Super Bowl weekend is always exciting for many reasons. There are always great commercials and halftime shows in addition to good football and food. Fans of the halftime performers are excited for weeks beforehand. This year, however, one of the halftime performers added a surprise to the weekend by dropping a new song the day before the game. Beyoncé released “Formation,” her first song in almost three years, on Feb. She performed it during the halftime show, and she announced the Formation World Tour. Her album is expected to drop before the tour starts, probably meaning that it will come out in April.
The single and her part of the halftime show have both quickly become controversial topics all over the country. The costumes that Beyoncé’s dancers wore reminded people of the uniforms the Black Panther Party wore in the 1960s. One of the formations they danced in was in the shape of the letter X; people took this as paying tribute to Malcolm X. A former New York City mayor, Rudy Giulani, said on Fox News that the performance was “outrageous.” He believes that the Super Bowl halftime show was not the platform for this statement. The Miami Police union seems to agree. The president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police (Miami FOP), Javier Ortiz, believes that Beyoncé was attempting to divide Americans through showing support of the Black Panther Party and sending an anti-police message. The Miami FOP is calling for officers to boycott Beyoncé’s concert in April. Officers can sign up to work events like concerts for extra money, but many have agreed that they will not be working her concert. An affiliate of Fox News in Tampa Bay, Florida, has confirmed that no officers have signed up to do security. The tour kicks off in Marlins Park in Miami April 27 before moving on to thirty-nine other cities around the world. The Miami FOP is requesting that officers all over the country boycott her concerts.
Queen Bey’s new music video for “Formation” is also being talked about. The video shows Beyoncé embracing her heritage. It has scenes of a young black boy dancing in front of white police offers in riot gear without guns as well as scenes of the aftermath of Katrina. Saturday Night Live did a skit called “The Day Beyoncé Turned Black” that spoofs how white people reacted to the song and its message. She includes the difficult beauty standards that black women face; her nose is mentioned as is her daughter Blue Ivy’s afro.
The controversy that has surrounded her latest release may continue if Beyoncé’s new album has more songs that are as bold as “Formation” is. Her last album, self-titled Beyoncé, was released as a surprise in 2013. This album is widely regarded as being revealing of her life in a way that her previous four albums were not. It was brave in a different way because it was revealing. If the album that “Formation” comes from is anything like the single, it will be her most daring one yet.
Tickets for the Formation World Tour are on sale now. In Raleigh, she will be playing Carter-Finley Stadium at NC State University on May 3.