Beyonce’s Formation an Epic Fail

Formation an Epic Fail

“Queen” Bey just dropped another one on us and people are going nuts. In true Beyonce fashion, she gave us a club banger with semi-shocking lyrics and a provocative music video. The words “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag”, “When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay” and “El Camino with the ceiling low sippin’ Cuervo…I’m a star, I’m a star” can be heard while images of booty poppin’ dancers and the flooded streets of New Orleans scroll on the screen.

Yes, you read that right. Don’t believe us? Check out the video.

This video left everyone in the room in complete silence which is incredibly rare. It’s a room filled with true Bey Hives and Beyonce Haters and yet you could hear a pin drop. No hype man or joy killer – just silence. Then the sky parted and for the first time in Bey-story Beyonce fans and haters agreed on one thing – this stint is anything but #Flawless.

Here’s why:

Formation sounds more like a Beyonce anthem than a call to action.

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These lyrics evoke this:


not this:


She tried too hard to be deep and thoughtful but failed. Epically.

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Beautifully laying yourself on a cop car and drowning yourself in your designer dress in Nawlins isn’t thought provoking. It’s tasteless.


The video is supposed to be a statement of black empowerment, but we see Beyonce booty poppin’

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far more than we see this:


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The song itself is so bad lyrically that instead of giving the #blacklivesmatter movement a boost, she created a new social media movement for #redlobster and #hotsauce.

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She diminished her message of actual black struggle and empowerment when she launched “The Formation Collection” – an apparel line of Yonce-isms.

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 10.36.27 PMNo mention of proceeds going to New Orleans or activist groups.

Police shootings, MLK, Hurricane Katrina, Slavery, Mardi Gras… This is a LOT to focus on in 4 minutes. Pick a focal point and tell a story. Right now it just looks like Bey is trying to make up for all the years she said nothing about social justice issues.

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Take a second look, give it another listen. There were a million better ways to execute this. But a Red Lobster trap song set in a flooded New Orleans isn’t one of them. Sorry Bey Hive – we’re not backing down on this one.

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Oh, and before you start…

No, we’re not a culturally clueless group.
We’re a group of ethnically diverse, well-travelled men and women, that agree that this video/song is inappropriate.


No, we didn’t miss the point.
We don’t have Beyonce paper (money), we have something much more valuable called a #degree. We tried to find a deeper meaning to this video and song pairing but…still can’t figure out what, “When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster” has to do with Martin Luther King Jr. or the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. Social justice issues deserve more care and thought. This song has created more social media memes in the last 24 hours than real conversation.


  1. The Big fail is when WHITE PEOPLE tries to apropriate EVERYTHING and even wants to define what the black empowerment should be. Her dance is not provocating, she has always been inspired by AFRICAN moves, so this is not “booty popping”, this is culture.
    Sorry white peeps, she’ll make a song for you next time.
    Happy #blackhistorymonth !!

  2. hmm…Okay. I see the point being made here. There are a lot of ways she could’ve done this and maybe this isn’t the best way but at least she’s speaking out!

  3. I hear this article. When I first saw the video it brought up hella mixed feelings. How is your opening picture going to be you on top of a cop car in the middle of the aftermath of Katrina. There needs to be a little more respect especially if your not saying anything to uplift this community. One line of “what happened after Katrina” doesn’t do it for me. Everyone is talking about how she is speaking out and trying to say something here. No. I don’t believe this is true. If she wanted to speak out in such a prevalent time where the black lives matter movement needs leaders she could have at least marched or contributed to this, I don’t know, somewhere in these past 3 years…. I do however appreciate her trying to say something but I wish it could have been more direct and consistent. She’s a beautiful artist who keeps evolving but as an artist I believe you have a duty to say something with the art. If not it becomes meaningless. I understand the points that are being made in this video. There are too many to count. But the contradiction in lyrics kills me a little. “I take his ass to red lobster” . That didn’t push us back 50 years. Nope not at all. I also worry about the young non ethnic teen who will be shouting these lyrics at the top of their lungs very soon and reach national fame on youtube. It’s important for everyone to have these conversations. So I appreciate everything being said here.

  4. I disagree one thousand percent !! The fact that you even are talking about this video shows the actual power it holds.The video doesn’t diminish the black lives matter movement at all, Just because some of the lines from the song that are trending are not black lives matter oriented doesn’t mean that the message was lost. And if you think that Beyonce drowning on top of a police car doesn’t symbolize the struggle of black lives in America than you are insane. You can not say what the video was “supposed” to be and just because you don’t agree with how the video was executed doesn’t mean it was an epic fail. She clearly brought awareness to the movement and got your attention so I think she deserves a little more recognition. Further more since this is a black owned publication, we get enough of others telling us we aren’t good enough, we don’t need our own people doing the same. Try building up your black brothers and sister instead of breaking them down.

    • Yea I agree, but can also see the other side of these. She has a lot of amazing hidden symbols in the video but the lyrics are tough. @lisab brings up a good point about the non ethnic teen shouting these lyrics. She may have broke the internet now but I guess the real questions is what will happen in the next few months. It’s a little concerning that there is the possibility that the meaning will be lost and the only thing standing will be those lyrics, and not the empowering ones but the throw aways. It also feels a little contrived. She releases the song and video and immediately launches an apparel line and a world tour. And the part that kills me is that she talks about how we should love and appreciate the black form, and when she releases her tour promo she goes back to wearing her flowing blonde weave. Don’t you think if she’s going to make a statement like this that she should live up to it? I also think it’s a little far fetched to say that these guys are bringing down the black community. It’s a dangerous thing when everyone jumps on the bandwagon and doesn’t question celebrity or authority. Plus just like Beyonce started the convo, stuff like this seems to keep the convo going. It makes people dig deeper into her video to stand up for what they believe in. So it seems like its a win win. But next time be a little more careful when you start beef with the Bey Hive!!

  5. I’m over it. Beyonce got what she wanted which was attention. No one had heard from her in a while. So she came up with a winning combo. A song and video that would cause people to love and hate her. She caused controversy, which helped her upcoming tour and helped continue the conversation of social injustice. Forget the way she went about it and just appreciate the outcome.

  6. Rico, please don’t assume that all of us want Beyonce to speak on behalf of our struggle. She already does enough by giving to the cause. She used the struggle to her advantage. She didn’t do anything different that white media hasn’t already done. We’re always portrayed as a booty popping hot sauce loving population! How about giving them something new? I’m sorry but having to do “music formats” is bs. She’s freaking BEYONCE she has gotten to the point where she has no rules, no barriers and no music formats. She can basically do what she wants right now. We give her too many props. Just cause she decided to finally join the cause doesn’t mean i’m going to kiss her ass. We should be supporting artists who don’t bow down to white media mainstream like Janelle Monae’s who released Queen and didn’t get anywhere near the attention that Bey gets. Or J. Cole walking with Justice or Else and again, him not getting the amount of praise as an artist in the movement. But Beyonce comes out with a ridiculous (but good) trap song and decides to use images (that aren’t hers) to say i’m proud to be black (even though she’s rocking a fake nose and blonde weave), and i’m supposed to be proud of myself and the cause? No. Sorry. Good for her that she’s finally embracing being black. But I’ve never denied who I am. Yea it’s good that she’s causing conversation but stop drinking the kool aid and start supporting artists who aren’t afraid to come out and say something without having to hide behind the white image of blacks (Hot Sauce and Red Lobster).