Four years after the release of her visual album, 'Lemonade', Queen Beyoncé is gearing up to release her next musical and visual debut, 'Black Is King'.
It launches just as the clock ticks over to July 31st PST on Disney+. This is 3am EST. Beyoncé shared these timings on her Instagram. This is technically 5pm July 31 for those of us on the East Coast of Australia - so if you're looking to watch it when it launches, that's when you'll need to tune in.
It will also be available on a selection of other services a day later on August 1 including M-NET.
The album will reportedly feature Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, 070 Shake, Tierra Whack, Jay-Z, Blue Ivy Carter and Jessie Reyez, as well as African artists including Wizkid, Shatta Wale, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Yemi Alade, Busiswa an`d Salatiel and pay tribute to the Black experience, and is set to be based off songs from The Lion King 2019 remake, where Beyoncé voiced Nala.
'Black Is King' is reportedly written, produced and directed by Beyoncé herself, similarly to 'Lemonade', and the 1-minute preview seems to follow a similar create direction. In a statement, the visual album is explained, “Black Is King pays tribute to voyages of Black families throughout time, the visual album tells the story of 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.”.
In the trailer which has been released on her website, we are privy to colourful visuals and voiceovers that allude to the storyline, all in classic Beyoncé style where visuals are stitched together to enforce layered storytelling. Clips of kings and queens are intercepted with super 8 style footage and intimate glimpses of Beyoncé herself. If 'Lemonade' is anything to go off, we are anticipating 'Black Is King' to be even more evocative than her last.
On Juneteenth, she unexpectedly released 'Black Parade' a single co-written with Jay-Z, which focused on Black empowerment and touched on the global Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade.
While Disney Plus is no longer offering a five-day free trial, 'Black Is King' is one you'll likely want to sign up for.