Review: Black Is King

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Beyoncé tells a story with rich history and unparalleled visuals.

Loosely following the storyline of Disney’s The Lion King (for which she produced the soundtrack, The Gift), Black is King sees Beyoncé delve into African culture to show that we are all indeed connected by the circle of life. The film does a great job in showcasing Beyoncé’s growth as an artist, from her first project to this production, her progress is astonishing. From the elevated fashion, dance and cinematography to the beautiful narration, Black is King is something you’ll most definitely find yourself watching on repeat. Although produced as a movie, some people may interpret Black is King as a set of 14 music videos, separated with narrated interludes (seeing as it is contrived from The Gift) – and it has to be said, it’s the best work of her career. 

Photo Credit: Disney+

If we’re discussing individual songs, “Find Your Way Back” oozes African influences both lyrically and aesthetically, securing itself as one of the strongest visuals of the bunch. “My Power” boasts an infectious chorus and ensemble group of black female featured artists that boost the songs energy to the limit (in the greatest way possible). The song talks of black power, specifically black female power as the lyric “they’ll never take my power” is repeated, sure to leave black female audiences feeling free and empowered. Combined with Black is King’s afrofuturistic, striking visuals, this is perhaps the best moment of the whole feature. Another notable triumph is the visual representation of black excellence throughout the film, which will no doubt be groundbreaking to younger black generations, who are able to tap into projects such as Black is King and feel proud and represented. The Lion King’s colourful story is brought to life in its visual companion through unique storytelling and symbolism sprawled across the hour-and-half spectacle.  Not only is this project a career-defining moment for Beyoncé, but also an incredibly enriching cinematic experience, in which the creativity is on another level. Black is King is the epitome of unity, awareness and excellence that solidifies Beyoncé’s flourishing into the artist of a generation.

Walt Disney Studios via YouTube
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This story can be found in HotShot Magazine, it is available online here.

Featured Image Credit: Parkwood Entertainment/Disney+