“Who are you?” “I know exactly who I am; the question is, who are you?”
And, so begins the first installation in a new era of Beyonce music – a track called ‘ALREADY’ featuring Shatta Wale and Major Lazer. The pop icon’s upcoming visual album, ‘Black Is King’ is slated for release later in the day. And, as we anticipate the “Lion King” inspired, audio-visual narrative, the singer has given us a taste of what lies ahead.
The World of “Black Is King”
‘ALREADY’ was released earlier in the day, accompanied by an official music video. In what we can assume will be one of the many frames featured in the upcoming film, the video is a comprehensive look into the singer’s new world. The track kicks off with a long exchange between two people, one a protagonist-type figure and the other, a mentor. What follows, is a visual spectacle of colour, meticulous choreography, symbolism and a definitive refrain.
‘Black Is King’ is set to detail various nuances of the racial narrative surrounding the black community. Spanning across black communities all over the world, the album is a “gift to Africa”. And if ‘ALREADY’ is anything to go by, this project will see a reclamation of the narrative.
Poetic Lyricism in ‘ALREADY’
Beyonce kicks off the song to a mellow hip-hop beat. She sings: “Long live the king, you a king, you no wait/ King already, already, you no wait.” In the second verse, she’s joined by Wale in some hard-hitting poetry. They chant, “Remember who you are/ Real king always lean on/ Give up your bread/ I’ll show your people my love”.
The final refrain delivered by Wale hits hard, too. He says, “Be your own king/ Make nobody come rule your world/ Be your own king/ Make nobody come rule your world.”
And so, ‘ALREADY’ is a celebration of colour, power and strength. Further, while this project delivers unapologetic performance signature of the singer, Beyonce basks in the glory of a new light. And, we can’t wait to see what that looks like.
Stay locked on for a full length review of ‘Black Is King’, coming soon.
By: Ahalya Narayanan