It is tradition for every artist invited to perform at the Super bowl Halftime, to bring out a performance that will live with us for the rest of the year. From icons like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Lady Gaga but everyone remembers a Beyoncé performance.
This year she released her single ‘Formation’ which will definitely go down with her as a daring mark in the music world.
Here are some references you could have missed in the song;
Sinking Police Car. The video opens with a New Orleans Police Car submerged in deep NOLA flood waters…the stage is set. Hurricane Katrina aftermath. The voice over says, “What happened after New Orleans?” — the voice? Messy Mya, a controversial African American social media celeb/comedian from New Orleans who was shot down in the street. A video of the murderer confessing surfaced online, he was arrested, claimed he was bipolar, they put in a psych ward for 18 months and released him. He’s since claimed he had nothing to do with the murder.
2.Flooded Waters. Clips show New Orleans disaster footage after Hurricane Katrina as well as a look at bounce music and the emergence of black gay rap in NOLA. The film and this video was a clear reminder of two things: that music unites us (across all genders and no matter how raunchy it’s perceived by those who don’t ‘get it’) and that Hurricane Katrina was real…and oh yeah…what DID happen in New Orleans?
3.Black self-love. “I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros. I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils” — this of course addresses the culture of open social hate and bullying towards girls like her daughter who stands proudly in her beautiful afro, and her husband, Jay, both of whom are often childishly mocked for their physical appearances.
4.Women in White. Men in black. The clothing worn in these scenes represent a time before and after slaves were freed around the 1900s. White corsets, binding the women — during a time when slaves were technically “free” but still being oppressed. The black attire scene depicts a more empowered and free people, with the men dressed up in nice suits and Beyoncé adorned in jewelry and blatantly flicking off the camera in front of a plantation.
5.MLK. A man holding up a newspaper is briefly seen. On the cover? Martin Luther King Jr., with the words: “The Truth – More Than a Dreamer”. Deep.
6.Formation. There are several choreographed sequences of “ladies in formation” but one takes place at the bottom of an empty pool. Formation is first introduced at the beginning of the song in the form of family references, then women. We need each other during tough times. Especially when we’re literally drowning. In water or in haters and “illuminati mess”. Stick together. As ladies, as family, or as survivors under flood waters. We’ll get through it together. ❤
7.Albino Alligators. “I twirl all my haters…Albino alligators” — Ever seen the movie? With the police standoff? If so, you’ll probably remember the reference to alligators using an albino among them as a sacrifice to distract opposing alligators, who then become prey. Bey is seen twirling an umbrella in her white corset here. Like an alligator death roll— #slay. She sacrifices herself constantly to get the conversations going. Bravo haters. We all have our role.
8.B-boy. There’s a powerful scene of a little boy in a black hoodie break dancing in front of a line of police in riot gear. He stops dancing and puts his hands in the air. All the policemen put their arms in the air in response. Peace at last. A clip of graffiti on a wall comes across the screen that says, “Stop shooting us”. It is what it is.
(p.s. – All this just days after Bey’s husband announced a $1.5 million donation to Black Lives Matter and other social justice organizations.)
Then of course there’s yesterday: Super Bowl 50. The day after Beyoncé released Formation, she performed it at 1/2 time of the big game: Broncos vs the Panthers.
9.Black Panthers. Her dancers were dressed in black panther gear — as in the Black Panther Party who practiced militant self-defense of minority communities against the U.S. government. Forget Super Bowl 50. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of the black panthers. Are you getting the picture now?
With your new found knowledge, watch the Formation video here>>
May Beyonce reign forever!
Courtesy of medium.com.