The new Beyoncé-curated and produced album The Lion King: The Gift, has finally arrived, and it is a body of work that would be talked about for generations to come.
The album, referred to as a “love letter to Africa,” features a host of collaborators from Nigeria such as Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Yemi Alade, Tekno and Mr Eazi. Ghanaian dancehall star Shatta Wale, South Africa’s Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly, and Cameroon’s Salatiel, made the cut as well. The album also features contributions from JAY-Z, Blue Ivy Carter, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar and Pharrell.
“I wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline. Each song was written to reflect the film’s storytelling that gives the listener a chance to imagine their own imagery, while listening to a new contemporary interpretation. It was important that the music was not only performed by the most interesting and talented artists but also produced by the best African producers. Authenticity and heart were important to me,” Beyoncé said in a press release.
The album maintains a strong link to the Jon Favreau-directed film and is interspersed with interludes carrying dialogue from the characters. James Earl Jones, who voices Mufasa, opens the album.
Stream the album below.