Black Is King

A basket floats down a river. On a beach in the spiritual plane, a newborn prince is held by his maternal ancestor while she tells him of his significance and purpose (“Bigger”). She performs rituals for the prince and joins other women who are also holding newborns. On the beach, the prince is anointed with white paint by the ancestor, while in a royal palace, he is similarly anointed by an elder. The king gives the young prince a small golden scepter and tells the prince that his ancestors look down on them from the stars and will always be there to guide him (“Find Your Way Back”).

The young boy is enticed by a monkey to enter a warehouse. A man with a snake asks the boy who he is, but the boy does not answer. The boy stays in the warehouse, adorns himself with gold, and spends his time gambling while being watched by his ancestor and the blue man (“Don’t Jealous Me”). Outside, a biker gang arrives and encircles the prince. The king comes to save him and is killed by a bike. The prince’s uncle tells the prince to flee the village, and he takes over the throne (“Scar”). In the spiritual plane, the ancestor leads the king’s funeral, while the blue man sits alone (“Nile”).

The prince dreams of living a carefree life, driving past his ancestor and the blue man. He lives in an extravagant mansion full of expensive clothes, servants, and feasts (“Mood 4 Eva”). The prince remembers his uncle banging on a drum, causing him to drop the scepter into the water. A human chess game takes place in the mansion’s ground, reminding the prince of how his father taught him the game, which represented the duality of good and evil. In real life, the prince grows up and moves to the city. He now dreams of spending his time partying with girls inside a tricked-out hearse (“Ja Ara E”). His driver appears as his uncle, who taunts him with the golden scepter. He stumbles out of the car and wakes up. The prince realizes that pursuing material wealth is unsustainable, and he is encouraged to reclaim his purpose and identity (“Already”). His ancestor tells the prince that he will meet himself at the shore, as the blue man walks into the sea (“Water”). The prince is reunited with his childhood love (“Brown Skin Girl”). The couple gets married (“Keys to the Kingdom”), but he is plagued by self-doubt over his purpose.

In another time, a sandstorm arrives (“Otherside”). As others are fleeing, the ancestor decides to place her baby in a basket and put it in the river to save the baby. As the basket flows down the river, it reaches a waterfall. In the spiritual plane, the ancestor is reunited with her baby.

The ancestor tells the prince to return to the river, in which he finds the scepter. He is reunited with the elder, who anoints him again with white paint, and he floats upwards into the spiritual plane. The prince reunites with his father and breaks down in front of him. The ancestor reminds the prince of his power, and he assembles an army of women to fight his uncle (“My Power”). They chase him out of the kingdom, and the prince reclaims his throne. The ancestor brings the new king and queen their baby (“Spirit”), and the king lifts the baby in the air.