Friday, February 17, 2017

Formation Is "Unapologetically Black"

The song I chose as music poetry was "Formation" by Beyonce, on her album LEMONADE. This song came out in 2016, and was immediately one of the most notable songs of 2016, not just because it was Beyonce, but because the song, and its accompanying music video, celebrated Southern Blackness and has been described as "unapologetically black," and a "black power anthem." 

The central theme of the whole song is celebrating blackness, and especially Southern blackness. Throughout the song, there is a juxtaposition between lyrics like the famous, "I got hot sauce in my bag, swag," and "I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils." The latter lyrics are easily identified as a powerful statement about blackness, and Beyonce celebrating her blackness, while the former lyrics can be blown off as nonsense if you do not analyze the song closely. "I got hot sauce in my bag, swag" are also powerful in their own way. By using these lyrics and the repetition of "slay," she is making a more nuanced statement about modern black culture and loving the "improper English" or "black/ghetto slang" that white people are not quick to accept today.  A great example of this is the interlude which uses improper English;
I did not come to play with you hoes, haha
I came to slay, b---hI like cornbreads and collard greens, bitchOh, yes, you besta believe it
I think pretty much everyone in 2017 likes to think they are not racist, but many white people are unconsciously racist by wanting to avoid "ghetto slang" etc. and only accepting "white-acting Black people," so by so blatantly putting this in people's faces so they cannot ignore it, Beyonce is making a very powerful statement.

1 comment:

  1. This is a good analysis of a popular song that got a lot of criticism for being so proud of being black. Beyonce is embracing and celebrating black culture and she does it a lot in her music.