Beyoncé is back by popular demand!
On Saturday afternoon, she broke the Internet with her new song “Formation” and its accompanying visual. The nearly five-minute visual, directed by Malina Matsoukas, is filled with powerful imagery related to black culture — and we love it!
Bey doesn’t hold back whatsoever on “Formation.” She lets the world know that she owns her blackness, she knows her history and she wants to see other black people succeed like her. “Formation” may be one of Bey’s most politically charged works to date.
Rated R&B has the six reasons why Beyonce’s “Formation” matters.
1. She doesn’t give a f*ck what you think about her or her family.
Beyoncé has been radio silent much of that last year, barely giving interviews or addressing rumors and criticism about her life and family. One major topic of discussion in the world of Beyoncé is how she styles her 4-year-old daughter Blue Ivy’s natural hair and her husband Jay-Z’s appearance. Beyoncé boldly proclaims “I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros / I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.”
Beyoncé doesn’t stop there with the haters– she lets them have it even more. She addresses people who try to attribute her huge success to being a part of the Illuminati. “Y’all haters corny with that Illuminati mess,” she sings on “Formation.”
2. She celebrates New Orleans, a decade after Hurricane Katrina.
Beyoncé returns to Louisiana 10 years after her video “Deja Vu” and a decade after Hurricane Katrina. It’s symbolic because it’s been a decade since the horrific tragedy. The singer brings this to the forefront of her heritage and shines a light on the culture of the city while never letting us forget how that natural disaster changed that city forever.
3. She continues to be a voice for modern-day feminists.
The power in Beyoncé has always been her strong and independent voice as a woman and now feminist. Beyoncé continues to take ownership of her sexuality and doesn’t conform to the traditional roles expected of women in R&B and Hip-Hop culture. Yoncé teases her man singing she’d “might buy him Red Lobster” if his sex is good, totally flipping the script on traditional gender roles and dating. Not only is Beyoncé twerking, but she’s very socially aware in “Formation” and owning her beauty, sexiness, and power as the Queen.
4. She pays homage to the black gay community.
Beyoncé has long been an icon in the black gay community. On “Formation” she gives a major platform to popular bounce artists Messy Mya & Big Freedia. The late Messy Mya can be heard on the track, along with Big Freedia who is also very popular among the gay community. The addition of these performers, especially including their voice helps to give the gay/queer culture an even larger platform and shows she respects the community that she is inspired so heavily by in her music and dance.
5. She salutes #BlackGirlMagic.
There is some major #BlackGirlMagic displayed in the video. Her amazing dancers are all wearing big beautiful natural hair and powerfully dancing. The video displays an array of black beauty in all shades and hair textures showing just how amazing black women are.
Beyoncé is a powerful, inspirational black woman and rightfully so. She dedicated her life to her career and it has paid off — literally. She is worth over $450 million, according to Forbes. While Bey continues to slay the world, she unites black women on “Formation” and encourages them to slay too. This speaks volumes. For some reason, prominent black women (particularly in entertainment) are pit against each other. Beyoncé brushes it off and says there’s enough room for every black woman to succeed.
6. She makes it clear that Black Lives Matter.
In the past, Bey has been criticized for not publicly speaking on social issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement. Although she has attended Trayvon Martin’s vigil and reportedly donated money to bail out protesters arrested in police brutality demonstrations. She makes it more clear that black lives matter on “Formation.” From a young black kid in a hoodie dancing in front of a lineup of armed officers to showing “stop shooting us” on a graffiti wall, Bey is fed up with cops killing black people for no reason.
Watch the full “Formation” video here.
— Written by Keithan Samuels & Michael Howard