Music video: Beyoncé - Formation

As has become somewhat customary for Beyoncé, she released her new single "Formation" with no pre-warning, along with a video. Not only did Beyoncé set the beyhive swarming with a new release, but she had everybody talking because of the content of both the song and video. Both of which are odes to blackness.

"Formation" is one of Beyoncé's most controversial and noteworthy releases, from an artist who in the past 10 years has always played it safe and as vanilla as a soft whip. She says the word 'negro'. There is not a single white person in the video. She says she's proud of her husbands' wide nose and her daughters hair being nappy. The video is shot in New Orleans. She sings about taking her boo to Red Lobster after he lays the dick down good. There is a scene of the Police putting their hands up and then a shot of 'Black lives matter' sprayed across a wall. "Formation" is basically everything many have been wanting Beyoncé to comment on for the past 3 years. Better late than never. Oh. And she went and dropped this the day before the Super Bowl 50.

Between the song, the video and the Super Bowl 50 half time performance of the song, "Formation" in a nutshell is basically Beyoncé doing this...

Whilst some may be quick to say that Beyoncé is cashing in or jumping on a wave, "Formation" is part of a narrative that Beyoncé has been telling since B'Day. Whilst many feel that Beyoncé straddles that line because by all accounts she 'looks white', this song and video is still pretty poignant coming from a star who has never been this straight forward before. This shouldn't be such a shock, but it really shook everybody up. It's almost as though people forgot Beyoncé was black. Maybe Beyoncé felt that too, hence this song. With her last album and this song, Beyoncé has shown that for all of her distance on social media in comparison to stars like Rihanna who are in the thick of it with her fans and haters alike, Beyoncé is very aware of what is being said about her through the wire. Her interns Kelly and Michelle probably who scour the internet for her to find all this shit. But still. She knows.

The song feels like a continuation of "7/11". It took me a while to get into it, but I kinda love it now. The song feels difficult to catch at first, but you soon get into it. On the surface the song seems basic, but there's a lot going on within it and it seems to unravel more with each listen. There are a lot of layers to this song production wise. Mike WiLL Made-It did a great job here. Child, when those 808s hit...

Then there's the music video. Directed by Melina Matsoukas, who has helmed many of Beyoncé's videos. For all of the pussy popping and titty shimmying that Beyoncé does in the video, it's the dancers, the extras, the backdrop of New Orleans and Blue Ivy who steal the show here. I love everything about this music video and rank it as one of Beyoncé's best.

Once again Beyoncé has delivered a song which has kicked off a slew of memes, jokes and lyrics which will go on to become pop culture references.


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