Last week Beyoncé nonchalantly announced she had curated and produced an accompanying album to Disney‘s The Lion King like it’s no big deal. And, well, Bey just delivered. The Lion King: The Gift is finally here and it’s the sonic cinema of our dreams.
The album, out today, features contributions from a dazzling cast of collaborators, including JAY-Z, Blue Ivy Carter, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, and others. Referred to as a “love letter to Africa,” the record also boasts multiple African artists, such as Wizkid, Mr Eazi, Tekno, and Burna Boy.
Behind the scenes, the album is just as impressive. The Gift features production from Diplo, Syd and Sounwave — who worked on Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. DJ Khaled is listed as a producer on the track “MOOD 4 EVA,” a collaboration between Beyoncé, JAY-Z, and Childish Gambino.
“I wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline,” Beyoncé said in a press release. “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.” 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.
Earlier this month, Beyoncé (who voices Nala) released the first single from the project, “Spirit” with an accompanying dramatic video. You can now stream the full album below.
On this week’s episode of The Dropcast, we are joined by photographer Cam Hicks and Angelo Urrutia, your favorite influencer’s favorite influencer’s favorite behind-the-scenes creative director. Enjoy.