Posted on August 09 2019
THE LION KING: THE GIFT
LOVE LETTER TO AFRICA
We can't deny that Beyoncé is one of the greatest and most influential people in the world, she is more than an artist, she is a movement and her newest album just goes to prove this and beyond. The computer-animated release of the hit animated cartoon Lion King was released on July 19th, 2019. Beyoncé added to the mental visualization of the movie with the soundtrack 'Spirit'. The movie takes you on the journey of reliving your childhood by taking you back to that state of euphoria when you watched the cartoon for the first time, definitely a must watch.
Alongside the release of the movie, Beyoncé released her album “THE LION KING:THE GIFT”. The newly released album is a musical love letter celebrating Africa and Africans in its essence. The album features African artists such as Wizkid, Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage, Shatta wale, Tekno, Yemi Alade, Mr. Eazi, Busiswa, and Moonchild Sanelly. With Mr. Eazi and Burna Boy recently representing Africa at Coachella 2019, this couldn't have come at a better time with the burgeoning of African music rising exponentially and heading to the globalization.
I appreciate the fact that the sounds, instrumentals and melodies in the album remained true to the African style of music, even as far as Beyoncé almost sounding Nigerian on the “Already” Track (a reach maybe, LOL). I am proud to be alive at such a time in history where Blacks or Africans are embracing their culture unashamed. This would relate and translate to the younger generation listening to the album to take pride and embrace their culture and roots and see it just as cool as whatever they tend to identify with, in the western world.
This album goes beyond identifying with being Black or African but more with loving yourself from inside out, which needs to be constantly echoed through the world.
It is also noteworthy to see how many Nigerian artists were on the Album and it just goes to show the enormous amount of raw talent we have in Nigeria, yes this is very biased but this is not to create any divide because I believe a win for one African is a win for all. It is to point out the positives associated with Nigeria or Nigerians as a whole, which is rarely announced or celebrated as compared to the negatives associated with Nigerians constantly highlighted of everywhere.
I hope this opens up a new era where we see lots African collaborations on albums worldwide with African music dominating charts as Latin music has. I believe African music is next. As we enjoy the music, I hope to see more Blacks embracing and appreciating the culture before it is taken from us, remodified and sold back to us. In the words for Burn Boy's mother "Every black person should please remember, you were Africans before you became anything else".
I also hope to see a representation of Africa in the music videos to come with African prints, African scenery, food etc., and maybe some Ray Darten outfits in the videos. You just never know.
Written By: Opeyemi Onilogbo
WRITTEN BY RAY DARTEN BLOGGER