Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hidden Meanings behind Beyoncé's Formation Lyrics

Beyoncé's song Formation has caused quite a stir in popular culture. Unlike so many of Bey's songs, this song has both its lovers and haters; from law enforcement officials who say that the song is "anti police", to people saying the song is anti-white (I guess they were overwhelmed by the number of Afros and raised fists.) to the notorious Beyhive that surround Bey with love and support, and finally, those who weren't too hype on Bey but have a great deal of respect for her now that this song was released.

In case you're wondering, I fit into the latter category. I've liked Beyonce since the first inception of Destiny's Child, and watching her develop from a musician to a cultural icon has been very cool. But I am in no way, shape or form a member of the Beyhive. 

And my honest opinion of the whispers of a new Bey song was "Ok, cool, more workout tunes." However, this song was more than that. 

Then I heard it. And what I heard was a Bey who wasn't Crazy In Love and certainly not Speechless. What I heard was a Bey who was fed up; fed up with everyone talking about her husband's nose and her daughter's natural hair, fed up with the Illuminati rumors, fed up with people picking on her Southern twang, but mostly, fed up with the disempowerment of women.

What this song is, to me, is a rallying call, for women everywhere to get together and get it together.

Here are the deeper meaning's behind Formation's best lyrics:

"I see it, I want it, I stunt...
I dream it, I work hard, I grind 'til I own it."
"Sometimes I go off (I go off), I go hard (I go hard) 
Get what's mine (take what's mine), I'm a star (I'm a star)"
Talk about empowering. How many songs do you hear talking about actually working to achieve your dreams? Not many, and yet even the Queen Bee unabashedly acknowledges not only the act of working hard, but pride in the fact that she does, indeed work hard.

"I twirl on them haters..."
I particularly love this lyric. Not only doesn't she care what you think if you're a hater, but, if you can imagine, she's going to do what when wants while gloriously twirling so you can both watch and hate on every rotating facet of her living and loving her life.

"Cause I slay (slay), I slay (hey), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
All day (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
We gon' slay (slay), gon' slay (okay), we slay (okay), I slay (okay)
I slay (okay), okay (okay), I slay (okay), okay, okay, okay, okay.
Okay, okay, ladies, now let's get in formation, cause I slay
Okay, ladies, now let's get in formation, cause I slay.

It may just sound like a mere chant, but I hear more. To me, it's similar to the call and response you would hear in a huddle of athletes that are getting each other pumped for the match ahead. It's the chant of a team, a team about to get in formation and slay any obstacles that come against them. 

These calls and responses are vital within our culture, a culture that boasts more about what we do for ourselves than what we do for those around us. It's a powerful reminder of the need to both give and receive encouragement and helping our community.


"Prove to me you got some coordination, cause I slay
Slay trick, or you get eliminated."
Either you get on board with the empowerment train or you get run over by it. 

"Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper."

Working hard to create the life you want will always be the best revenge against people who tried to keep you from it. 

Have you heard the Formation song by Beyoncé? What are your thoughts on it? Comment below!