I have always been a fan of Beyonce and respected her work. I’ve loved many a song. But I’ve never been a member of the BeyHive. I was in that group that liked her enough but stood on the sidelines as people debated if she ruled just Earth or Venus too. I have watched as people lost their minds every time she even took a sneeze. I have documented this phenomenon in my Stages of Twitter Dealing with a Beyoncé Event post.
Well, now, I’m considering visiting a BeyHive meeting because this Formation video (directed by Melina Matsoukas) that she dropped on everyone in the middle of a Saturday is the best thing she’s ever done. I absolutely believe that.
What makes this her best work are the layers. Bey has been long criticized for not saying substantial things in her music, but Formation is undeniably loud about its love of Blackness and loud in its statement to protect it.
I also loved this so damb much because it is Beyonce showing that she is fresh outta fucks to give. Her field of fucks is barren, and this is a 4.5 minute essay on how fuck-deficient she has become. She doesn’t give a damb about hurting the feelings of her haters, white gaze or the system that doesn’t love us.
Watch the video (again) because I bet you’ve already seen it 5 times because there’s so much to unpack.
This was incredible, and is the IDGAF anthem that we need right this moment, right at this time.
How few fucks does she give?
Beyonce told her haters to STFU immediately
She came out the gate swinging with “Y’all haters corny with that illuminati mess.” In case folks were ready with their dumb ass theories about the squad she rolls with, her first words were to tell them to get a hobby. OOP. She said she wasn’t here to play with you heauxs as she twirled on her haters. Girl, tell them.
She told us she’s country as hell.
“My daddy Alabama. Mama Louisiana. You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas Bama.”
As she embraces her Southern roots. In case y’all been fooled by the polished Beyonce brand. This is a proud belle, and you better know it. She’s mixed with Black and mixed Black.
Oh and she told us she got hot sauce in her bag to further prove it. Somebody’s gon write a thinkpiece about how spicy food is unhealthy and Bey’s promoting acid reflux. She didn’t care, though.
She told us she’s Black as hell and you will deal.
“I like my negro nose, with Jackson 5 nostrils.” TELL THESE GOATS! And then she twerked with her crew of bad ass Black women with big ass afros in a long formation. Because she’s Blackity Black and there’s no denying it. Someone might want to write a thinkpiece on how it’s promoting hypersexuality and folks will be all “SO? AND? MAYBE IF YOU HAD A YANSH THAT COULD BOUNCE, YOU WOULDN’T HATE.”
She thinks cheddar bay biscuits are a gift
Beyonce said “When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay.”
I mean, in case you ever wanted to question Bey’s Blackness, she told you to shut your mouth when you’re talking to her! Anyone who finds Red Lobster to be the place for a congratulatory post-coital meal is a sisthren of mine. That person is a kindred soul. Because you know what you do to bless the person who has blessed you with plentiful orgasms? Delicious, cheesy biscuits.
Who needs to go to the Signature Room to eat cubes of fancy caviar and blocks of cheese that taste like bad decisions? Give me a good all you can eat shrimp and lobster pasta so I know it’s real. And if you’re Bey, afterwards you take a chopper ride. Because you are a cultured lady.
She has Blue Ivy being a carefree, confident Black girl
The cameo by her daughter (who has grown so much. OMG where has time gone?) Blue Ivy, serving face to the camera, knowing that she will rule the world one day. Blue, in her free afro, looking like Solange’s mentee in all her fierceness, and flanked by an equally adorable posse. I loved it.
This little girl has been much critiqued. People talked about her when she was a baby, and talked about her hair always being out. Beyonce is like “BEHOLD AND FEAST YOUR EYES UPON MY HEIR, WHO WILL ONE DAY RUN YOUR SHIT. AND SHE’S BEAUTIFUL.” and I was all “you’re right.” And all the haters had to collectively jump off a first floor balcony of their misery.
She said Fuck Humility.
The song’s refrain is “I slay all day.” There is no arguing that here, and there are no lies to be detected. Please #kontinu. Then she tells us “I dream it, I work hard, I grind till I own it.” Own it she does. How many of you already made this an instagram button? 6,263 I bet. Everyone is using their brand fonts and logos right now to create their own version of that button. They will drop it on us on Monday with the hashtag #MondayMotivation. And then afterwards, for the week after, they will use her other quote: “I just might be a Black Bill Gates in the making.” Look at Bey inspiring the masses to possibilities.
Oh and “You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation. Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.” ALL THE WELPS.
The entire video is a study in BITCH I’M A BOSS and if there’s anyone who has earned the right to do that, it’s the biggest woman in the entertainment business right now. And in case y’all want to argue that fact, Beyonce gives you a middle finger as she’s wearing a giant black hat in the middle of the video. That’s what happens when you’re the giver of no fucks. When you evolve to become the Matron Saint of Fuck Your Feelings. This is what happens.
She let a Black boy win
Beyonce has a little Black boy dancing freely in front of a line of police in riot gear and it was beautiful to me. Him, in his black hoodie, just celebrating. Then the camera panned to a wall that said “Stop Shooting Us.” Later in the video, he stopped dancing and those police, in their formation, raised their arms in surrender to that little boy.
Whew. I got in my feelings momentarily. Because for that moment, he won.
COME THROUGH, UTOPIA!!! Come through, dreams. It’s not justice, and we might not know what that looks like but in that bit, he won. That visual was important. This video dropped a day after Trayvon Martin’s 21st birthday, so the reality of this juxtaposition made me all verklempt.
She drowns a cop car
The video was filmed in New Orleans, and starts with Messy Mya’s voice. The first shot is of her squatting on a cop car that is half immersed in water, reminding us about Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans is as much of a character in this video as she is, because it is there that we realize that Black people are one bad flood from refugee status in the United States. Lest you forget.
And then she drowns the bitch ass cop car in the last scene of her video as gunshots go off. Because: FUCK IT.
WHEW. TELL EM, BEY. Homegirl SNAPPED in the best way.
This video is Blacker than onyx (the color AND the rap group from the 90s). It is Black pride, Black love and Black people being brilliant and bold. And the fact that it dropped 6 days into Black History Month is the cherry on the sundae of deliciousness. What they did there? I see it. And I appreciate it.
It is so unabashedly NOIR that it is bound to piss off some white folks. If you are a white woman or man and you’re about to write a thinkpiece about how any part of that video offends you or put you off, please put your pen down because we do not give a nary of an ounce of damb. We are not here for it. And you should just sit this one out. Phone a friend if it made you mad because it wasn’t for you. Take a ride elsewhere, chile.
So yeah. This completely interrupted my Saturday. I couldn’t even fight it, because Beyonce is showing growth, and with age comes chill-deficience. Those of us (I am CERTAINLY included), who sometimes wonder what celebs feel in this time where many of us loudly chant #BlackLivesMatter and they’re silent just got years worth of statements from Bey. She turned her silence into a video celebrating her Blackness, while calling out some bullshit. And she does it all with visuals that make your eyes cross in glee.
She is a woman who has made history many times over, breaks ground pretty often, and she’s just dedicated to doing things that make people lose their shit in the best way. So for me to think this is her best work yet? I mean that shit.
So yes, I will come to the BeyHive orientation. But I’m not sure I can commit to paying dues yet or anything. Either way, give me the secret password for the week because I’m here for it. And let me know what types of chips to bring to the meeting. I don’t wanna come empty-handed.