Beyoncé has delivered standalone versions of two tracks featured on the album The Lion King: The Gift and the visual component Black Is King. The short film Black Is King was originally released on July 31, 2020. It was directed, written, and executive produced by Beyoncé and tells a story similar to that of The Lion King. In alignment with the one-year anniversary, the Lemonade singer has released music videos for “Mood 4 Eva,” and “OTHERSIDE.”
“Mood 4 Eva” features her husband Jay-Z as well as Childish Gambino and Oumou Sangaré. The video is a colorful, lavish display featuring designer looks, vibrant scenery, high-class jewels, and top-shelf champagne. The more delicate “OTHERSIDE” features appearances from the Carter family’s rarely seen youngest children, four-year-old twins Rumi and Sir Carter.
The full visual album features several notable cameos, including Blue Ivy, Pharrell Williams, Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, Wizkid, and Kelly Rowland. The actual album, The Gift, released a full year before the film, features Tiwa Savage, Saint Jhn, Tierra Whack, and more. Kendrick Lamar and Burna Boy were added to the talent list on a deluxe edition released alongside Black Is King.
Beyoncé’s official website also boasts merchandise celebrating the one-year anniversary of Black Is King. Fans have the opportunity to purchase T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and more with prices starting at $40 while supplies last.
In October 2020, VIBE reported the global superstar opened up about how the COVID-19 pandemic shifted her lifestyle. Covering three separate editions of British Vogue for the December 2020 issue, the 39-year-old artist revealed in an interview with Editor In Chief Edward Enninfulhow that she planned to take a break after the landmark Black Is King.
“I came into the music industry at 15 years old and grew up with the world watching, and I have put out projects non-stop. I released Lemonade during the Formation World Tour, gave birth to twins, performed at Coachella, directed Homecoming, went on another world tour with Jay [Z], then Black is King, all back to back. It’s been heavy and hectic. I’ve spent a lot of time focussing on building my legacy and representing my culture the best way I know how. Now I’ve decided to give myself permission to focus on joy,” the “Diva” singer remarked.
She also explained why the project was dedicated to her first-born son, Sir.
“After having my son, Sir Carter, I felt it was important to uplift and praise our boys and to assure that they grow up with enough films, children’s books, and music that promote emotional intelligence, self-value, and our rich history. That’s why [Black is King] is dedicated to him.”
Black Is King is currently available to stream for active subscriptions on Disney+.