Bow down, Simba...because we already know who the real star of The Lion King reboot is.
The CGI-fueled film opens in U.S. theaters today, but all week we’ve been ramping up, first falling for the fashion-fueled extravaganza that was the “Spirit” video release, and now getting our Afrobeats on with Thursday night’s release of The Gift, Beyoncé’s personally curated collaborative album timed to complement the film’s South African premiere.
In keeping with The Lion King’s theme of legacy (and the fact that it’s a film for the whole family to enjoy) Blue Ivy has made appearances on both the premiere carpets and in the “Spirit” visuals, her mother taking her hand as Simba places his own small paw in Mufasa’s pawprint. But after lending her vocals to previous projects from her famous parents, the 7-year-old is making her biggest splash yet, reportedly earning her first writing credit on “Brown Skin Girl” (h/t The NY Post and Elle) a musical tribute to black beauty that also features Brooklyn-born Guyanese artist Saint Jhn and Nigerian singer Wizkid.
In the open (and close) of the song, Blue Ivy and Saint Jhn sing:
Brown skin girl/Your skin just like pearls/The best thing in the world
Never trade you for anybody else...
It’s the kind of song brown-skinned girls around the world need to hear (daily), and while we don’t know which lyrics or melodies can be specifically attributed to Little Miss Carter, as the song shouts out brown-skinned beauties like Lupita Nyong’o, Naomi Campbell and former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland, we’re here for it. And obviously, so is social media, which has been marveling at the prowess of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s firstborn, as well as the implications of an African-influenced song that (literally) claps back at colorism.
If you haven’t already, listen to the track for yourself above, catch rising star-in-the-making Blue Ivy Carter, and most of all, celebrate the melanated beauty of brown-skinned girls everywhere.