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Beyonce - The Lion King: The Gift

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The Lion King: The Gift

Beyonce

  • Released on 7/19/19 by Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia
  • Main artist: Beyonce
  • Genre: Rap/Hip-Hop
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For the 2019 CGI retelling of Disney's classic animated film The Lion King, Beyoncé wore multiple crowns for the project, not only voicing the adult Nala but also curating the companion compilation/soundtrack, The Lion King: The Gift. Not to be confused with the reimagined score/soundtrack featuring Hans Zimmer, Tim Rice, Lebo M., Elton John, and Beyoncé herself, The Gift recruits a roster of African talent and American hip-hop/R&B acts to create a buoyant hybrid of futuristic, cross-Atlantic Afro-pop. Like a similar big-screen epic about a regal feline, this expertly curated collection is an artistic showcase celebrating Africa and black musical traditions, elevating the movie experience with strategic thematic interludes that could help this album endure far longer than the film. Also, like Kendrick Lamar did with Black Panther, Beyoncé is careful not to overshadow the burgeoning talents on display here, inserting herself when appropriate and evenly distributing her own songs throughout the set's expansive track list. Representing Nigeria, Tekno, Yemi Alade, and Mr Eazi form a formidable trio on the menacing highlight "Don't Jealous Me," while Burna Boy delivers a smooth "Ja Ara E." Later, Tiwa Savage teams with Eazi on the fun "Keys to the Kingdom," and Wizkid joins Guyanese rapper Saint Jhn, Beyoncé, and her daughter Blue Ivy Carter on the wholesome, empowering "Brown Skin Girl." Ghanaian reggae artist Shatta Wale collides with Major Lazer's trademark dancehall-pop on the thumping "Already." Meanwhile, a team of South African artists contributes to another standout, the explosive "My Power." Along with rising American rapper Tierra Whack, Nija, and Beyoncé, Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly deliver verses in Zulu and isiXhosa, hailing the coming king with an undeniable blend of defiance and fierce pride. Even the relative downer "Scar" -- a dramatic denouement told from the titular villain's perspective -- captures the imagination and attention, due to the dedicated performances of North American singer/rappers 070 Shake and Jessie Reyez. These collaborations are effortless in their execution, making The Gift feel more like a joyous party or family affair rather than a Beyoncé vanity project. On her end, Beyoncé does deliver a handful of showstoppers, including the inspirational de facto opener "Bigger," where she connects real-world themes of family, parenthood, and birthright, singing not only to Simba, but her own children, and "Find Your Way Back (Circle of Life)," another buoyant lesson of empowerment. "Mood 4 Eva" is a classic Beyoncé anthem featuring partner Jay-Z, film co-star Donald Glover, and enough quotable lyrics to emblazon an entire store's worth of T-shirts. As with the official score/soundtrack, The Gift closes with the unbearably uplifting "Spirit," a shiver-inducing anthem packed with enough power to inspire anyone to seize their destiny atop their own personal Pride Rock. On The Lion King: The Gift, Beyoncé deftly connects a kid's flick to something bigger, honoring not only Africa and its traditions but also shifting perspective to future destiny and greatness. It's a superior statement and a lesson on how to properly execute a winning soundtrack. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

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The Lion King: The Gift

Beyonce

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1
balance (mufasa interlude) 00:00:43

Beyonce, Composer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - James Earl Jones, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Nathanson, Lyricist - Jonathan Richards, Strings - Adrienne Woods, Strings - Tahirah Whittington, Strings - Derek Dixie, Composer, Other - Tyler Scott, Mixing Engineer, Other - Stephanie Matthews, Strings, Other - Bianca McClure, Strings - Crystal Alforque, Strings - Daniel Pampuri, Recording Engineer - Stephanie Yu, Strings - Marta Honer, Strings - Lester Mendoza, Mixing Engineer - Rhea Hosanny, Strings - Chelsea Stevens, Strings

