**An article I wrote for SPICETV’s site
“You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation” – and Beyonce certainly has the World talking following the surprise launch of her new track and video, “Formation”.
1. THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE
We’ll start light. Like, who doesn’t love a good surprise? And one from Queen Bey? Well, that’s even better, because, Beyonce.
While it’s not exactly shocking that Bey would surprise-release her new video online like this (she does drop secretly-made videos and albums from time to time, doesn’t she), we don’t think anyone was ready for anything as powerful as this one – and especially not so close to her label-mate Rih’s ANTI release.
Turns out Queen Bey’s also Queen of Stealing Thunder.
2. THAT LITTLE BIT OF BLUE
While we’re on the subject of thunder-stealing, did you or did you not swoon at the sight of baby Blue Ivy in the video?
For a whole 3.5 seconds Beyonce let her daughter shine in her very own scene; a section of the track where the lyrics explain Yonce likes her “baby hair with baby hair and afros” – with Blue rocking an angelic white dress with an enviable head of hair and serious amounts of swagger.
Cutest. Cameo. Ever.
3. ALL THAT SASS
With her latest offering, we get the sassiest lyrics Bey’s ever said – to the point that we’re swerving her naughty 2013 album‘s lyrics to make these our brand new faves:
– “I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin’)”
– “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag”
– “I’m so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces”
– “I did not come to play with you hoes”
– “I slay”
– “Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper”
That’s our mottos for this year sorted, and way easier to understand than the patois in Rih’s new track too.
4. THE GIRL POWER
Beyonce is certainly feelin’ herself, but asides the self-loving lyrics on the shallow side of the song, where we’re told to “get in formation” by the baddest “bama” of them all, Mrs Knowles is also talking feminism.
Saying (or rather, sangin’) alongside her all-female dance troupe, “you might just be a black Bill Gates in the making… I might just be a black Bill Gates in the making, cause I slay”, Bey reminds us she’s so here for equality – later, reciting on repeat, in girl-power-anthem type tones, “I slay, okay”, and motivatingly explaining;
“I see it, I want it
I stunt, yeah, little hornet
I dream it, I work hard
I grind ’til I own it…”
But just before we head off to work, clicking our fingers from ear to ear, planting our feet on our desks and telling any disapproving colleagues “I’m not here to play with you hoes”, Bey adds a reminder to:
“…Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.”
5. THAT BLACK POWER THOUGH…
Well noted against all nods to girl power, is Bey’s fist-throwing for black power, which comes thumping throughout both the track and the video.
The Houston Texan’s lyrics make reference to her Southern roots, via lines like;
“Earned all this money but they never take the country out me.
My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana. You mix that Negro with that Creole make a Texas bama.
I like cornbreads and collard greens, bitch. Oh yes, you best to believe it.”
There was also that aforementioned lyric about baby hair (a lil’ clap back to that internet petition to have Bey brush Blue’s hair maybe?), the line “I like my Negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils”, and the bit about carrying hot sauce in her bag – a vision of which we can’t shake.
But inescapable are the video’s visuals – Beyonce seen Surf Bort-ing a cop car at the devastation site of Hurricane Katrina, and choosing to submerge with it in the flood waters, along with the 134,000 homes lost in the New Orleans neighborhood; a display of how deeply the star feels about her Southern peers, her roots and continued issue of police brutality, for which she sends a resounding shout from her giant, mega star platform that #blacklivesmatter.
Other poignant details, like having a group of policemen stand with their hands up to a young black boy’s best dance moves, a wall scrawled with “Stop Shooting Us” and the flashing of a paper with Martin Luther King on the front page also make reference to the social issue.
And let’s not miss the fact she’s seen dressed like a house servant in one scene (all frou-frou-ed up in a high necked white dress and twirling a tiny umbrella), to a Voodoo Queen (powerful members of Lousiana’s society in the 1700s colonial period, who used the spiritual practice of Voodoo to help emancipate slaves to become ‘free people of colour’) in the next – another nod to the star’s Southern roots and her advocation of equality.
6. THE FASHION
We need another sec to talk about the wardrobe in this video. Why? Because she slays, okay.
Styled by Zerina Akers (who was also responsible for Bey, Blue and Jay Z’s Coming to America-inspired Halloween outfit of last year), the Queen broke the Internet (again) with her dramatic puff-sleeved gowns, jewels piled high up her neck and wrists, her low-sitting, wide-brimmed hat, and that feathery, fur coat seen slung out of a car window.
Every look, from her Lady of the House ‘fit to her Girl on the Block get up got our jaws dropped, and like she said at the beginning of the track, “you know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation”.
Ours are taking place right now between ourselves and our wardrobes, and goes something like “Why do I not own 75 different antique silver chokers? And where can I buy a tiny, frilled umbrella before Summer?”
The deeper amongst us are wondering how one can nod to such a complex and important social issues while looking chic as hell in the process.
7. BEY’S BEAUTY
And where the fashion left off, the beauty had us finished – especially the hair styling, which slayed from the second we saw her criss-crossed milkmaid braids, the ‘fro ‘do she matched her daughter with, and those tiny coiffing of curls she wore to ride that half-sunk cop car.
But most impressive? The singer’s tiny, waist-length braids that did donuts with her in the car scene. Yasss… we like that look the most – and thanks Bey, for giving us the slo mo shot to drool over.
But what did you adore about the surprise new track? Tell us what you love about Beyonce’s “Formation” video in the comments box below, or online by tagging us @SPICETVAFRICA.
Image source: Abcnews.go.com, Thesource.com, Popsugar.com, Racked.com, Manrepeller.com, Thecelebrityauction.co, Thewrap.com, Alg4.net, Theblackmedia.org, Giphy.com