Beyonce Is The New Black: The 10 Blackest Moments In Beyonce’s “Formation” Video » VSB

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Beyonce Is The New Black: The 10 Blackest Moments In Beyonce’s “Formation” Video

In 2014, Surrey NanoSystems, a tech company in England, debuted VantaBlack — a substance they claim is the Blackest Black ever seen.

The coating reflects so little light, three dimensions seem to disappear.” said Ben Jensen, founder of Surrey NanoSystems, in an interview with the New York Times. “When you look at Vantablack on some wrinkled aluminum foil, it looks like a black, flat, featureless void, even with your eyes right up to it.

Perhaps VantaBlack is the Blackest substance ever created in a lab. But it cannot be the Blackest Black ever seen. Because, for it to truly be the Blackest Black, it would be thick, not flat. Thicker than hour-old Cream of Wheat, perhaps. And featurefull, not featureless. It would contain references to post-coital Cheddar Bay Biscuits. And Jackson family nostril width. It would include Big Freedia. And babies with baby haired Afros. And Black preachers rocking Ghostfaced-sized silver crosses over pinstriped suits. And random body rolling. And glorious titties in hallways and empty swimming pools. There would be allusions to #BlackLivesMatter. And mentions of Creole ancestries, even though we haven’t quite collectively decided if a “Creole ancestry” is a real thing. And Frank’s Hot Sauce floating in the bottom of thousand-dollar clutches. It would utterly flabbergast White people, and make Black people say things like “Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas!!!!!”

It would be Beyonce’s “Formation” video, the Blackest Black thing these Black eyes have seen in a long-ass, Black-ass time. I could seriously sit here and list the 100 Blackest Things from this video. But since my family is having a family dinner at Red Lobster later this evening, I can’t spend that much time writing this, so 10 will have to do.

(Seriously. I’m totally not playing about Red Lobster. By the time you finish reading this, I will be on the way there. This was scheduled earlier today, and I’m actually considering cutting the list to four so I can get moving.)

1. Big Freedia doing Big Freedia things

Putting Big Freedia on a song is like casting Clifton Powell in a movie. It doesn’t even matter what the actual title is. Because any movie featuring him in any way should just be called “Black People Doing Some Black-Ass Shit.” Or, perhaps “Chitlins: Pt 2.”

2. “Y’all haters corny with that Illuminati mess”

The very first words out of Beyonce’s mouth were not-so-subtle shots at Hoteps. Perhaps she took the quiz.

3.I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros

This is Beyonce saying “But really, fuck you” to the people who’ve somehow formed their retched and preternaturally chapped lips to criticize the hair of Blue Ivy and, by proxy, any other Black baby with regular Black people hair and features.

4.I like my negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils

There are approximately 270,000 different ways to unpack this line. But all I kept thinking about is Big Freedia, and how having a wider nasal path makes the smell of cornbread and slow cooked collard greens even more glorious.

5. “You mix that Negro with that Creole make a Texas bama

Wait, aren’t Creole people Black? And wouldn’t that make them Negro too? And…you know what? Nevermind. That shit was hot. I’m over thinking things here. I just need to free my mind and allow Beyonce to slay.

6. “I got hot sauce in my bag. Swag

Which is Blacker, carrying a bottle of Frank’s Hot Sauce in a purse or pocket everywhere, or carrying a deck of cards in a purse or pocket everywhere so you’ll always be prepared to play Spades? (I think the hot sauce is a smidgen Blacker, but I could be swayed the other way. It’s close, man.)

7. When he fuck me good I take his ass to Red Lobster

This line is the single Blackest thing I’ve ever heard in 2016. Because Blackness is, above all, truth. And there has never been better sex than pre and post Red Lobster sex. Not shower sex. Not cruise sex. Not spaceship sex. Not “it’s been six weeks since the baby was born” sex. Not even “thanks for the co-sign on the car loan” sex. Nothing. Cheddar Bay biscuits are Negro Catnip.

Also, related, she unwittingly just created a new way for dudes to nonverbally brag on our dicks. Because from this moment forward, if you see a couple at Red Lobster, the first thought will be “Damn. She’s taking him to Red Lobster — and he’s getting the Ultimate Feast! — so he must be making her squirt.”

8. This guy

this guy

9. Beyonce doing Beyonce things. On an empty police car. Underwater. In New Orleans.

A reminder of the importance, relevance, and vitality of #BlackLivesMatter. Because we all remember the thing that happened there 11 years ago that reminded everyone Black lives don’t.

