Why Did Beyoncé Choose the Title ‘Black Is King’ for Her Upcoming Visual Album?

Beyoncé is back with another visual album, this one based on Disney’s The Lion King, featuring the music of The Lion King: The Gift. For some fans, Black is King is more timely than ever. Here’s what Beyoncé said about her upcoming visual album and some fan theories regarding its title and contents.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter attend 'The Lion King' European Premiere
Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter attend ‘The Lion King’ European Premiere | Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is back with another visual album and collaboration with Disney

Only a few weeks following the Juneteeth surprise premiere of “Black Parade,” Beyoncé is back with another visual album. (Her first visual album, Lemonade, earned a number of recognitions at the Grammy Awards.) This one, however, will premiere exclusively on Disney’s streaming platform.

Black Is King is a labor of love,” Beyoncé captioned the trailer on Instagram. “It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching, and editing day and night for the past year. I’ve given it my all and now it’s yours. 

“It was originally filmed as a companion piece to The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack and meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry,” she continued. “I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose.”

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I typically keep comments short and sweet, but I just watched the trailer with my family and I’m excited. please don’t get me hype “Black Is King” is a labor of love. It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching and editing day and night for the past year. I’ve given it my all and now it’s yours. It was originally filmed as a companion piece to “The Lion King: The Gift” soundtrack and meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry. I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose. 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. 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. I spent a lot of time exploring and absorbing the lessons of past generations and the rich history of different African customs. While working on this film, there were moments where I’ve felt overwhelmed, like many others on my creative team, but it was important to create a film that instills pride and knowledge. I only hope that from watching, you leave feeling inspired to continue building a legacy that impacts the world in an immeasurable way. I pray that everyone sees the beauty and resilience of our people. This is a story of how the people left MOST BROKEN have EXTRAORDINARY gifts.❤️✊ Thank you to Blitz, Emmanuel, Ibra, Jenn, Pierre, Dikayl, Kwasi and all the brilliant creatives. Thank you to all at Disney for giving this Black woman the opportunity to tell this story. This experience has been an affirmation of a grander purpose. My only goal is that you watch it with your family and that it gives you pride. Love y’all, B

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Beyoncé titled this visual album ‘Black is King’

Of course, this upcoming visual album and its announcement are both very timely. Some suspect that Beyoncé titled Black is King to further amplify and emphasize the Black voices present in the visual album. The artist elaborated during her Instagram post. 

“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,” Beyoncé continued on Instagram.

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#DisneyPlus

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Where does the ‘King’ of ‘Black is King’ stand for?

There’s definitely a lot of royalty motifs in Beyoncé’s music and her overall persona. Sometimes she’s called the “Queen Bey” by her fans, with the fan base earning the nickname the “Beyhive.” Sometimes she even calls her husband, Jay-Z, a king. It makes sense that he would appear in this upcoming visual album.

The “King” might also be another nod to Disney’s The Lion King, and Simba taking his rightful place as King of Pride Rock. Beyoncé hasn’t come forward to state, why Black is King is the chosen title of her visual album. 

Additionally, Disney+ subscribers will have to wait a little longer to see what, exactly, this visual album is about. However, thanks to a trailer from the artist, fans see Beyoncé alongside children, Jay-Z, and a few new faces. 

Beyoncé’s Black is King debuts on Disney’s streaming platform on July 31. Until then, fans can watch the 2019 adaptation of The Lion King on Disney+. To learn more about Disney+ and to subscribe, visit their website

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