“Bitch I’m back!”
On Saturday, the 6th of February, I literally dropped everything I was doing to catch my first glimpse of this video. Following the trend of her 2013 album, Beyonce the Queen of the music industry dropped a surprise single accompanied with the video, a day before she was scheduled to perform at the 2016 50th super bowl halftime show. The 20 time Grammy award winning artiste probably got us all talking about her new video, I mean it’s Beyonce who wouldn’t be. It’s been a week since this post- formation world and we have officially sorted through the emotional rubble, grown our edges back, and resurrected from being slain by her awesomeness. Now there is a crucial question. What does it mean to get in “formation”? And are you going to get in formation? Or are you going to be a bystander and watch events unfold before your eyes?
This is probably her most political piece yet, using various scenes from New Orleans, Louisiana to produce an unapologetic black anthem which took the world by storm. Beyonce presents black humanity in ways we haven’t recently seen in popular art or culture. Everything in the video was strategically placed to make meaning to those who are observant enough and the juxtaposition of lyrics with imagery absolutely ties this video together. This song showcases a genre of music which originated from NOLA, “bounce” (a faster paced hip-hop). She also pays homage to her southern roots and shows what being from the south is all about. While some people praise Beyonce for the song, others have called her; racist, cop hater, black supremacist among other things. Black people cannot be racist because racism is all about oppression and uhm………white people have not been oppressed. These people have chosen to feel offended by the imagery in this video because, this song is an absolutely amazing black power anthem. I don’t see how promoting empowerment, self love and encouragement/motivation for a people who have been called ugly, uneducated and worst of all “less than”, could be thought of as anything other than iconic. Beyonce is a millennial and this song just solidifies her place as an artiste, an icon and a major influence in pop culture. Anyway enough with this politics, let’s get into why this song is so poetically defiant and still so fierce and sultry.
For this song, Beyonce channels bounce queen Big Freedia, and Messy Mya (a controversial social media celebrity/comedian who was gunned down on the streets of NOLA in 2010). He starts us off asking “what happened after new Orleans?” we are then taken on a journey through the streets of NOLA, showing us some dancers, a police jacket while Bey crouches on a NOLA police department cruiser almost completely submerged in the flood waters of a post-Katrina NOLA.During all this, Messy Mya lets us know that the queen is back and she is coming back without remorse. Fast forward………..as I said before, Bey pays homage to her southern roots when she says “My daddy Alabama/mama Louisiana, you mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas Bama” (Bama was a word used back in the day to describe black people who lacked style, an insult which could only be reclaimed by the Queen). This line is pretty self explanatory but for those who don’t know, here is a history lesson. During the times of slavery Louisiana was a popular slavers port and a lot of different races came together there. Creole is a word that was used to distinguish people who were born in Louisiana or who were not born in mother countries. Creoles may be a mix of Africans, French, Spanish and/or Native American. Moving on, Beyonce addresses the garbage people who make fun of her daughter and husband while still making people see the beauty in natural kinky hair and prominent noses and blue makes a cameo in the video helping her mum conquer the world while sporting her natural lovely locks. Throughout the video, Beyonce and her dancers also sport natural hair, and a few other choice hairstyles promoting black culture and black nativity. She also says another very interesting line “I’ve got hot sauce in my bag, swag” if you know you know. So for the first time, Bey addresses the rumors that she and her husband are in a super secret devil worshipping society (illuminati) when she says “y’all haters corny with that illuminati mess” and during the second chorus where she explains how dedicated she is to her work and how she doesn’t stop working until she gets what she wants. “I twirl on my haters, albino alligators”, its funny how this line may sound stupid until you really think about it. So she twirls on her haters which is similar to an alligator’s death roll and albino alligators just shows how unique she is in the way she does her work, I mean have you seen those animals?? While sending a powerful message, she still manages to bring out her cocky side, empower women and flip off her haters when she sings “when he fuck me good I take his ass to red lobster”.
A number of things in this video and Beyonces performance at the 50th super bowl halftime show can be interpreted to Bey showing her support for the black lives matter movement, she addresses the continued police brutality against the black people and general oppression of the Negro man. In the video there are two very distinct scenes that are constantly repeated. The scene where Bey and a group of black women are seated in the parlor of a plantation (absolutely owning it) wearing corsets and the scene with Bey in front of a plantation with a group of black men who are looking dapper in nice suites while Bey is endowed with jewelry and a magnificent Chanel dress. The former depicts the early 1900’s when the slaves were “free” but still heavily oppressed and the latter portrays a world where black people are more powerful and the lives of black people are solely in the hands of black people. Also, fast forward to the scene where a little boy in a hoodie break dances before a group of police men lined up in riot gear. At the end of his dance he raises his hands and the police officers raise their hands in response. Right after, there is a tagged wall which reads “stop shooting us”. Peace at last, these few frames have an important message of peace in the world, a world where there aren’t any unnecessary killings all because of someone’s race. This scene also references the killings of young Tamir rice and Trayvon martin. During her super bowl performance, Bey recreates Michael Jacksons outfit from his super bowl performance where he performed we are the world, while her dancers were dressed to reference the Black Panther party (1966 – 1982)
Beyonce receates micheals costume at superbowl ’93
Beyonces dancers pay homage to BPP
which was created to monitor the behavior of police officers and monitor police brutality in Oakland, California. People took offence to this act, because it is believed that the black panthers were a hate group aimed at opposing the government and killing police officers, (when in fact they worked to protect endangered communities and end police brutality) and the fact that she had no white dancers in her entourage. What these people seem to misunderstand is that for a generation that has experienced an all white nominations at the Oscars, these events are a big nudge from our post-racial slumber and this song couldn’t have been released at a more perfect time. Notice how she released the video on Mardi Gras weekend while it showcases her using Mardi Gras to critique police brutality. Also this video was released on a day after what would have been Trayvon martins 21st birthday and a day before Sandra Blands 29th birthday (both are people of color who were unjustly killed and they are focal points in the black lives matter movement). So everything Beyonce planned and did last weekend was a booming mediation of black identity, the validity and transience of a person’s roots and history, a befitting present for black history month.
This song and video make me love and respect Beyonce even more because it’s simply amazing to see something so profoundly fierce and unabashed pass on such a message to the general public. According to Beyonce “you know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation” she definitely is that bitch because this video has made people rethink the world they live in today and I believe it would spark up some action for the greater good. Her constant repetition of “I slay”, “we slay” and “let’s get in formation” is an official invitation for all of us to stick together and show people what exactly black people are made off and of course slay with her. I sure know that I am going to be in formation, the question is, are you going to be in formation? The choice is yours.
And that’s all ima say about that.
This video is definitely a must watch so I strongly advice you do, if you haven’t watched it a million times like I have. Anyway thanks for reading, I hope you had fun reading it and you appreciate this master piece like I do. Don’t forget to follow and comment. Till next time, peace bitches, stay slaying!!!!😘😘✌🏿️✌🏿