Beyoncé released "The Gift" Album, inspired by her role as Nala in The Lion King Film (2019). The album features Continental African artist such as Tiwa Savage, Wiz Kid, Tekno, Yemi Aladae, and more alongside Diaspora hip-hop and r&b stars. It features uplifting music about African roots, dark skin, and Afro Beats! Beyonce has continued to faced criticism throughout her triumph career. Many have made claims she is a fraud and is only pandering to the African Continent. Over her 25+ year career, many varying events have taken place. Prior to the Lion King, SNL aired a skit, "Beyonce is Black" that parodied Caucasian people discovering she isn't white. Tina Knowles-Lawson (Beyoncé's Mother) has given interviews of how she raised her daughters to love their African ancestry. Recently, the Knowles and Carter family held an African themed art gala. In Beyoncé's Vogue interview, she spoke about being a descendant of an enslaved African woman. This video is a timeline of her groundbreaking career as she has found inspiration from her African heritage throughout her music and life. Watch this video as we share reactions and rare footage on Beyoncé's often overlooked transparency in what she has always stood for.
Press about the Gift Album...
The Lion King: The Gift, Beyoncé's executive-produced album inspired by the 2019 motion picture, has been delivered. The 27-track album - 14 original tracks and 13 interludes from the Disney feature film - features an impressive set of headliners like Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, Tierra Whack, Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar as well as global acts from Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica and more.
Lion King: The Gift pays tribute to Disney's 1994 animated classic The Lion King as well as the continent where it takes place.
"This soundtrack is a love letter to Africa, and I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa," Bey said in a Good Morning America interview. "I wanted to be authentic to what is beautiful about music in Africa."
Beyoncé, who plays Nala in the new film, made it a point to feature a multi-genre artists and producers for a sound that's reflective of the diaspora of African cultures. While some songs like "MOOD 4 EVA," which is produced by Bey and DJ Khaled, feature a straightforward, cinematic R&B sound, others, like Burna Boy's "Ja Ara E" or the heartfelt "Brown Skin Girl" featuring Saint JHN, Wizkid and Blue Ivy Carter, are held down with African-influenced beats and percussion by producer P2J.
Nigerian artists Tekno, Yemi Alade and Mr. Eazi form an Afrobeat trifecta with "Don't Jealous Me" and Ghanaian musician Shatta Wale and electronic trio Major Lazer each add their own flavor to "Already." Up-and-coming Cameroonian singer Salatiel has a shining introduction on the track "Water," singing alongside Bey and Pharrell. The album-ender, "Spirit," was the sole single shared before the album and was released earlier this week with a sprawling music video.
The album cover art also adds a sense of symbolism and power: Two gold lions, tied together as one, carry over messages of unity from the film. Beyoncé provides a modern interpretation and vision for the story many of us already know. "I feel like the soundtrack becomes visual in your mind," Beyoncé told GMA. "It's a soundscape. It's more than just the music because each song tells the story of the film."
Inside Beyoncé’s Bold Bet to Get Americans to Listen to African Music
‘The Lion King: The Gift,’ a companion album to Disney’s latest reboot, features singers from Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, and Cameroon
In response to Rolling Stone,
it is important to note that African music has been in the States since the arrival of West and Central African enslaved peoples whom were forced in America and the West Indies against their will. Descendants of Africans have evolved their musical gifts into many genres such as Rock N Roll, Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, Blues, Spiritual, Swing, Reggae, Riddim, and more! Afrobeats and Afro beat are genres that have roots in African American and West Indian Diaspora created genres. The gap has been coming together for over 400 years.
Jul 20, 2019