(P) N/A

2
BIGGER 00:03:46

Ricky Lawson, Composer - Stacy Barthe, Composer, Lyricist - TONY MASERATI, Mixing Engineer - Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Stuart White, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer - John Cranfield, Assistant Engineer - Jonathan Richards, Strings - Andréa Roberts, Assistant Engineer - Richard Lawson, Lyricist - Adrienne Woods, Strings - Tahirah Whittington, Strings - Derek Dixie, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Tyler Scott, Assistant Engineer - Akil King, Lyricist - Stephanie Matthews, Strings, Other - Bianca McClure, Strings - Crystal Alforque, Strings - Jenna Felsenthal, Assistant Engineer - Daniel Pampuri, Recording Engineer - Stephanie Yu, Strings - Marta Honer, Strings - Lester Mendoza, Recording Engineer - Akil "fresh" King, Composer - Rachel "Raye" Keen, Composer, Vocal - Racheal Keen, Lyricist - Rhea Hosanny, Strings - Chelsea Stevens, Strings, Other

(P) 2019 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
the stars (mufasa interlude) 00:00:46

Beyonce, Composer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - James Earl Jones, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Cranfield, Mixing Engineer - Jeff Nathanson, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Composer - Zachary Acosta, Mixing Engineer

(P) N/A

4
FIND YOUR WAY BACK 00:02:42

Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Stuart White, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer - Bubele Booi, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Derek Dixie, Vocal Producer, Recording Engineer, Misc. Prod. - Bankulli, Vocal Producer, Vocal - Osabuohien Osaretin, Composer, Lyricist - GuiltyBeatz, Misc. Prod. - Brittany "Starrah" Hazzard, Composer, Lyricist - Robert Magwenzi, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Abisagboola "Bankulli" Oluseun, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2016 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
uncle scar (scar interlude) 00:00:13

Beyonce, Composer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - John Cranfield, Mixing Engineer - Chiwetel Ejiofor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Nathanson, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Composer - Zachary Acosta, Mixing Engineer

(P) N/A

6
DON'T JEALOUS ME 00:02:35

Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Stuart White, Mixing Engineer - Tekno, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Cranfield, Assistant Engineer - Jozzy, Vocal - Ariowa Irosogie, Composer, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Misc. Prod. - Yemi Alade, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - P2J, Producer, Recording Engineer - Nana Afriyie, Composer, Lyricist - Mr Eazi, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade, Composer, Lyricist - Ari PenSmith, Recording Engineer - Jenna Felsenthal, Assistant Engineer - Augustine Miles Kelechukwu, Composer, Lyricist - Lord Afrixana, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tekno, Lord Afrixana, Mr Eazi & Yemi Alade, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2019 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
danger (young simba & young nala interlude) 00:00:16

Beyonce, Composer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Jeff Nathanson, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Composer - Shahadi Wright Joseph, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Zachary Acosta, Mixing Engineer - JD McCrary, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - JD McCrary & Shahadi Wright Joseph, AssociatedPerformer

(P) N/A

8
JA ARA E 00:03:10

Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Stuart White, Mixing Engineer - John Cranfield, Assistant Engineer - Richard Isong, Composer, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Misc. Prod. - Burna Boy, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Damini Ogulu, Composer, Lyricist - Cecil Bernardy, Recording Engineer - P2J, Producer, Recording Engineer

(P) 2019 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
run away (scar & young simba interlude) 00:00:29

Beyonce, Composer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - John Cranfield, Mixing Engineer - Chiwetel Ejiofor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Nathanson, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Composer - Zachary Acosta, Mixing Engineer - Lester Mendoza, Other - JD McCrary, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - JD McCrary & Chiwetel Ejiofor, AssociatedPerformer

(P) N/A

10
NILE 00:01:47

Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Stuart White, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer - Mark Spears, Composer, Lyricist - Kendrick Lamar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Cranfield, Assistant Engineer - Kendrick Duckworth, Composer, Lyricist - Sounwave, Producer - Keanu Beats, Producer - Keanu Dean Torres, Composer, Lyricist - Matt Schafer, Recording Engineer - Hykeem Carter, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Johnny Kosich, Producer - Brittany "@Chi_Coney" Coney, Composer, Lyricist - Beyoncé & Kendrick Lamar, AssociatedPerformer - Denisia ""@blu_june" Andrews, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2019 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

11
new lesson (timon, pumbaa & young simba interlude) 00:00:53

Beyonce, Composer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - John Cranfield, Mixing Engineer - Jeff Nathanson, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Composer - Lester Mendoza, Mixing Engineer - JD McCrary, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Billy Eichner, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Seth Rogen, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen & JD McCrary, AssociatedPerformer

