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Beyonce’s “Lion King” Inspired album is here and blazing

 

Lion King day is here, and with it, a new Beyoncé album has also arrived.

As promised earlier this week, The Lion King: The Gift dropped at the stroke of midnight on Friday (July 18), comprised of 14 tracks and 13 interludes inspired by the film. The album was curated and executive produced by Bey, who voices Nala in Disney’s new CGI remake of the animated classic.

 

Beyoncé’s recent single “Spirit” closes out the project, and along the way are several eclectic and high-profile collaborations, many of which include African artists and producers. Among the highlights are “The Nile,” which reunites Bey with Kendrick Lamar, and “Brown Skin Girl,” which features an adorable singing appearance from Blue Ivy (that’s right — her recording credits are growing, people!).

 

One of the clear standouts, though, is “Mood 4 Eva,” which features Jay-Z and Childish Gambino, a.k.a. Donald Glover, the Simba to Bey’s Nala. The track was co-produced by DJ Khaled and Beyoncé herself, and it’s four-plus minutes of upbeat, energetic swagger. Jay name-checks Prince, Nas, and Biggie in his verse, but to absolutely no one’s surprise, it’s his wife who steals the show here. “I’m so unbothered, I’m so unbothered,” she raps. “Why would you try me? Why would you bother? / I am Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter.” Now that’s a whole mood.

 

In an interview with ABC News earlier this week, Beyoncé explained that The Lion King: The Gift is “a love letter to Africa” and a whole new musical genre inspired by the reboot.

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

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