We all probably remember when Beyoncé released her surprise album, “Beyoncé,” back in 2013. As it turns out, Beyoncé is full of surprises. This past weekend, the day before her halftime show at the Super Bowl, Beyoncé unexpectedly released the music video for her new hit single, “Formation”.
Denver Broncos linebacker, Von Miller, may have won the Super Bowl MVP, but Beyoncé proved to be the true star of the night after she performed her surprise song “Formation” on stage surrounded by her dancers who were dressed in black berets, paying homage to the Black Panthers after their 1966 formation.
According to NBC News, the video for the song “Formation” is arguably Beyoncé’s most provocative music video to date, as it suggests a variety of controversial images along with powerful lyrics. This music video builds on the issues of not only racial hate and discrimination, but also black pride and domination.
For example, the entire video for “Formation” is set in New Orleans, Louisiana. Beyoncé uses this setting to express the mistreatment of the black community during Hurricane Katrina. Beyoncé begins the music video standing on top of a police car, which is surrounded by water, and ends the video with a scene in which she is metaphorically drowning in the post-Katrina floods, as many black people did during that time.
One of the most powerful images from “Formation” is one in which a black boy wearing a hoodie confronts a line of white police officers. This scene presents the boy exerting power over the police, as the police are the ones who raise their hands up. This image presents black youth in a position of power, a position they are deprived of in America.
Beyoncé creates images of black pride throughout “Formation” as she sings, “I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros.” In the video, Beyoncé shuts down the idea of black women conforming to “Eurocentric” beauty standards. Beyoncé shows that natural black hair is beautiful by presenting an image of her daughter, Blue Ivy, standing proudly with her afro amongst two other black girls. At a time when black culture is constantly being ignored, Beyoncé puts it front and center in one of the scenes in “Formation.” Beyoncé appears wearing a blond afro, surrounded by people dressed in Mardi Gras costumes. This image represents her pride in her black roots and black culture.
These are just a few of the expressive images that Beyoncé presents in the music video for “Formation.” Just as we all thought the madness had come to an end after the Super Bowl, Beyoncé announced her 2016 Formation World Tour, which will kick off on April 27 in Miami.