After weeks of rumours and speculation, Beyoncé confirmed the news: she and JAY-Z are going to embark on a joint tour, OTR II, this summer. The queen made the long-awaited announcement on Instagram this morning with some promo graphics mixed with intimate footage of her and her husband.
At the end of the short montage announcing their “On The Run II” tour, Jay-Z and Beyoncé are seated on a motorbike adorned with a bull’s long-horned skull. The slow-motion clip—which also provides a still image for much of the tour’s promotional materials—is a direct nod to the poster of Touki Bouki, a classic Senegalese film from 1973. As herder Mory and student Anta plot their escape to Paris, they devise an over-the-top plan that brings satirical storytelling and aesthetically rich visual elements to the film—much like the styling of recent Jay-Z and Beyoncé music videos.
Beyoncé in particular regularly looks to the African continent for inspiration. For 2011’s “Run The World (Girls),” she learned Pantsula, a dance originating in the townships of South Africa during apartheid, and invited young Mozambican dancers to join her in the video. Her 2016 visual album Lemonade borrows even more from Africa through costumes and folklore drawn from the continent, and via collaborations with African artists. At the 2017 Grammys, a pregnant Beyoncé channelled the Nigerian goddess Oshun during her performance of a medley of songs from Lemonade. And given that the Carters regular seek inspiration from Africa, it will probably disappoint fans that, as with the first On the Run tour, they won’t play a single African city during On the Run II.
The tour will take the Carters across the U.K., Europe and North America from June 6 to October 2 this year. The shows are a follow-up to the couple’s highly successful joint tour, On the Run, in 2014. This time around, fans can likely expect Beyoncé and JAY-Z to perform music from their latest albums, Lemonade and 4:44 respectively, which documented their emotional marital struggles and reconciliation.