We’ve all waxed poetic about how great Drake is at predicting memes, how great Justin Bieber is at reinventing himself and how great Beyoncé is at, well, everything. As soon as her “Formation” video dropped on Saturday, it was posted alongside its many catch phrases and hyperbolic proclamations like “She can do no wrong!” on the web. It was a day before the Superbowl, yes, but its racial battle cries and commentary on police brutality and Hurricane Katrina, among others, were game-changing.
And sure, the video is great. But its all-too-perfect release—a day before her buzzy Superbowl performance (and the announcement of her impending tour) on the streaming service she and Jay-Z own, complete with its own line of accompanying merch—begs the question: Is the veil between the puppet and its master getting a bit too thin? (We’re her puppets, btw.) Anyone who’s taken an Intro to Marketing course would know that once someone starts to feel targeted by marketing, the appeal is lost. And in this case, I’m definitely feeling that. But will it stop me from upping my quotient of “Slayyy” while out with my friends? Probably not. Will it also stop me from speaking to the excellent fashions in the vid? No (especially the multiple nods to Gucci).
Bey might “do no wrong,” but she’s not immune to a little bit of shade. And while I do slightly fear the Beygency, I’d say she is inching ever so closely to the burn book I previously only reserved for Taylor Swift and Anne Hathaway.