Beyoncé Drops ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ – Featuring Wizkid, Burna Boy & More

July 19, 2019
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A few days ago, Beyoncé broke the internet with the reveal of the star-studded tracklist for The Lion King: The Gift — a project inspired by the live-action remake of the iconic movie. Well, the album is finally here, and it’s every bit as amazing as we figured it would be.

(Photo: Beyoncé/ Burna Boy/ Tiwa Savage/Wizkid)

Calling it “a love letter to Africa”, Beyoncé curated and executive produced the entire project, with a clear intention of showcasing and celebrating some of the best musical talent that the continent has to offer. Well, it’s safe to say the Grammy-winning superstar definitely succeeded. 

Speaking to ABC News about the album, Beyoncé said:

“I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa, and not just use some of the sounds and did my interpretation of it. I wanted it to be authentic to what is beautiful about the music in Africa.”

While the project is mostly stacked with Nigerian stars — from Wizkid to Burna Boy — it also features a bunch of other African acts (like Ghana’s Shatta Wale and South Africa’s Moonchild Sanelly), as well as some acclaimed American acts (like Childish Gambino, JAY-Z and Kendrick Lamar).

In addition to the fact that we now have new music from Beyoncé – for the second time in one year – this album is particularly significant for the Nigerian industry, as each artist’s specific strengths were all brilliantly showcased on a project that will be heard the world over.

(Photo: Beyoncé)

The Lion King: The Gift is an expansive and ambitious effort, which sees Beyoncé chucking her middle finger to the status quo and literally doing whatever she likes. In the lyrics, the key themes of the film shine through, with almost every song sending a similar message: be confident.

While each Nigerian artist soars, Wizkid’s performance on “Brown Skin Girl” makes him a clear standout, as he manages to go toe to toe with the queen. Burna Boy also impresses on “Ja Ara E”, being the only artist, besides Beyonce, with a solo track on the entire album.

(Photo: Disney Studios)

Elsewhere, the other African artists also make a big impact, with Ghana’s Shatta Wale (on “Already”), Cameroon’s Salatiel (on “Water”) and Busisiwa (on the aptly titled girl-power anthem, “My Power”) all walking away as some of the most memorable features on the project.

As for other noteworthy inclusions, Wizkid’s not-so-secret weapon, Northboi, works on the Tiwa Savage-led “Keys To The Kingdom”, while P2Jay helms five songs, including clear standout, “Brown Skin Girl”. We also get music mogul, Bankulli delivering an interlude on “Otherside”.

In conclusion, The Lion King: The Gift is exactly that, a gift, and we’re very impressed that Beyoncé gave our local artists the room to shine on such a large scale. We can already smell a ‘Best World Music Album’ Grammy for this project, and it would be very well-deserved.   

Listen to the album right here: 

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