Beyonce creating work that speaks to an audience like “Formation ” that might not receive the sort of mainstream, visually and sonically-enticing wisdom that Bey has perfected. This reality has never been more evident than on “Formation,” her latest off-kilter, even downright weird trap track that dropped on Saturday afternoon.
Mike WiLL Made-It’s ;production perfectly underlines each of Bey’s lyrics. The unnerving synth highlights each snap of a phrase (“I like my negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils” and “I like my baby’s hair with baby hair and an Afro”) like a yellow highlighter, marking the bits and pieces of the song one will refer to when examining the Beyoncé ;canon as a whole. Like a low rumbling siren that never truly crests to a final loud blare, the song bounces just under the surface. This effect returns as Bey repeats that first verse—”My daddy Alabama/ Momma Louisiana”—as if to make sure listeners are considering the content. It’s a fun song, yes, but it’s also an important one. Never forget that.
“Formation” expands on this narrative thread, encompassing a truer definition of Beyoncé: the artist. She references her “negro nose,” Blue’s baby hair and Afro, the Illuminati and the outright power of gaming and simultaneously overcoming the oppressions of capitalism. “I might get your song played on the radio station,” she says, centering her power in making the careers of others. Later, she says, “I go hard, Take what’s mine, cause I slay.”
Read more at: pitchfork.com