Everything You Need To Know About Beyonce's New Video Formation
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Politics and Activism

Everything You Need To Know About Beyonce's New Video Formation

Queen Bey's new song sends a politically charged message to all black people of America.

Everything You Need To Know About Beyonce's New Video Formation

24 hours before she was set to sing at the Superbowl 50 Halftime Show, Beyonce released her first new song in over a year without warning, shocking the internet and reentered the world with a bang. And, in the classic Queen Bey style, she slays. In a matter of minutes. She systematically takes down her haters and conspiracy theorists, the people who claim she is anything less than black, fights for social justice in the deep south, and makes several not-so-subtle feminist statements along the way, all while maintaining her classy and powerful demeanor.

So let's tackle these issues one at a time.

1. Response to the haters

Y'all haters corny with that illuminati mess
Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh
I'm so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin')
I'm so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces
My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana
You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bamma
I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros
I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils
Earned all this money but they never take the country out me
I got a hot sauce in my bag, swag
I see it, I want it
I stunt, yeah, yellow bone it
I twirl on them haters
Albino alligators

In the first few lines of the song, she addresses some of the major hate she has received since becoming famous, such as the conspiracy theory that she and Jay-Z are in the illuminati, which she clearly dismisses. And she is certainly not one to be caught off her guard with her paparazzi around, so you better bet she is styling at all times. She also puts a defense of her daughter, Blue Ivy, in here as well, in response to the very rude comments that they needed to run a comb through her daughter's hair.

In response to the people claiming that she had been bleaching her skin and getting nose jobs, in the style of Michael Jackson, she makes the statement very clear that she is in no way ashamed of her heritage and the fact that she is a light-skinned ("yellow bone") black woman from Houston. In doing this, she is also restating her alleigence to her background and to the people who live there every day. She sees the struggles and injustices that they go through and she is not being blinded by her fame bubble - she is still a southern woman who carries hot sauce in her bag (swag).

She also subtly calls her haters racists by calling them "albino alligators" in reference to the 1800's, were instances of political cartoons depicting black people, especially children, being called "alligator bait" and being fed to alligators.

2. Black pride and social justice

I see it, I want it
I stunt, yeah, yellow bone it
I dream it, I work hard
I grind 'til I own it
I twirl on them haters
Albino alligators
El Camino with the seat low
Sippin' Cuervo with no chaser

The lyrics of the song compounded with the very obviously politically charged music video makes it very hard to deny Bey's identity as a black woman, as well as raising awareness on injustices that go ignored. But, after she performed this on stage at the Superbowl last Sunday, one thing is certain: the world knows about it now.

Thought the lyrics certainly add a more subtle layer of racial pride and social activism, the video really takes the stage at this point.

Literally drowning in symbolism, the video starts off with her straddling a NoLa squad car, half-submerged in Hurricane Katrina floodwater, followed by snapshots—all taken in New Orleans—of a changed post-Katrina world. The first words of the song, as well as the spoken interlude, are taken from a video of Messy Mya, a local New Orleans celebrity who was was brutally shot and killed in 2010, yet another shout out to end violent crime.

Near the 3:40 minute mark, we see a young black boy in a hoodie dancing in front of a line of armed police officers and at the 4:20 minute mark, that same boy is seen with his arms outstretched in front of those same police officers, not with their hands raised in surrender. Shortly after this, we see a shot of graffiti that reads, "Stop shooting us." It is not hard to determine what Bey is getting at with this.

3. Feminism and the power of black women

When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster, cause I slay
When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster, cause I slay
If he hit it right, I might take him on a flight on my chopper, cause I slay
Drop him off at the mall, let him buy some J's, let him shop up, cause I slay
I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay
I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay
You just might be a black Bill Gates in the making, cause I slay
I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making
Okay, okay, ladies, now let's get in formation, I slay
Okay ladies, now let's get in formation, I slay
Prove to me you got some coordination, I slay
Slay trick, or you get eliminated, I slay

In the style of Queen Bey, she employs her usual method of many strong black women dancing in very powerful moves (these ones all wearing their natural hair). But this one is more than just the average female empowerment song. This one is particularly targeted to the audience of black women who are statistically the lowest on the proverbial food chain in America. The title of the song comes from her telling these women to "get in formation," essentially, band together, stand up, and fight for what is yours or else "you get eliminated."

And if this were not enough, she spends an entire verse being a queen and slaying the patriarchy with the verse cited above. She systematically takes some of the traditionally male roles in hip-hop music and twists them so she is the one in power. She essentially lowers the status of a man, at least in this instance, to an object who is completely under her control and guidance. She is a woman, she is black, she is rich, and she is in power. And she does not want anyone to forget that.

In the end, she is calling women, especially women of color, to step up, get in formation, and take back what you deserve. And when the haters come knocking, "always stay gracious" and let your success speak for itself.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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