As my fellow writer Christian Kennedy so deftly pointed out, Queen has returned — and she’s edgier than ever.
Beyoncé dropped her latest opus and accompanying video, “Formation,” about an hour ago, and I’m probably on my seventh listen already. The whole shebang is completely off the wall — lyrical shout outs are given to Red Lobster, Givenchy dresses and the hot sauce in Bey’s purse. Weird, bouncy synths permeate the tune — if you could even call it that — while Beyoncé spits her quirky affirmations in that sloppy-sexy-whisper-command of hers. At its core, using the most virginal interpretation, the song is an origin story: B is paying homage to her roots: her “daddy and mama,” the South and her signature diva outlook.
The video is Louisiana bayou, NOLA goodness at its raunchiest — a fabulous collision of plantation life and thigh-exposing, burgundy couture onesies. Blue Ivy serves up some hand-on-the-hip realness; Beyoncé thrashes atop a sinking vehicle. And spliced into all that are various high-octane dance numbers with the Queen and #squad.
“OK ladies, now let’s get in formation,” she sings. She’s beckoning those that eat out of the palm of her hand (me, admittedly, and pretty much all of Daily Arts) to pull it together, become their own Sasha Fierce’s and werk.
“Formation” is both an ode to where Beyoncé came from — where she formed — and a call to order. She’s telling us to prepare for the most creatively unruly version of herself she’s presented to her fans thus far. She’s letting us know she’s here. And she slaaaaays.