Watch Beyoncé’s new visual album here

Starring Naomi Campbell, Adut Akech and Aweng Ade-Chuol, ‘Black is King’ is Bey’s follow-up to 2019’s ‘The Gift’.

by Douglas Greenwood
31 July 2020, 10:42am

Celebrities are really good at pretending they’re not doing much when they’re actually doing the absolute most, and Beyoncé has spent the past decade or so being the queen of that. Having changed the whole music release strategy with her monumental 2013 self-titled record, that arrived out of nowhere overnight, and then affirming her status as a genius by saying ‘Fuck it, have another masterpiece’ in 2016 with Lemonade, we now know that radio silence from Bey will always amount to an immense body of work at some point.

And here it is! Having been toiling away behind the scenes for some time now, Beyoncé has just unveiled her brand new visual album Black is King, an 85-minute tie-in to her soundtrack for The Lion King, The Gift, featuring interpretive dance, song, and artistic vignettes, written, shot and produced by Beyoncé herself.

It tells the story of a young prince who’s been ostracised by his family, and forced to roam the world solo, but "through betrayal, love and self-identity", he uses the advice of his ancestors to return home and reclaim the throne. Essentially, it’s inspired by _The Lion King_’s tale, only told with the contemporary voices of Black creatives.

Before the film dropped, Bey was even kind enough to give us an excerpt from the film in the form of the long-awaited video for the single “Already”, featuring Ghana’s Shatta Wale and Major Lazer. In it, we see Bey spinning on circus hoops in tandem with drag race cars, and moving in unison with her dancers wearing Marine Serre bodysuits.

The full length feature, which features appearances from the likes of Jay Z (obviously), Kelly Rowland (iconique!), as well as i-D fave models Naomi Campbell, Adut Akech and Aweng Ade-Chuol, is available to stream now on Disney+ before airing in Sub-Saharan Africa on M-Net and Canal+ Afrique, and in the Middle East and North Africa on OSN. If you’re in the UK, you can watch the movie by heading here.

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