. It is precisely the same criticism I had for @Beyonce almost a year ago when she unveiled her album ‘The Gift’ and, in my view, played on the same narrative. I wrote about it at https://africamusiclaw.com/beyoncelionkingalbum/. SEE link in my bio. Notwithstanding, when the West gets it right, then it should be acknowledged. Beyonce’s latest audio-visual to her popular track ‘Already’ featuring Ghanaian artist Shatta Wale off the aforementioned album gets it right, in my view, in telling a respectful narrative about Africa. Particularly profound, is her understanding that the “Black” man in America and wherever he may be found in the west, is a direct descendant of the African man, and that both are Kings. To underscore this, she rightfully places the African man via @Shattawalenima on a King’s throne. This singular act, in my view, is so powerful and a step in the right direction to begin shattering the very destructive narrative of Africans and correspondingly Black people, globally. I note that Beyonce incorporates a lot of African youth culture from the trendiest dance moves to fashion, and art. But it never feels inappropriate or that she is trying to do anything than pay tribute to the creators of such a vibrant emerging global pop culture. I am unsure if this converts me to a die-hard fan. But she certainly earns my respect for a job well done. Have you seen the video? What are your thoughts? #Shattawale #Beyonce #Already #NewAfrica #Africanidentity
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Where can I watch Black Is King?
A full celebration is finally here for blacks around the world. A celebration of individuality and resilience and most importantly of a shared culture. This celebration is coming down to Africa as well on August 1. You can watch it on these channels below.
See some of our fave visuals from the album here… Black is King review
And social media is loving these moments…
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Check out these celebrities’ reactions to the Black is King album…
Thank you My Queen for believing in my talent and giving me a platform to share my good message to the world …God will forever bless you 🙏🏻 #symbolofhope #Already #BlackIsKing #ShattaIsKing @beyonce pic.twitter.com/iqs3ND80WU— SHATTA WALE (@shattawalegh) July 31, 2020
black is king really comes out tonight omg 😭😍😍😍🤤🤤 https://t.co/TrV55n8giV— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) July 30, 2020
Photo Credit: Instagram, Twitter | As captioned Black is King review Beyonce.
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A life, style and culture writer with a borderline obsession for 80s fashion, though I made landfall a decade later. At Style Rave, we aim to inspire our readers by providing engaging content to not just entertain but to inform and empower you as you ASPIRE to become more stylish, live smarter and be healthier. Follow us on Instagram @StyleRave_ ♥