5 things to know about Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’ video
ICYMI (maybe your internet was down?), today Beyoncé delivered a killer half-time performance at the Super Bowl alongside Coldplay's Chris Martin and Bruno Mars. And, more importantly, Queen B surprise released a new single over the weekend. In the two days since its Feb 6 release 'Formation' has already been viewed over 10 million times on YouTube and has opened up a major forum on all the controversies that it addresses.
Here, we wrap up the five most important:
1. The uncredited video footage stoush
Not long after the video debuted, Chris Black a producer of documentary The B.E.A.T. claimed that 'Formation' director Melina Matsoukas stole his idea.
After Beyoncé issued a statement refuting this and Melina Matsoukas tweeted her thanks to Abteen Bagheri, director of The B.E.A.T. - Black's ranting stopped. Abteen Bagheri had the final say.
2. The fashion
Come on, don't say you didn't notice. From the line about Bey being "so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress", to the Gucci-inspired jumpsuits worn in the dancing line up - the fashion references in 'Formation' rolled in thick and fast. And - cue a swell of Aussie pride - local label Zimmermann even got a look in. Bey wears their Master Chemise tunic from their Victoriana-tinged spring 2016 collection.
3. The world tour announcement
Another piece of news worth noting: Queen B announced her world tour today. Kicking off on April 27, it sadly doesn't include Australia, but hey, she's full of surprises, so you never know.
4. The #BlackLivesMatter moments
Most importantly, 'Formation' is getting attention for the way Beyoncé has pushed the #BlackLivesMatter movement to the forefront of mainstream music. She's not posing on top of New Orleans cop cars and showing footage of police holding up a child for naught - this is as much a stylised pop video as it is a politicised cultural moment. Is it a coincidence it launched around the same time as the #OscarsSoWhite campaign? We think not.
5. Blue Ivy's appearance
Some might call it a cutesy addition to the video, but if you read between the lines, or more specifically, the lyrics - Beyoncé is calling recognising her Southern roots and cultural heritage. "My daddy Alabama, my mama Louisiana, you mix that negro with that creole make a Texas bama..." Furthermore, she sings about her baby's afro hair, liking her own negro nose with "Jackson 5 nostrils". The trap-like beats aren't the only sonic departure from the usual Beyoncé song, the lyrics mix personal with the political, creating a song and a video that are more powerful than anything the singer has done in years.
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