Watch first trailer for Beyoncé's visual album Black is King
Originally filmed as a companion piece for The Lion King: The Gift, the album is set to be released on July 31, two weeks after the one year anniversary of Disney's live-action The Lion King that saw Beyoncé bring to life the character of Nala.
"You, who were formed by the heat of the galaxy," Beyoncé says in the trailer's intro. "What a thing to be, both unique and familiar. To be one and the same and still like any other."
The Houston native and mom-of-three discussed her "passion project" in late June explaining that what started out as very much as a continuation to her Lion King musical project, evolved into something much bigger after the Black Lives Matter protests in response to the death of George Floyd.
"The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey," she shared via Instagram. "We are all in search of safety and light. Many of us want change. I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history of generational wealth and richness of soul that are not told in our history books. With this visual album, I wanted to present elements of Black history and African tradition, with a modern twist and a universal message, and what it truly means to find your self-identity and build a legacy."
Black is King features appearances by her husband Jay-Z, her mother Tina Knowles-Lawson, Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams, and many more. The film was shot in various cities across the globe including Los Angeles, New York, South Africa, West Africa, London, and Belgium.