How Black Was ‘Formation’ on a Scale of 1-10?


This meeting of the Beyhive has officially been called to order and it gives no F’s how you had planned to spend your Saturday afternoon or Chris Martin’s demotion to a background singer. The Queen has returned to her throne and could care less that you were picking up your dry cleaning or having lunch with a girlfriend while she did it.

This past weekend Beyoncé dropped her surprise single “Formation” on the world and two days later we’re still collecting ourselves. ICYMI, it was black. Real black. And I don’t mean African American, people of color, Ben Carson (or even the Obamas) type of black. I’m talking your cousins and ‘nem, Black Twitter, popping corner store penny candy while sipping room temp red Kool-Aid on the porch because the living room window unit AC is broke while Sha-Sha braids her baby’s hair in the back room type of black. All in all, it was pretty epic.

The things I would say if I were a cussing women. Because when you think about it, f-bombs, a twirl and a twerk are really the only efficient means of expressing how dope, how lit, how turnt, how deep and how #BlackGirlMagic “Formation” was, is and will always be.

So in honor of four minutes and 52 seconds of uninterrupted slaying, we’ve ranked the 10 top black moments from “Formation” on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being Stacey Dash and 10 being, well this video.

Side Note: I’m not quite sure what a Texas bamma is, but I feel some type of way that they don’t make ‘em in Ohio. I wonder if there’s any flexibility in this statement? My daddy is from the Bronx and my momma is from Greensboro, NC so for the purposes of this article and to maintain a small piece of my identity while pledging my entire allegiance to the Queen, I’ll now be referring to myself as a Bronx Boro Negro.

Blue Ivy and Co. (Blackness Rating = 10)

Don’t come for kids. Especially Bey’s chile, the rightful heir to the throne of slay. There’s something about seeing a confident, beautiful black girl in pure delight that does my soul good. When a black girl loves herself, the world is a better place. To the faces behind the Twitter fingers who nearly organized a peaceful protest on false claims that the Carter daughter’s tresses must be clad with ballies and barretts, Bey says she ain’t the one. She like her baby’s hair with baby hair and afros and well, that’s pretty black.

Hot sauce in her bag. (Blackness Rating = 10)

It really is the epitome of swag. For those of you not familiar with really black culture, this tops the list of black things really black people do (except for me because I’m more of a ketchup girl, but that’s beside the point). Hot sauce is to black folks what cottage cheese is to white people. No meal is complete without it, and apparently neither is Bey’s handbag.

This black boy getting his entire life in front of members of the New Orleans Police Department.

I love when artists get deep. Not Kanye, weird kinda deep, but ocean depth ish that makes us think, converse it’s symbolism and be proud we’re fans. Seeing that this video debuted one day after what would have been Trayvon Martin’s 21st birthday, this scene in particular is significant on many levels. I’m not gonna lie, it actually had me in my feelings for a second. Given black America’s tortured relationship with the police, to have a black boy in a black hoodie openly dance like there’s no tomorrow in front of law enforcement in a city notorious for it’s corrupt police department, all to ultimately have them surrender is the stuff black parents dream of.

Hair they do it. (Blackness Rating = 10)

Fros’, high buns, braids averaging 1/3 of our body weight and the always favorite, I woke up like this and don’t give a…hairstyle, black hair really don’t care. If seeing 16 members of #TeamNatural get into a coordinated formation didn’t at minimum make you arch your back a little bit more, I need your black card. Half the fun of this video was the ode to black hair. Faux pig tails touching her knees, press and curls, Marley locs, Blonde box braids grazing the parking lot pavement while dripping out the window of Camaro = super black.

Every reference to everyday black culture. (Blackness Rating = 10)

There’s nothing better than black art imitating black life. Case in point, dancing in an empty pool in Gucci everything just because we can is very black. From a sweaty church praise break and hair store hangout, to glow ‘n the dark grills and negroes dancing in a carryout, too many scenes from the “Formation” video reminded me of my grandma’s neighborhood. The ghetto fabulousness of it all was overwhelming. No matter how much Givenchy she dons, Bey reminded us she’s a country girl at heart, and quite a hood one at that.

Jackson nostrils. (Blackness Rating = 10)

Notice how she made a point to specify the era of the Jackson nostril. A 2016 Jackson 5 nostril is something reminiscent of the nose of a paper airplane, but a Jackson 5 nostril circa 1970 is a straight Negro nose that we won’t dare talk about because Bey likes it, which according to the Beyhive bylaws, means we love it.

Sinking cop cars. (Blackness Rating = 10)

Who does that? Like, who has the audacity to sink a cop car in the midst of a national side eye to the police while rocking Gucci? No mere mortal, which leaves us with Beyoncé. Again, considering the current national climate when it comes of police, this was metaphoric and symbolism at its best. Slowly sinking atop a cop car as the waters rises only to then pan to a concrete wall with “Stop shooting us” etched on its side, Beyoncé has declared loud and fabulously that #BlackLivesMatter and she is down with the movement. I wonder what it feels like to be white and watch “Formation”. Surely they’re not high fiving their girlfriends that Bey wants to dethrone Bill Gates, but too much dislike can quickly translate to us feeling some type of way. Tricky stuff.

Post-Smash Sessions at Red Lobster (Blackness Rating = 10)

Now this is a big one. Why? Because no black person in their right mind will willingly turn down a cheddar biscuit and bottomless shrimp. Furthermore, we as black women put up with a lot of ish from our black men, but we’re as loyal as a mofo and have mass respect, even if only temporary, to exemplary D. It means he tried. He really tried and succeeded. It’s also worth noting I’ll forever receive an over the top of her glasses side eye from my momma any time I happen to take a gentleman to Red Lobster. Thanks B.

I’m sure there are more bits of blackness to dissect, but considering Bey’s Super Bowl shout-out to the Black Panthers (which was witnessed during the writing of this article) I’ve basically exploded and have nothing left to give the world right now.

Sound off! What was your favorite part of “Formation?”

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