(P) N/A

12
MOOD 4 EVA 00:04:32

S. Carter, Composer, Lyricist - Danja, Producer - Jay-Z, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - DJ Khaled, Producer - Oumou Sangare, Composer, Lyricist, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Floyd Nathaniel Hills, Composer, Lyricist - Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Riley Mackin, Recording Engineer - Stuart White, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer - Childish Gambino, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Donald Glover, Composer, Lyricist - John Cranfield, Engineer, Assistant Engineer, Recording Engineer - Khaled Khaled, Composer, Lyricist - Michael Uzowuru, Composer, Lyricist, Misc. Prod. - Jeff Kleinman, Composer, Lyricist, Misc. Prod. - Anathi Bhongo Mnyango, Composer, Lyricist - Teo Halm, Composer, Lyricist, Misc. Prod. - Ant Clemons, Composer, Lyricist - Brittany "@Chi_Coney" Coney, Composer, Lyricist - Beyoncé, Jay-Z & Childish Gambino feat. Oumou Sangare, AssociatedPerformer - Denisia ""@blu_june" Andrews, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2019 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

13
reunited (nala & simba interlude) 00:00:08

Beyonce, Composer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Donald Glover, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Nathanson, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Composer - Zachary Acosta, Mixing Engineer - Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Beyoncé Knowles-Carter & Donald Glover, AssociatedPerformer

(P) N/A

14
WATER 00:02:32

Pharrell Williams, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Brathwaite, Mixing Engineer - Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - John Cranfield, Recording Engineer - Richard Isong, Composer, Lyricist - P2J, Producer - Nana Afriyie, Composer, Lyricist - Salatiel, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Moonchild Sanelly, Vocal - Jenna Felsenthal, Assistant Engineer - Nija Charles, Composer, Lyricist - Salatiel, Pharrell Williams & Beyoncé, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2019 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

15
BROWN SKIN GIRL 00:04:08

S. Carter, Composer, Lyricist - Stacy Barthe, Composer, Lyricist - TONY MASERATI, Mixing Engineer - Pino Palladino, Bass - Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Stuart White, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer - John Cranfield, Assistant Engineer - Wizkid, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Adio Marchant, Composer, Lyricist - Michael Uzowuru, Composer, Lyricist - Richard Isong, Composer, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Misc. Prod. - Carlos St. John, Composer, Lyricist - Blue Ivy, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - P2J, Producer, Recording Engineer - Anathi Bhongo Mnyango, Composer, Lyricist - Saint Jhn, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Daniel Pampuri, Recording Engineer - Christopher Ulrich, Recording Engineer - Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, Beyoncé & WizKiD, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2019 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

16
come home (nala interlude) 00:00:14

Beyonce, Composer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Jeff Nathanson, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Composer - Zachary Acosta, Mixing Engineer, Other - Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) N/A

17
KEYS TO THE KINGDOM 00:03:18

Rich King, Composer, Lyricist - Tiwa Savage, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Gerald White, Composer, Lyricist - Chris Godbey, Mixing Engineer - Ariowa Irosogie, Composer, Lyricist - Guilty Beatz, Co-Producer - Ronald Banful, Composer, Lyricist - Richard Isong, Composer, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Composer, Lyricist, Co-Producer - Tyler Scott, Assistant Engineer - P2J, Co-Producer - Mr Eazi, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade, Composer, Lyricist - Courtney Leonard, Bass - Jenna Felsenthal, Assistant Engineer - Daniel Pampuri, Recording Engineer - Rod Castro, Guitar - Lester Mendoza, Assistant Engineer - Tiwatope Savage, Composer, Lyricist - Kim Krysiuk, Composer, Lyricist - Akil "fresh" King, Composer, Lyricist - Tiwa Savage & Mr Eazi, AssociatedPerformer - Norhtboi Oracle, Producer - Rickie Tice, Composer, Lyricist - Ari Pensith, Recording Engineer, Vocal

(P) 2019 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

18
follow me (simba & rafiki interlude) 00:00:31

Beyonce, Composer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Donald Glover, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Nathanson, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Composer - Lester Mendoza, Mixing Engineer - John Kani, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Donald Glover & John Kani, AssociatedPerformer

