Beyoncé just loves to keep us on our toes. Continuing her tradition of releasing new music unannounced, Queen Bey has surprised fans once again by dropping her first new single in over a year on the eve of her cameo performance at this year’s Super Bowl half time spectacular.
And it couldn’t be more fitting.
Her new single Formation has been heralded as a fiery black power anthem and a call to arms in the spirit of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Arriving on the heels of Black History Month in the US, the song is simultaneously a celebration of African-American identity, and a statement about the racial injustices still facing people of colour in the US.
Filmed in a post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, the song’s video is filled with powerful, statement-making imagery, including artwork featuring Martin Luther King Jr., a graffiti wall splashed with the words “Stop Shooting Us”, Bey herself drowning a New Orleans Police Car and – most powerful of all – a little boy dancing in front of a riot squad.
On his mark, it’s the police who put their hands up.
This is Beyoncé like we’ve never seen her before. Breaking away from the feelgood, unifying vibes that helped turn her into one of the biggest popstars on earth, Bey stands in front of a Louisiana mansion with two middle fingers raised high in the air.
She’s pissed off. She’s angry. And she’s making her loudest political statement ever.
It’s a far cry from her recent musical cameo in Coldplay’s dreamy Hymn For The Weekend dancefloor jam, which has caused a stir for other reasons.
Formation is available to stream and download for free via Tidal, but you can check out the official music video below.
And keep an eye out for the cameo from Bey’s daughter, Blue Ivy.
Watch: Beyonce – Formation