Seeds: As we all know, Beyoncé is the closest we as a human race will ever come to perfection. This past weekend, in anticipation of her Super Bowl halftime performance with Coldplay and Bruno Mars (although let’s be honest, she stole the show #BeyoncéBiased), Beyoncé released a music video for her new song “Formation.”
Core: A large amount of not-so-subtle social commentary is injected into both the music video and the song’s lyrics. This commentary includes:
The very blatant message “stop shooting us” graffitied across a wall, along with the image of a little boy dancing in front of a unit of police officers surrendering in riot gear.
The various tributes to what it means to be a woman, and especially a black woman. In reference to a collection photography of women in a New Orleans brothel, she sings the lyric “I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress.”
Powerful shots of her daughter, Blue Ivy, with her hair in an afro as her mother sings the line “I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros” in response to the hate she received for letting her child sport her natural hair texture.
Beyoncé also stands for her right to celebrate her own sexuality and female dominance with lines such as, “When he f**k me good I take his a** to Red Lobster, 'cause I slay.”
Skin: Both the video and the song have been highly praised by critics for its political boldness. However, there is a small controversy arising over the alleged use of footage from a documentary about the culture of Louisiana.
Leaves: The activism displayed in both the song and video have put forth interesting questions about the place of artists in the world of social issues. With “Formation”, Beyoncé has placed herself directly in the center of discussions of both race and gender and has done it in a way that is new and interesting.
Food For Thought: Do you think it’s Beyoncé’s place to comment on these issues? What did you think of her Super Bowl performance? Is “Formation” too heavy on the activism? Tell us what you think.
Think we missed something? Tell us in the comments.