Formation by Beyoncé

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Over the years, music has played a crucial role in shaping the perspectives that people have about their communities and their lives. Musicians covey a lot of thoughts in their lyrics, and in their choreography and it goes without saying that music plays an indispensable role in mainstream American culture as it grants an exclusive opening for literacy training as it prepares people to listen, and learn in new ways and practice aural distinction. One of the most popular musicians of this generation is Beyonc©, and she is famed for producing acclaimed and controversial music. “”Formation”” is one of the most scrutinized compositions written by Beyonc© due to the wording of the lyrics used. “”Formation”” is a politically charged song as it contains trenchant political stricture in its lyrics. Although some scholars perceive that Beyonc©’s primary goal is to reiterate and re-establish the African-American history, other scholars note that Beyonc© uses the struggles of the African-Americans living in New Orleans for quantifiable and individual gain.

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Janell Hobson contends that the principal intent of the song as presented by Beyonc© is to restore all aspects of African American life rendered as noxious as waste, as abnormal and as destructive. Hobson supports his claim by using scenes from the video which are ascribable to visual significances of Southern Blackness with echoes from an African diaspora and the post-industrial world. Additionally, Beyonc© used abandoned parking lots and empty swimming pools to signify the restoration and renewal of the African culture.

Based on the lyrics used in the song, it is glaring that each lyric points to Beyonce’s heritage, her family and the importance of her fame. Through the song, Beyonc© owns her cultural identity, and she gives a comparable call to black women when she says “”ladies””- “”Let’s get in formation.”” By rendering this claim Beyonc© is militarizing ladies to defend themselves, their families, their neighborhood, and communities against state-backed oppression meted towards the black community. Beyonc© intends to agitate the urge to act by using past disasters that afflicted the black population in New Orleans such as Hurricane Katrina and police brutality to support her cause of action. As a result, it is apparent that Beyonc©’s song aims to restore the magic of the black lives.

Nonetheless, this is not an idea that Shantrelle Lewis shares and he claims that Beyonc© exploits the traumas of New Orleans. The video of the song begins with Beyonc© sitting on partly submerged in water just like Hurricane Katrina had flooded the town evoking memories of the infamous Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, Beyonc© uses the voice of the late Messy Mya as an introduction to the song without acknowledging him, and according to Lewis, this amounts to plagiarism. Beyonc© does not stop there; she advances to co-opt the culture of African-Americans living in New Orleans and to aggravate the scenario she uses a backdrop that portrays some of the most troubling periods that the Black community in New Orleans has experienced such as Hurricane Katrina and prevalent cases of police brutality. In Shantrelle perspective, Beyonc© uses these events for personal gain as she exploits the pain and trauma of the black community and this video accurately portrays her moral debasement as an African-American.

In conclusion, music plays an integral part in the modern society, and it is a medium that is used by various people to share ideas or criticize specific social elements such systematized discrimination. “”Formation”” by Beyonc© is a song that has received a lot of praise and criticism in equal measure. Hobson perceives that Beyonc© has done a remarkable thing by addressing her cultural identity and affirming that she has not forgotten her past and specifically where she came from. Hobson contends that Beyonc© uses her music to rally African-Americans against systematized oppression meted against them by the state organs. Nonetheless, this is a viewpoint that is debated by Shantrelle who contends that Beyonc© uses the misfortunes suffered by the African-American community to advance her individual goals and objectives. Shantrelle questions about the morality and applicability of using voices of the dead and performing against a backdrop of black tragedy. Based on these two arguments, it is glaring the Black culture plays an indispensable role in the production of “”Formation,”” but this is a subject that raises numerous moral and legal issues.

Work Cited

Hobson, Janel. “”Beyonc© As Conjure Woman: Reclaiming The Magic Of Black Lives (That) Matter.””? Ms.blog. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2017.

Lewis, Shantrelle. “”With “”Formation,”” Beyonc© Exploits New Orleans’ Trauma In The Name Of Herself.””? Slate Magazine. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Nov. 2017.

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Formation by Beyoncé. (2018, Dec 14). Retrieved January 28, 2023 , from
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