BLACK IS KING. A mini-series. 7 episodes released over 7 days starting Monday, January 25th. Only on Spotify.
Dissect applies its award-winning analysis to the symbols, themes, and meaning of Beyonce’s film BLACK IS KING. From Dogon masks to durags, from Moses to Mansa Musa, from Bey’s backyard to Johannesburg, and from life, death, and the spiritual spaces in between, BLACK IS KING traverses freely across time, space, and cultures to highlight their connection and showcase a greater, unified Black lineage. Through this grand celebration of the Motherland, Beyonce demonstrates the profound connection that we all have to each other in this great circle of life on planet earth.
While God may have made the world, man made the internet, a digital world, in line with Glover’s comparison of the invention of the internet being a new Big Bang. In this digital world, “you don’t need a name,” which demonstrates the impact the internet has had on the expression of traditional identity.
In script, The Boy drives down the I-10 highway listening to the song “Danny Glover” by Young Thug (above). He is going to his mansion to oversee a drug dealer about to go very wrong.
The title “Danny Glover” indicates why Glover may have chosen to include it in the script. For nearly his entire career, people have confused Donald Glover as either Danny Glover’s son or as the elder Glover himself, even though they have no relation, which he discusses with Access Hollywood (left) and is the subject matter in a scene from Issa Rae’s Awkward Black Girl.
Glover also promoted Thug’s track a bit during his performance art press run, and when asked to play a song he liked for a radio show, chose Danny Glover and talked about the connection to himself and even how funny it might be to make a remix with his own name.
Zealots of Stockholm begins and ends with a cold, somber sonic environment, fitting The Boy’s emotional state after the loss of his father, and reflective of his new environment in Stockholm, a notoriously cold city where it’s dark most of the day in the winter.
An abstract graphic animation that envisions The Boy’s surreal experience of a world somewhere in between life and death, this video follows the abrupt ending of No Exit. This animation is scored by BTI’s next track (audible in the video), the beginning of Act 4, “Death by Numbers.”
Death by Numb(ers)
The title holds a duality: organic and geometric, natural and digital: death and life being natural states, and numbers representing the digital through lines of code and technology. The title represents the coexistence of the two, their interwoven nature and the heightened tension between them.
After the wedding scenes that 3005 soundtracks in the screenplay, the script cuts to The Boy playing piano at his mansion as people start to arrive for yet another party, prompting the beginning of Act 3, the aptly-titled “Playing Around Before the Party Starts.”
The mansion is starting to get messier and messier, and apparently the cleaners have stopped showing up because they weren’t being paid. There’s trash everywhere, surfaces are sticky, and you can’t slide around on the floor. The script mourns this: “Now, dried alcohol stops you before you even get to the kitchen door. The Boy really loved sliding into the kitchen when he was a kid. It was the closest you could get to having powers.“
In our first ever video analysis, we break down the 3005 music video (above).
Still in Oakland, the crew head to a hotel for the night and see a wedding happening in the lobby. The crew leaves, but The Boy stays to watch the wedding. While filming the couple dancing, an older Indian dude comes up to The Boy, a sort of “meeting with the mentor” in traditional literary structures on The Boy’s current “road of trials.”