(P) N/A

19
ALREADY 00:03:42

Diplo, Producer - Toumani Diabate, Composer, Lyricist - Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Stuart White, Recording Engineer - Chris Godbey, Mixing Engineer - Clément Picard, Composer, Lyricist - Maxime Picard, Composer, Lyricist - Thomas Wesley Pentz, Composer, Lyricist - Major Lazer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ronald Banful, Composer, Lyricist - Picard Brothers, Producer - Shatta Wale, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - GuiltyBeatz, Co-Producer - Charles Nii Armah Mensah, Composer, Lyricist - Brittany "Starrah" Hazzard, Composer, Lyricist - Beyoncé, Shatta Wale & Major Lazer, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2019 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

20
remember (mufasa interlude) 00:00:45

Beyonce, Composer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - James Earl Jones, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Nathanson, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Composer - Eryn Allen Kane, Vocal - Lester Mendoza, Mixing Engineer

(P) N/A

21
OTHERSIDE 00:03:39

TONY MASERATI, Mixing Engineer - Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Stuart White, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer - Sydney Bennett, Composer, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Recording Engineer, Misc. Prod. - Dave Rosser, Composer, Lyricist - Nick Green, Composer, Lyricist - Nicky Davey, Producer - Bankulli, Vocal - Daniel Pampuri, Recording Engineer - Lester Mendoza, Recording Engineer - Abisagboola "Bankulli" Oluseun, Composer, Lyricist

(P) 2019 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

22
war (nala interlude) 00:00:18

Beyonce, Composer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Jeff Nathanson, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Composer - Zachary Acosta, Mixing Engineer - Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) N/A

23
MY POWER 00:04:19

Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Stuart White, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer - John Cranfield, Assistant Engineer - Busiswa, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Busiswa Gqulu, Composer, Lyricist - Yemi Alade, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sanelisiwe Twisha, Composer, Lyricist - P2J, Recording Engineer - Moonchild Sanelly, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - GuiltyBeatz, Recording Engineer - DJ Lag, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lwazi Asanda Gwala, Composer, Lyricist - Tierra Whack, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kenete Simms, Recording Engineer - Jenna Felsenthal, Recording Engineer - Daniel Pampuri, Recording Engineer - Nija Charles, Composer, Lyricist - Nija, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Brittany "@Chi_Coney" Coney, Composer, Lyricist - Denisia ""@blu_june" Andrews, Composer, Lyricist - Nija, Beyoncé, Busiswa, Yemi Alade, Tierra Whack, Moonchild Sanelly & DJ Lag, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2019 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

24
surrender (simba & scar interlude) 00:00:14

Beyonce, Composer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Donald Glover, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Chiwetel Ejiofor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Nathanson, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Composer - P2J, Composer - Zachary Acosta, Mixing Engineer - Donald Glover & Chiwetel Ejiofor, AssociatedPerformer

(P) N/A

25
SCAR 00:03:06

Mike Dean, Misc. Prod. - Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Dave Hamelin, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Stuart White, Mixing Engineer - John Cranfield, Assistant Engineer - Ariowa Irosogie, Composer, Lyricist - Richard Isong, Composer, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Misc. Prod. - P2J, Producer - Jessie Reyez, Composer, Lyricist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Tim Suby, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Ari PenSmith, Keyboards, Co-Producer - 070 Shake, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Danielle Balbuena, Composer, Lyricist - Jenna Felsenthal, Recording Engineer - Daniel Pampuri, Recording Engineer - 070 Shake & Jessie Reyez, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2019 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

26
i'm home (mufasa, sarabi & simba interlude) 00:00:42

Beyonce, Composer - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - James Earl Jones, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Donald Glover, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alfre Woodard, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Nathanson, Lyricist - Derek Dixie, Composer - Zachary Acosta, Mixing Engineer - James Earl Jones, Alfre Woodard & Donald Glover, AssociatedPerformer - Mzansi Youth Choir (South Africa), Vocal

