The Vermont Cynic

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Beyonce’s new single salutes her social roots

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Beyonce’s newest song “Formation” is a strong and empowering follow up to her 2014 self-titled album.

The song, which was dropped alongside a visually striking music video, hit the Internet the day before Beyonce’s performance at the Super Bowl. The song and music video did not leave my computer screen for the rest of the day.
There is not a dull moment in this song. A dark and almost ominous opening builds into an energetic and confident anthem that touches on important and relevant social issues.

The song and the music video are inseparable. Looking at them together, Beyonce makes some incredibly political statements, such as her laying on a sinking police car, or the message “stop shooting us” appearing spray painted on a wall in her video.

These references to the Black Lives Matter movement are backed up with the song’s lyrics about power, resilience and sticking to your roots.

Beyonce brings in a sample of Big Freedia (a New Orleans-based bounce artist), to declare that he too came to slay just like Beyonce, and profess his love for cornbread and collard greens.

This is what “Formation” is about: never losing where you came from or forgetting who and what made you. Beyonce says it explicitly in “Formation”: “Earned all this money, but they’ll never take the country out of me.”

In doing so, she points to her parents’ heritage – her father is from Alabama, and her mother is Creole – and how that has influenced her own life. She hasn’t let those who put her down take away her essence.

The song lets the world know that she doesn’t care if you don’t like her child’s hair or the way her husband looks. She doesn’t ask or need anyone’s approval because if “Formation” is saying anything it’s that Beyonce has power, and she isn’t afraid to use it.

Whether she is using that power to spread the message of the Black Lives Matter movement, or to shed light on the lack of government aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this project is overflowing with an extremely powerful message that cannot and should not be ignored.

In this song, Beyonce returns to her origins while straying far away from her musical ones. This is not a song we would have heard from Beyonce a few years ago thus proving she has grown musically.
“Formation” is a song that commands, empowers and doesn’t stop for anyone or anything. It is a song that, like Beyonce herself, should not be taken lightly. Even though she may be rich, powerful and even unstoppable, she still carries hot sauce in her bag.

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Beyonce’s new single salutes her social roots