Beyoncé Narrates New Trailer for Visual Album: ‘Black Is King’

Disney+/Travis Matthews

On Sunday, July 19th, Disney dropped the official trailer for the visual album Black Is King, a film written and produced by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.

Black Is King is set to stream exclusively through Disney+ on July, 31st. The film was inspired by Disney’s live-action The Lion King, which will be celebrating the first anniversary of its theatrical release, two weeks after Black Is King‘s arrival. Beyoncé formerly starred in the remake of The Lion King, in which she voiced Nala. She released an album for the film titled The Lion King: The Gift, which later influenced the music for Black Is King.

“The film reimagines the lessons from the 2019 blockbuster for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns,” Disney said in a press release.

The official trailer revealed appearances from Pharrell Williams, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Jay-Z, Naomi Campbell, Kelly Rowland, and more.

“You were formed by the heat of the galaxy. What a thing to be, both unique and familiar, to be one and the same — and still unlike any other…Life is a set of choices: Lead, or be led astray. Follow your light — or lose it.” Beyoncé says in a voice-over featured in the trailer.

On June 28th, Beyoncé took to Instagram explaining her intention behind creating the visual album.

 

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I typically keep comments short and sweet, but I just watched the trailer with my family and I’m excited. 🎶please don’t get me hype🎶🤪 “Black Is King” is a labor of love. It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching and editing day and night for the past year. I’ve given it my all and now it’s yours. It was originally filmed as a companion piece to “The Lion King: The Gift” soundtrack and meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry. I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose. The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey. We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change. I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books. With this visual album, I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy. I spent a lot of time exploring and absorbing the lessons of past generations and the rich history of different African customs. While working on this film, there were moments where I’ve felt overwhelmed, like many others on my creative team, but it was important to create a film that instills pride and knowledge. I only hope that from watching, you leave feeling inspired to continue building a legacy that impacts the world in an immeasurable way. I pray that everyone sees the beauty and resilience of our people. This is a story of how the people left MOST BROKEN have EXTRAORDINARY gifts.❤️✊🏾 Thank you to Blitz, Emmanuel, Ibra, Jenn, Pierre, Dikayl, Kwasi and all the brilliant creatives. Thank you to all at Disney for giving this Black woman the opportunity to tell this story. This experience has been an affirmation of a grander purpose. My only goal is that you watch it with your family and that it gives you pride. Love y’all, B

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“With this visual album, I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy. My only goal is that you watch it with your family and that it gives you pride,” said Beyoncé in her post on Instagram.

Beyoncé also credited those who worked with her to help make this production achievable. She mentioned collaborators, Jenn Nkiru, Pierre Debusschere, Ibra Ake, Dikayl Rimmasch, Jake Nava, Kwasi Fordjour, Blitz Bazawule, and Emmanuel Adjei.

Black Is King is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience,” said Disney and Parkwood Entertainment in a press release. “The film is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present. A reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs. A story of how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future.”

Black Is King was also made available to stream throughout the African continent, including, Nigeria, Kenya, Cape Verde, South Africa, Liberia, and more.