Post Michael Jackson, Beyoncé may very well be the greatest entertainer of our time. She is an amazing singer, actress, dancer, song writer, and entrepreneur. Universities have taken to create entire semester-long courses surrounding Beyoncé’s business decisions. There is little that she can’t do. She validates this in her new song, “Formation” with the lyrics “I see it, I want it. I stunt, yeah, little hornet. I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it.” She is the epitome of hard AND smart work.
History indicated that she has a knack for surprising her fans. Beyoncé announced the Mrs. Carter World tour after her Super Bowl performance back in 2013. While touring, she secretly recorded songs and music videos leading to her digital drop later that year in December. Beyoncé’s self-titled album went platinum with no promotion, due in part to her loyal fan base.
She has been relatively quiet on social media since the New Year, which means that she is been either working, taking a break, or both possibly. On Saturday, February 6th she dropped a new song and video titled “Formation”, a day prior to her scheduled guest appearance during Cold Play’s Super Bowl 50 Half-time Performance, sponsored by Pepsi.
Going back to the surprise element, Beyoncé’s new song “Formation” featured lyrics regarding her past, up-bring, and how she is completely comfortable with her life and the decisions she has made. She consistently faces negative comments about her daughter’s hair styles as well as her speech. Beyoncé is from Texas and if you pay attention to previous interviews, you can tell that she tries very hard to control her dialect due to societal and business pressures. She is also showing signs for taking a political stance against the poor treatment of the African American community from society.
The thing is…may none-African Americans don’t see it this way. Some, who can’t fathom the struggle of the African American community, see her as being “anti-police” because she sunk a police car in her “Formation” music video. Being an artist gives her the ability to express her art and platform in deeper ways than face value. Beyoncé’s video is about being a care-free person and being able to live your life like your neighboring counterparts, without fear of being placed in a category based on their outward appearance. We also must confront and bring to light injustice as it happens which is what Beyoncé did in her “Formation” video. Do you really think Kanye West’s remark about former President George Bush not caring about black people was a random, irrational statement…or a true belief within that man that New Orleans was not treated with the priority it deserved after Katrina. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure many were surprised he actually made that statement on live TV, but it validated what many people thought about how the government handled the situation. New Orleans, especially the districts populated mainly by African Americans, is forever changed and may not ever go back to what it was before Katrina struck.
She doesn’t advocate “anti-police” but she does certain promotion “pro-black”: meaning that it is ok for the African American community to be themselves, to accept themselves and to have others accept them without conformation. Unfortunately, the African American community deals with biased people, who are ignorant to reality, (good example: When the police were called, by white neighbors, because some teenagers, who were not white, were being “loud” playing basketball outside.) The good outcome about this was that not only did the cop decided to brush off the complaint and join the game; he was able to bring NBA legend Shaq to play with the next time.
Other protesters against Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance and new video have stated she promotes capitalism and materialism. Her lyrics in the “Formation” song at the end say, “Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.” Beyoncé didn’t invent capitalism nor did she invent the rules of the game. Those who have historically have had powerful roles in charge of laws and businesses are now bashing her for trying to “play the game” and be economically stable, and that seems counter-productive as society as a whole is doing this. We get influenced by our peers along with media and magazines of what is “popular.”
Beyoncé wants what most African Americans and other races want in America: to be on the level playing field with operators and enforcers who are open to different backgrounds and upbringings. She is what I like to call the “new feminist,” someone who supports her spouse and takes care of house and home but also knows when to put her foot down and knows how to demand the respect in the business world as how a man would normally require.
With her loyal fan base and her large platform, Beyoncé can finally speak her mind without hesitancy and let the world know: if now isn’t the time to address this issue, will there ever be a good time? It is extremely uncomfortable to deal with racial issues however the conversation must be had. Otherwise, we would still see “whites only” signs in restaurants and movie theaters. We are still a growing society with good and bad influences. It is up to us to continue to allow the bad to happen of affect change so that others will not be afraid to change with us.
I encourage everyone to have an open mind when commenting on or discussing with others Bey’s “Formation” video and her performance at Super Bowl 50.