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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Black is King

Disney + / Online / Music

The whiplash voice of Beyoncé the singer meets the honeyed lyricism of Beyoncé’s Nala in The Lion King. A little more than a year after Disney released its Lion King remake, and on the heels of Beyoncé’s Juneteenth release of Black Parade, the diva is debuting a visual album—made in the style of a long, artfully crafted music video—which she has also written, directed, and executive produced, reaffirming that her talents extend far beyond the singing world. Featuring guests Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams, Lupita Nyong’o, and Naomi Campbell, and collaborators including This is America creative director Ibra Ake, the film celebrates tradition and black excellence, and will be available in much of the African continent as well as in North America and Europe. Like most everyone today, Beyoncé is not immune to controversy, and her latest project has already been accused of stereotyping Africa and its people. You be the judge. —J.V.

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