10. The Black kid in the Black hoodie dancing in front of the line of White police officers with their hands up. 

Is it a coincidence that this song and this video and this scene were released the same weekend Trayvon Martin would have been 21? I don’t know. Probably. Who knows? I do know that the New York Times needs to run a retraction, because VantaBlack is now only the second Blackest Black ever seen.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • Blue looked amazing and confident and just ughhhhhh She’s like my little play-niece How long is Beyonce going to continue to rule over my life like this????

    • Question

      Seriously. She is going to be one little self-assured, confident girl/young woman/woman. And that is something Bey should be uber proud of, especially considering her position in society.

      • Mary Burrell

        Having Mis Tina for her grandmother and Beyoncé for her mother and Solonge for her aunt that’s a lot of confidence and self esteem.

        • Val

          I bet Solo is a very cool aunt.

          • Mary Burrell

            I bet too.

    • Siante

      exactly. I’m pretty much just here for Blue’s lil’ afro. So adorable!


    im really about to spend my evening cookin greens and braiding hair and signing petitions and greasing scalps and adding just a tinnyyyyy bit mo sugar to my red kool aid and tightening my weave and twerking on the hood of my Uncle Kev’s Cadillac

    • KNeale


    • Brianna

      But no one has mentioned how they were STROLLING! Hence the shot in the empty swimming pool! All my HBCU’s stand UP! I almost cried at the end with the little boy dancing. Beyoncé better work!

      • Ashley

        I peeped that! In the empty pool scene, I was like wait, Delta’s?

    • ms. nylahou

      “But all I kept thinking about is Big Freedia, and how having a wider nasal path makes the smell of cornbread and slow cooked collard greens even more glorious.” Mmmmmmmm.

  • Madame Zenobia

    “The Black kid in the Black hoodie dancing in front of the line of White police officers with their hands up.”

    I teared up seeing this scene. My heart leapt, my stomach clinched and my heart rejoiced. It was easily the most beautiful and powerful thing I’ve EVER seen in a music video.

    I am not a huge Beyonce fan, but this video was INCREDIBLE. We have truly been Blessed this Black History Month. She did the damn thing AND then put her daughter slaying to let us know not only are there levels to her ish but GENERATIONS. Amazing.

    • Velvet Von Blacc

      everything u just said i teared up too.

      • Asiyah

        Me tooooooo

    • Angela L Scott-Embree

      “What she said”

    • KingRichard22

      “Not only levels but generations..” Dang..

  • Squish

    Yoncé is NOT HERE for you alopecia, weave glued, flaked-up Ampro-slicked edges having heauxs coming for her baby. Tuh.

    Make sure you can pull your hair back into a ponytail before you come for her baby.

    • She’s so cute!! Look at that smirk!!

    • That girl MEL!


    • Kema

      My favorite part of the song!!! Blue Ivy looks so confident as her momma sings about her afro.

      • Mary Burrell

        I like that too. That’s one of my favorite things in the video.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        She had that look when yo mamma’s tears someone a new one after they tried to come for you.

        • Londa

          She has that look that my siblings and I give (and say) when people try us. “Do you know who my momma is?” Because our momma didn’t take any sh&t – and neither do her children.

    • PinkRose

      Leading by example usually works best for children. Just sayin’!

      • Guest

        And at home I am sure Bey’s wig is off and her fro is flowing. Its just a uniform, nothing more.

        • Natile Smith

          How do you know that? she is suppose to be so real she can wear her natural hair all the time. I swear yall make every and any excuse when it come to Beyonce.

          • pls

            god, go be miserable some place else on the internet! how much more black and natural do you want her to be? she said jackson 5 nostrils! she made a baby human with a man the media has been comparing to every animal in the zoo for the past 20 years. take yo axx on!

            • Natile Smith

              Yeah, that make her so pro black and natural. Please. This is just another one of her gimmicks.

              • Colby

                damned if she do, damned if she don’t. Take your Bey hate elsewhere!

                • Natile Smith

                  Yeah, its always considered hate when you dont agree. But its more like…I have my own mind and smart enough not to believe every and anything presented. And I will never buy into someone selling BS.

                  • Squish

                    There’s a difference between disagreement and hate.

                    You’re hating. Heavily.

                    Why are you here? There are literally millions of other places you could be on the internet, and you’re here.

                    Go rain on someone else’s parade and let those who liked the video live. Dag.

                    • Natile Smith

                      As I stated, its always labeled hate when its a different opinion. And when one cant handle the truth. Why can’t I post if I dont agree? That is so one track minded and not a representation of reality.

                    • Leigh

                      GO AWAAAAAAY!!! The comment section at Yahoo is waiting on you.

                    • Erica Nicole Griffin

                      You can disagree, Natile. I really like the video. But I’ll be your friend.