(P) N/A

27
SPIRIT (From Disney's "The Lion King") 00:04:37

David Fleming, Strings - Sam Holland, Assistant Engineer - Timothy McKenzie, Composer, Lyricist - JEFF LORBER, Piano - George Young, Background Vocal - Ilya Salmanzadeh, Composer, Lyricist - Beyonce, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Programmer, Vocal Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal - Colin Leonard, Mastering Engineer - Mabvuto Carpenter, Background Vocal - Stuart White, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer - Labrinth, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Programmer, Background Vocal - Ilya, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Programmer, Background Vocal - Maurice Smith, Background Vocal - Andréa Roberts, Assistant Engineer - Stevie Notes, Background Vocal - Cory Bice, Assistant Engineer - Jason Morales, Background Vocal - Edward Lawson, Background Vocal - Derek Dixie, Drums, Misc. Prod. - Vernon Burris, Background Vocal - Jeremy Lertola, Assistant Engineer, Percussion - Andre Washington, Background Vocal - Daniel Pampuri, Recording Engineer - Lester Mendoza, Recording Engineer - Johnny Gilmore, Background Vocal - Jamal Moore, Background Vocal - Derrick Charles, Background Vocal - Marcus Eldridge, Background Vocal - Steve Epting, Background Vocal - Steven Xai, Assistant Engineer - Jerome Wayne a/k/a J Rome, Background Vocal - Donald Paige a/k/a DeP, Background Vocal - TJ Wilkins, Background Vocal

(P) 2019 Walt Disney Records, under license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music

Album Description

For the 2019 CGI retelling of Disney's classic animated film The Lion King, Beyoncé wore multiple crowns for the project, not only voicing the adult Nala but also curating the companion compilation/soundtrack, The Lion King: The Gift. Not to be confused with the reimagined score/soundtrack featuring Hans Zimmer, Tim Rice, Lebo M., Elton John, and Beyoncé herself, The Gift recruits a roster of African talent and American hip-hop/R&B acts to create a buoyant hybrid of futuristic, cross-Atlantic Afro-pop. Like a similar big-screen epic about a regal feline, this expertly curated collection is an artistic showcase celebrating Africa and black musical traditions, elevating the movie experience with strategic thematic interludes that could help this album endure far longer than the film. Also, like Kendrick Lamar did with Black Panther, Beyoncé is careful not to overshadow the burgeoning talents on display here, inserting herself when appropriate and evenly distributing her own songs throughout the set's expansive track list. Representing Nigeria, Tekno, Yemi Alade, and Mr Eazi form a formidable trio on the menacing highlight "Don't Jealous Me," while Burna Boy delivers a smooth "Ja Ara E." Later, Tiwa Savage teams with Eazi on the fun "Keys to the Kingdom," and Wizkid joins Guyanese rapper Saint Jhn, Beyoncé, and her daughter Blue Ivy Carter on the wholesome, empowering "Brown Skin Girl." Ghanaian reggae artist Shatta Wale collides with Major Lazer's trademark dancehall-pop on the thumping "Already." Meanwhile, a team of South African artists contributes to another standout, the explosive "My Power." Along with rising American rapper Tierra Whack, Nija, and Beyoncé, Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly deliver verses in Zulu and isiXhosa, hailing the coming king with an undeniable blend of defiance and fierce pride. Even the relative downer "Scar" -- a dramatic denouement told from the titular villain's perspective -- captures the imagination and attention, due to the dedicated performances of North American singer/rappers 070 Shake and Jessie Reyez. These collaborations are effortless in their execution, making The Gift feel more like a joyous party or family affair rather than a Beyoncé vanity project. On her end, Beyoncé does deliver a handful of showstoppers, including the inspirational de facto opener "Bigger," where she connects real-world themes of family, parenthood, and birthright, singing not only to Simba, but her own children, and "Find Your Way Back (Circle of Life)," another buoyant lesson of empowerment. "Mood 4 Eva" is a classic Beyoncé anthem featuring partner Jay-Z, film co-star Donald Glover, and enough quotable lyrics to emblazon an entire store's worth of T-shirts. As with the official score/soundtrack, The Gift closes with the unbearably uplifting "Spirit," a shiver-inducing anthem packed with enough power to inspire anyone to seize their destiny atop their own personal Pride Rock. On The Lion King: The Gift, Beyoncé deftly connects a kid's flick to something bigger, honoring not only Africa and its traditions but also shifting perspective to future destiny and greatness. It's a superior statement and a lesson on how to properly execute a winning soundtrack. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

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