On Saturday February 6th Beyoncé decided to surprise drop a new single and the people on the internet lost their mind. The Mike Will Made It produced, Swae Lee (1/2 of Rae Sremmurd) co-written, pro-black banger featured an always confident Beyoncé diving into the always touchy race subject. Telling listeners she loves Blue Ivy’s black hair (“I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros,”), her husband Jay Z’s black facial features (“I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils,”) and the overall embracing black empowerment had most people celebrating Bey using her platform to give a frequently disrespected segment of the population an anthem that makes you want to twerk and feel good about yourself at the same time.

The rest of the listeners weren’t down with the Queen’s blunt lyrics and imagery quickly letting her know that what she’s saying is basically a hate-speech mixed with being anti-white, anti-cop hell even anti-American and I once again have to see a nation take one step forward and five steps back. Now I’ve played and replayed the song and music video more times than I’d like to admit and I don’t see any hate propaganda. I see an artist that is universally loved letting the many black girls know that I acknowledge your struggles and even deal with them myself but we are strong and we get past all the roadblocks that are set up for us to fail. Sinking a police car and “Stop shooting us”graffiti doesn’t seem too extreme when every day  a new story appears with another young black minority killed whether they be innocent or guilty because death is the perfect punishment to any offense.

With artists like Beyonce the bar is set so high to release content that succeeds previous work and songs like “Formation” should be celebrated. Bey touched on subjects that she didn’t need to address but her doing so brings the difficult conversation of equality to a mainstream platform and until people realize that we’re beyond the age where we can do nothing and sweep our issues under the rug; I anticipate more artists bringing their views to the forefront with their music.

Kendrick Lamar ruled 2015 with his critically acclaimed third album To Pimp A Butterfly which focused completely on race. Macklemore continues to create music on issues he’s passionate about (“Same Love”, “White Privilege II”). It’s not easy making people uncomfortable with the truth but I applaud artists that don’t want to just talk about turning up and doing drugs. I would love to see a world where songs like this weren’t necessary but we’re very far from that day so let’s continue to push for progression and equality for all.

On a lighter note: How can you not love “Formation” for the Red Lobster line alone. Jay’s treat for a good back breaking session is a trip to the land of cheddar baked biscuits and all you can eat shrimp. If your sense of humor isn’t open enough to appreciate a line like that, I wonder what other comedy gems you miss out on in life…

What do you think of Bey’s latest anthem? Let me know in the comments!

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