                    • Beauty In Truth

                      We all know what Ms. Natile Smith came to VSB for, TBBDEE!

                    • Squish

                      What truth, tho? Where?

                    • kia

                      this is everything

              • pls

                what is more black than a sistah in a blonde wig?! MJB been steady rockin, lookin fabulous since forever, but bey can’t live? Gowon, now I say, GIT!!!

          • Ms Camille

            All entertainers wear fake hair at work you idiot! Everyone of em from Tina Turner to Gladys Knight and yes even Beyonce. Can u imagine having your real hair styled and pulled endlessly for photo shoots and videos? She would be bald! White female entertainers wear mounds of fake hair and weave as well, but the black girl gotta risk going bald and abuse her real hair before you haters shut up. Worry bout whats under your own wig

      • Question

        Blue’s sitting at home with Momma Tina watching all of Beyonce’s videos and red carpet appearances? That’s her only reference point for her mother…? Ok.

        • PinkRose

          Mothers with natural hair usually have girls/children with natural hair.
          It’s rarely the other way around especially if the kid isn’t even 5 years old. But hey, I guess children can teach their parents lessons about loving your natural self too! ;)

          • Beauty In Truth

            She has her natural braids underneath her sew ins and lace fronts. DUH…Are you a white girl??? Hmm, I wonder. SECURITY!

            • PinkRose

              I’m a Black woman who wears her natural hair, with a daughter who also wears her natural hair.

              AKA LEADING BY EXAMPLE!!

              • Beauty In Truth

                Gurl all that “ALL CAPS YELLING” is not even necessary. Have a nice day. “Cause I SLAY!-SLAY-SLAY!”

                • PinkRose

                  SLAY?? YASSSSS wit’ my natural hair!!!!

              • pls

                okay, we get it.

                you are better than beyonce bc you and your daughter wear natural hair at the same time.

                feel better about yourself, now?

                • PinkRose

                  Dunk your head(and weave) in a vat of confidence ok, Pookums?

                  • pls

                    Anybody that feels the need to protest on the internet to strangers how much better they are than others because of what’s ON their head, not INSIDE of it, is the one needing some confidence and self esteem. I have never worn a weave, but I don’t judge others who choose to. get lost

                • PinkRose

                  It’s called being an example for your children but I understand why that concept is lost on you. You’re obviously neither a mother or an example to emulate.

                  • pls

                    muhfucka I’m a mother and it’s in my job description to be a role model to youth. meanwhile you’re on the internet loud and wrong. get lost.

                    • PinkRose

                      In person, I’m sure you’re as cowardly and quiet as a church mouse on crack.

                      PS- P h u k u * i t c h

          • Squish

            Why are you concerned with how someone else parents their children and how they wear their hair in front of their children?

            Have a seat.

            • PinkRose

              Comment section = comments. Comprende?

              • Squish

                Que hago, y aún así no tiene ningún sentido. Preocuparse de sus propios hijos, su propio pelo, y sus propios bordes.

                Or, in case you don’t speak Spanish fluently:

                Eu faço, e você ainda não faz qualquer sentido. Preocupe-se com os seus próprios filhos, seu próprio cabelo, e suas próprias bordas.

                • PinkRose

                  Come se dice in espanol, get a life and grow up to be more than a Beyoncé STAN?

                  • Squish

                    Yo no se, but I know how to say “You Mad?” en español:


                    • PinkRose

                      Si, Bull $ h i t Stan.

          • Question

            You’z makin stuff up now. Walk around ANY mall and you will see plenty weaved up, relaxed headed womenz totin’ ’round natural headed babies. Stop.

            • PinkRose

              I see what you did there but obviously not as inconspicuously as you would have liked. NO ONE perms a “babies” hair but check back in about 14-15 years. Especially if they’re in Texas, I’ve never seen so much processed hair, wigs, and weaves ANYWHERE else in my entire life which includes visits to about 35 states!!

    • Donnella Collison

      Blue’s “bow down, bishes. Im fresha than youuuu” smirk lol

    • Beauty In Truth

      You said “alopecia” though, SO disrespectful! Lol!!!

  • Donnella Collison

    ” I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros” she basically told yall to worry bout your own edgeless chirren.

    • KingRichard22


  • Anonymous

    I assure you that the hot sauce in Beyonce’s bag is not Frank’s, but Louisiana or Crystal. Just…FYI.

    • Question

      Crystal. Definitely.

      • cap

        Red dot

    • Zactly.

    • miss t-lee

      Yeah. We don’t use that Frank’s round here.

      • Brother Mouzone

        There IS no other hotsauce but Frank’s

        • miss t-lee

          Yeah, no.
          You see all them upvotes up there?

