On Friday morning, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter -- giver of such gifts as Lemonade, Homecoming and more -- released the new, masterful visual album on Disney+. The film features cameos by Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong'o, JAY-Z, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams, Tina Knowles Lawson and others.
With its lush visuals, Black Is King enhances the music of The Lion King: The Gift. The film celebrates the Black experience, African cultures and roots, Black resilience and the importance of the Black family, specifically today's young kings and queens.
Beyoncé first announced the visual album in late June with a surprise first-look trailer. The star describes the film as a "labor of love," sharing on Instagram that she'd worked the better part of a year to complete the project. Black Is King comes more than a year after the initial release of Beyoncé's album The Lion King: The Gift, yet the sparkling celebration of Black roots and culture is right on time due to renewed focus on racial injustice and oppression following demonstrations against systemic racism led by the Black Lives Matter movement.
On Thursday evening, mere hours before the full film landed on Disney+, Beyoncé, Shatta Wale and Major Lazer released the full video for their song "Already" on YouTube. Beyoncé also released The Lion King: The Gift deluxe edition to streaming services on Thursday, which features the freshly released single "Black Parade" and MeLo-X's remix of "Find Your Way Back."
During a rare interview with Good Morning America, Beyoncé touched on the significance of the music in The Lion King: The Gift, calling the soundtrack "a love letter to Africa."