Beyoncé's 'love letter to Africa' released

By: BBC
 Beyoncé releases Lion King companion album

THE album, The Lion King: The Gift, that Beyoncé produced and curated has been released.

The track list features African stars such as Burna Boy, Wizkid and Shatta Wale, as well as songs from Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Childish Gambino and Pharrell.

The US musician had earleir called the album a "love letter to Africa" adding that she "wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa".

The album also includes Beyoncé's previously released single, Spirit, which opens with Swahili lyrics.

In Ghana, Beyoncé's collaboration, Already, with dancehall star Shatta Wale has already got people talking, and #ShattawaleBeyonceAlready is trending on Twitter there.

Some suggest that Beyoncé is sounding "like a real Ghanaian":

@flexkgermain said: "When you listen to the song and you hear Beyonce's voice you might think it's not her, she really sounded like a real Ghanaian lady from Korlegono or Nima  #ShattawaleBeyonceAlready #Ghreloaded"

Another fan suggests that Shatta Wale is one of Ghana's God-given gifts:

@MedikalFirst said: "Ghana is blessed with Gold, cocoa and Shatta Wale. Beyonce ft Shatta Wale already is a banger #shattayonce #ShattawaleBeyonceAlready"

On Already, Beyoncé sings "King already, already you know it", lyrics no doubt welcomed by Shatta's fans as they call him "the King":

@mr_bliss1 said: "Beyoncé literally said “long live the king and you know it”. That’s it. We are done!!!! #ShattawaleBeyonceAlready"

Nigerian musicians feature heavily in the album, including Burna Boy, who performs Ja Ara on his own.

@Rieosei said: "burna really got his own song on the album. African GIANT fym"

@Omojuwa said: "How often does an artist have her/his own song in an album without a feature from anyone or the owner of the album? Lol. Burna Boy kinged this one out!"

Beyoncé told ABC News that she wanted the album to be "authentic to what is beautiful about the music in Africa", adding that "each song tells the story of the film".

The musician has faced some criticism in East Africa for not including a Swahili-speaking performer, especially as Lion King, which is released on Friday, has many Swahili references.