          • Brother Mouzone

            Yeah, no….those 10 people are wrong! Or maybe they suffer from that condition notastebudsatall.

            • miss t-lee

              Nope. We still ain’t fcukin’ with Frank’s.

    • Mary Burrell

      Hot sauce in her designer bag. They did that on episode of Fresh Prince of Bel air. Uncle Phil’s country family his mother had hot sauce in her purse in a fancy restaurant.

    • A Foster


      • A Foster

        DEFINITELY** (Trying to type with a screen swiping infant lol)

    • Christopher Cormier

      i came to say this.

    • Guest

      I know I was thinking the same thing, I don’t think I’ve even tasted Frank’s, got to have that Red Dot!

    • Barasha

      Texas Pete all the way…

      • cap


      • Beauty In Truth

        I must confess, I am Black and I don’t like hotsauce!

        • Kat

          Hot sauce, syrup and chicken. You will thank me later.

      • Anonymous

        Texas Pete hot sauce is made in neither Louisiana nor Texas. Accordingly, it would not be found in my home–and certainly not that of a New Iberia descended Beyonce.

        • Leigh

          I thought it was Ville Platte not New Iberia.

    • Te’Keya Krystal

      agreed . definitely Louisiana hot sauce !

    • Sweet Ga Brown

      Or texas pete…

    • As a fellow Houstonian that’s what I was thinking too.

  • CookieGugglemanFleck

    This is one of the best videos I’ve ever seen. Jeezus, the styling, the set, the dancing, the costumes, the messages…my head is spinning from the power. Love New Orleans, too. Gonna have to go down there now.

  • ChokeOnThisTea

    A pro-black message that celebrates black men, black women, AND black babies?! ?? #SheGetsIt

  • Glo

    I’ve been a Beyonce fan since I was a little kid. I have every single one of her albums, I know her dances, and I’ve seen her on tour. That being said, every once in a while, I get a little tired of the way people stan for her. It often just seems a little too over the top, you know?

    Then she does something like this. This has ruined my entire Saturday.

    Beyonce, you deserve all the praise and then some for this work of art you just dropped. The world wasn’t ready for this ode to blackness. My afro wearing black a s s is going to watch this video every morning to start my day right. My future children are going to have to watch this video regularly and learn the choreography. This is going to be played at my funeral. “When he eff me good I take his a s s to Red Lobster” is going to be written on my tombstone.

    Happy Black Liberation Month, y’all.

    • Question

      Real talk, I get just as tired of the random attacks as I do the stans. I feel like anti-Stans (the folks who claim to only hate the stans, not Beyonce but know eeeeeee’rythang about her) are worse cuz they’re devoting all of this time and attention to someone (and her supporters) that they don’t like.

      I think the Beatles are overrated. I don’t need to convince Beatles fans that the Beatles are overrated. And I damn sure don’t need to go to where they congregate to assert my intellectual superiority through proclamations of their being overrated.

      • Val

        I agree about the Beatles. They are soooo overrated. Probably the most overrated rock band of all-time.

    • TeeChantel

      It’s definitely fitting. Ironically, I wore my Bougie Black Girl shirt today and this song came on the radio, like early afternoon. You couldn’t tell me sh*t for the rest of the day.

  • Someone on my FB said this was a pro-black trap record, and that’s probably the best way to describe it, lol. I love it. I love how she tackles her critics head on (hopefully people will stop asking her to “do something with Blue’s hair” now). I love the affirmations of her own bossness and blackness. I love the call for ladies to get in formation and embrace their own bossness and blackness. So many fros. So much chocolate skin. I’m working on the choreography as we speak so I can apply to be in that chorus line of dancers.

    The sequence with the kid and the police holding their hands up to him was truly powerful. It sort of represented them surrendering and recognizing his humanity and the power of his energy and potential as a black boy, while simultaneously acknowledging their fear of what a black boy could truly do with unbridled power. Dopeness all around from Queen Bey, my edges are in recovery!

    • Kesh

      “So many fros. So much chocolate skin. I’m working on the choreography as we speak so I can apply to be in that chorus line of dancers.”

      I am currently working on the first 8 count of the hallway scene. I hope I can get at least 20 other girls so that we can get those ripples down.

      • TeeChantel

        Lemme know when you get started on the parking lot scene. I’m in.

        • Kesh

          Will Do! 2 down-18 more to recruit.

          • Kema

            Count me in! Where do we pick up our outfits?

          • -puts her name on the waiting list-

        • I’m in and down and will put in my appropriate slay prep work to fully support that epic body roll situation.

      • Erica Nicole Griffin

        I have the swimming pool scene down! That parking lot, tho? Ima need a step master and Debbie Allen’s stick for that!

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