On Saturday, Feb. 6, the day before the Super Bowl, Beyonce released her surprise new song, “Formation” and the music video to go along with it. This is her first new song in over a year and people are already raving about it. Beyonce has been known to release music without any mention of it beforehand, such as her last album, “Beyonce,” in Nov. 2014.
The “Formation” video is one of two new videos for Queen Bey, the other being a collaborative project with Coldplay. Both of these artists appeared at the Super Bowl halftime show this year in a performance that quickly went viral. Even though Beyonce had a dance mishap on the field, she redeemed herself with the reviews of her new song and video.
Beyonce is now beginning to market herself and her new song more by updating merchandise on her online store. Some phrases in this song such as “I twirl on them haters” and “I got hot sauce in my bag,” have been printed on items such as shirts, bags, and hats. Merchandise from her last album with words such as “Beyonce” and “surfboard” sold out extraordinarily quickly, and the “Formation” merchandise is expected to be just as popular.
This new music video has been referred to as politically-charged by commentators on the Internet as well as news pundits. The video shows off some very deep and prevalent issues, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. In her Super Bowl performance of the song, her backup dancers were dressed in Black Panther-inspired uniforms and danced in an x-formation, which some interpreted as a nod to Malcolm X.
While the “Formation” video shares the same political sentiment as the performance at the Super Bowl, ultimately the video is about Beyonce herself and how she self-identifies. She made the video about her heritage, ancestors, and family. Her daughter, Blue Ivy, even appears in a few shots. Beyonce is sending a message to her fans about know how her fame as affected her and to what extent. This is the most vulnerable Beyonce has been in a long time and people are loving it.
The responses from this new video have been very different across the board, but most students at the University love this new hit single from our queen of pop music. “Of course I’ve always been a Beyonce supporter, but this video is so powerful and makes me look at her as a person, not a celebrity,” says freshman Marina Testani. “This song is also such a jam!”
Another student, freshman Victoria Eaton, says, “Beyonce is a huge celebrity and role model to many people, so her releasing this video says a lot of good things about her as a person.”
Beyonce’s persona in this video comes across as her feeling powerful, proud, and uninterested in whatever anyone else thinks about her. In part of the video, Bey holds up her middle fingers as a symbol to her haters and the paparazzi. She also mentions being from the South and how those are where her roots are, specifically her mother from Louisiana and her father from Alabama. She will never forget where she comes from.
At the close of this new song, Beyonce sings, “Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.” After spending such a large part of her life in the public eye, Beyonce will not let anyone bring her down and she wants her fans to feel the same level of empowerment. To use her term, Beyonce wants her fans to slay the haters.