Beyonce blessed her Beyhive twice on the same day by dropping her curated album, The Lion King: The Gift as the movie premiered in theaters. Every artist who participated in her album’s creation also has a personal connection to the film. Inspired by multiple African countries, the multi-genre collection includes upbeat rhythms, inspirational singles, and sharp production. It is a love letter to Africa that highlights the lessons in The Lion King and gives listeners’ the ability to interpret the message in a new contemporary way.
The album is also full of unexpected but perfect collaborations from famous American rappers and singers as well as talented African musicians. Keep reading to learn a little more about the artists featured on The Lion King: The Gift.
RAYE – BIGGER
The British singer-songwriter is credited as a lyricist for the inspirational song, BIGGER, and she hopped on the second chorus with Beyonce. RAYE has writing credits for several artists including singers Charlie XCX, Rita Ora, Hailee Steinfield, and rapper Quavo.
Tekno, Yemi Alade, and Mr. Eazi – DON’T JEALOUS ME
None of these Nigerian artists have worked together before this Afrobeat single. Tekno is a musician known for his distinctive Afrobeats and singer Yemi Alade became famous after winning the Peak Talent Show ten years ago. She has since received numerous award nominations and won two of them. Mr. Eazi is the pioneer of Banku music and signed a licensing deal with Universal Africa. He also appears on KEYS TO THE KINGDOM along with Nigerian R&B singer-songwriter, Tiwa Savage.
Burna Boy – JA ARA E
The Nigerian Afro-fusion singer-songwriter became known in 2013 after the release of his debut studio album. He is the only artist to have a solo song on The Lion King: The Gift.
Kendrick Lamar – NILE
The Compton rapper joined Beyonce for their second collaboration after 2016’s “Freedom.” His only other 2019 feature comes from the fan-favorite single, “Under the Sun” with J.Cole, DaBaby, and Lute on Revenge of the Dreamers III.
Jay Z and Childish Gambino – MOOD 4 EVA
While Beyonce and her husband have collaborated on several songs together, this is both of their first time working with Childish Gambino. The celebratory anthem, appropriately produced by DJ Khaled and Just Blaze, includes a sample from African singer Oumou Sangare’s single, “Diaraby Nene.”
Salatiel and Pharrell Williams – WATER
While Williams has not released anything solo recently, he has had a few number one songs and has production credits on several hit songs. This is the first time Williams, Beyonce, and the Cameroon singer-songwriter worked together.
SAINt JHN, WizKid, and Blue Ivy Carter – BROWN SKIN GIRL
Beyonce collaborated with her oldest daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, several times before. However, this marks the first time she worked with Brooklyn artist SAINt JHN or Nigerian singer, WizKid. The collab between SAINt JHN most likely came through Rockafella co-founder Kareem “Biggs” Burke, who recently made his return to the industry by signing the songwriter.
Shatta Wale and Major Lazer – ALREADY
The heavily reggae-influenced song marks the first time any of the musicians have collaborated. Shatta Wale is a Ghanaian dancehall artist who has received several accolades. Major Lazer, an electronic music trio, includes DJs Walshy Fire and Ape Drums as well as Diplo who also produced the track.
Syd – OTHERSIDE
In this beautiful short ballad, only Beyonce’s voice is heard. While she is credited with writing the song, so is singer-songwriter Syd. She is most known from her membership in Tyer the Creator’s music collective, Odd Future, and is currently the lead singer of multi-genre band, The Internet.
Tierra Whack and Moonchild Sanelly – MY POWER
The polarizing young rapper teamed up with Beyonce and the South African musician for the first time to create this anthem. Whack is known for her visual music videos, and Sanelly is recognized by her self-created genre, future ghetto punk.
070 Shake and Jessie Reyes – SCAR
Known from her Kanye West associations, the New Jersey rapper, 070 Shake sang the chorus while Canadian singer-songwriter Jessie Reyes rapped the verses. Beyonce’s vocals did not appear on the track, but this is the first time the artists have worked together.