Everyone’s talking about the new Beyoncé “Formation” music video she dropped as a surprise before her Super Bowl appearance. And thank god: I’m happy she won’t be playing that awful Coldplay cultural appropriation song.
It’s kind of strange she put it on private on her YouTube, and her company will take it down if anyone tries to make it public. Hence this review!
For the record, the video was not directed by Beyoncé but rather by Melina Matsoukas. She won a Grammy for directing Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” She’s also directed plenty of other Yoncé videos.
But there’s controversy that some of the footage used in the video was stolen from the documentary The B.E.A.T., which was about New Orleans bounce music and queer culture. In a statement to E.W., Beyoncé’s reps confirm that the footage was used with proper compensation.
The video was filmed, at least partially, in New Orleans. She’s seen on top of a cop car in a location that was impacted by Hurricane Katrina. And my favorite shot was when she got submerged. I got a bit of a black lives matter undertone from this scene.
This matched the lyrics of the song beautifully:
“My daddy Alabama
My mama Louisiana
You mix that negro with that Creole
Make a Texas bama”
Those literal formation lines? They are the work of choreographers Dana Foglia, whose dance company worked on Beyoncé‘s 2014 VMAs performance; JaQuel Knight, who choreographed Beyoncé’s classic “Single Ladies” video; and Chris Grant, who has choreographed for Beyoncé in the past.
The video features a ton of styling new looks from Beyonce and Blue Ivy’s fro. The video was styled by The Cut contributing editor and former Cosmopolitan fashion market director, Shiona Turini; Nigerian-American designer Ade Samuel; and stylist Marni x Marni.
The dancer’s are reportedly wearing Gucci throughout the video. Which lends to the instantly quotable “I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress.”
Formation opens with a voice over from popular New Orleans figure, Messy Mya, who was murdered in 2010.
And of course we need to talk about her red lobster line where she says if he “does me good I make have to take him to Red Lobster.” Just what the chain needed.
What’s your favorite moment from Beyoncé’s “Formation” music video? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe!