Beyonce Gets Political In Surprise “Formation” Video: Watch

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Lady Gaga practices singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" ahead of her Super Bowl gig.

All this past week, Beyonce was rumored to drop a new single, “Formation,” ahead of her appearance during Coldplay‘s Super Bowl 50 halftime show. Turns out, those reports were true. Without warning, Beyonce made the new single available on TIDAL and posted the video to her official website. A surprise release — that’s de rigueur for her at this point. But she has also found yet even more ways with “Formation” to reinvent herself, in ways that make her bolder than we ever could have imagined.

From her first raspy note onward, “Formation” is all swagger, as informed by both hip-hop barbs (“You might just be a black Bill Gates in the making / I might just be a black Bill Gates in the making“) and Real Housewives shade (I twirl on my haters).

The video is bursting with joyful moments. Like when Beyonce and her backup dancers in Gucci athletic wear take formation inside an empty swimming pool. Or when Blue Ivy takes center stage in what appears to be an 18th-century American house museum, smiling as if her mother has instilled confidence in her.

But her “Formation” video is also her most politicized yet. She has policemen raising their hands at a black child dancer and a New Orleans cop car floating in a scene that recalls the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Historically, the real-life moments that inspired those scenes haven’t led to happy endings. But with “Formation,” Beyonce — an artist who hasn’t answered a direct interview question for almost two years — is saying that it shouldn’t have to be that way.

Watch Beyonce’s “Formation” video up top, then see the single art below.

Download “Formation” on TIDAL 👯👯👯

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

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