—written by Bianca Betancourt @ByBiancaBee
Minutes before I witnessed the game changing music video that was Beyonce’s “Formation,” I was actually dancing through her greatest hits whilst getting ready for the night in my bathroom.
I don’t believe it was a coincidence.
My imaginary relationship with Queen Bey goes through its rough patches. As a performer and as a music artist, she’s (pun intended) flawless. Though she has every right to the little privacy she retains as a mega celebrity, but as your typical greedy fan I always want more from her as a person.
My frivolous unanswered demands range from wanting her, as well as other Black celebrities, to speak more on the #BlackLivesMatter movement, a detailed shot of her wedding dress, and to see her without her weave.
She’s given us glimpses into her personal life every album, (Ring the Alarm and Resentment off of Bday anyone?) but Formation? This is Beyonce speaking out like never before. This is what I’ve wanted to hear her say for years, but finally she’s curated her thoughts and emotions of everything within her life, into a single song.
The location of the video, a post-Katrina New Orleans, speaks volumes before the song even officially starts. It’s an American city, where Black lives and wellness are far down the country’s priority list. It’s also a land where Beyonce has family roots and she effortlessly narrates in one of the song’s best lines “My daddy Alabama, my mama Louisiana, you mix that Negro with that Creole make a Texas 'bama”
You wish your Twitter bio was that good.
The lyrics and beat are Bey’s rhythmic tango with rap. Her flow is gritty yet controlled and a format that better allows her to express what’s on her mind more so than her poppy ballads or club anthems. And what’s on her mind exactly? How much she does not care what you think about Blue Ivy’s hair, her relationship with her husband or how much of her body she chooses to expose at the Met Gala (shoutout Givenchy).
But the song and video are still bigger than a few clap-backs at the media. This song is about the grandiose size and the simultaneous irony of Beyonce’s power.
The majority of America worships a Black woman, yet we’re still fighting to save and justify Black lives.
The video’s 19th century costuming, which seems out of place at first, makes complete sense by the song’s end—we’re still not truly free from the painful past we thought our ancestors had long died for. Enter Beyonce to shout to the world via music, if you’re going to love me, you’re going to love my Blackness too, and everything that come along with it.
No matter how much the media will continue to shallowly glorify Beyonce, her beauty and her success, the Formation video was a clear emancipation and societal shedding of the role the public had placed upon her.