‘Black Is King’: Beyoncé’s visual album Out Today, feast of fashion and symbolism


There are many quotable lines and lyrics in “Black Is King,” Beyoncé’s new visual album, which dropped today on Disney+. But two in particular seem especially apt to describe the stylistic feast the artist has created. The first comes three minutes in: “Let Black be synonymous with joy.”

The second arrives half an hour later, on the song “Mood 4 Eva,” featuring Jay-Z, Childish Gambino and Malian singer Oumou Sangaré. Clad in a full-length leopard gown with a higher-than-high slit, Beyoncé laughs at the camera as she sings, “I’m a whole mood.”
The almost 90-minute-long film is evidence of both affirmations.
Conceived as a celebration of “the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry,” as Beyoncé wrote on an Instagram post announcing its release, “Black Is King” is a companion to 2019’s “The Lion King: The Gift,” the album she made to accompany Disney’s CGI remake of the 1994 animated movie. (Beyoncé voiced adult Nala in the film.) It follows a young man’s journey to self-discovery, with a focus on Black history and African traditions, told through the artist’s own narration.

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