She Woke Up Like This

Within the past year, racial tension exacerbated by multiple acts of police brutality and discrimination has left the African American community in a dire situation. After centuries of unfair treatment with effects still evident to this day, it is a struggle for many in the black community to maintain their voices and continue the fight against injustice in America. However, some on a higher social platform like singer, Beyonce, use their social advantage and powerful voice to empower the community into feeling the pride that has been broken down by years of oppression. Beyonce perfectly encapsulates her pride for her heritage and Southern roots in her song, “Formation,” just one of the many perfectly-crafted songs on her album “Lemonade.” The album’s name reflects the adversity that Beyonce fought through growing up as a minority woman, as she believes that “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

Here are the lyrics to the song:

[Intro: Messy Mya]
What happened at the New Wil’ins?
B***h, I’m back by popular demandbeyonce

[Refrain: Beyoncé]
Y’all haters corny with that illuminati mess
Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh
I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin’)
I’m so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces
My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana
You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bama
I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros
I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils
Earned all this money but they never take the country out me
I got a hot sauce in my bag, swag

[Interlude: Messy Mya + Big Freedia]
Oh yeah, baby, oh yeah I, ohhhhh, oh, yes, I like that
I did not come to play with you h**s, haha
I came to slay, b***h
I like cornbreads and collard greens, b***h
Oh, yes, you besta believe it

[Refrain: Beyoncé]
Y’all haters corny with that illuminati mess
Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh
I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin’)
I’m so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces
My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana
You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bama
I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros
I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils
Earned all this money but they never take the country out me
I got a hot sauce in my bag, swag

[Chorus: Beyoncé]
I see it, I want it, I stunt, yellow-bone it
I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it
I twirl on them haters, albino alligators
El Camino with the seat low, sippin’ Cuervo with no chaser
Sometimes I go off (I go off), I go hard (I go hard)
Get what’s mine (take what’s mine), I’m a star (I’m a star)
Cause I slay (slay), I slay (hey), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
All day (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
We gon’ slay (slay), gon’ slay (okay), we slay (okay), I slay (okay)
I slay (okay), okay (okay), I slay (okay), okay, okay, okay, okay
Okay, okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation, cause I slay
Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation, cause I slay
Prove to me you got some coordination, cause I slay
Slay trick, or you get eliminated

[Verse: Beyoncé]
When he f**k me good I take his a*s to Red Lobster, cause I slay
When he f**k me good I take his a*s to Red Lobster, cause I slay
If he hit it right, I might take him on a flight on my chopper, cause I slay
Drop him off at the mall, let him buy some J’s, let him shop up, cause I slay
I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay
I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay
You just might be a black Bill Gates in the making, cause I slay
I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making

[Chorus: Beyoncé]
I see it, I want it, I stunt, yellow-bone it
I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it
I twirl on my haters, albino alligators
El Camino with the seat low, sippin’ Cuervo with no chaser
Sometimes I go off (I go off), I go hard (I go hard)
Get what’s mine (take what’s mine), I’m a star (I’m a star)
Cause I slay (slay), I slay (hey), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
All day (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
We gon’ slay (slay), gon’ slay (okay), we slay (okay), I slay (okay)
I slay (okay), okay (okay), I slay (okay), okay, okay, okay, okay
Okay, okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation, cause I slay
Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation, cause I slay
Prove to me you got some coordination, cause I slay
Slay trick, or you get eliminated

[Bridge: Beyoncé]
Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation, I slay
Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation
You know you that b***h when you cause all this conversation
Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper

[Outro:]
Girl, I hear some thunder
Golly, look at that water, boy, oh lord 

And here is the link to the video which of course Beyonce slays in:

Formation-Beyonce

I love this song because Beyonce took advantage of her social platform to take a stand on a controversial issue that many singers do not take the time to do. This song resounds with so many people in the African American community and reminds them to be proud of their roots even through the rocky times in our country. One of my favorite lines is when Beyonce reminds her audience that she worked hard to get “all this money” but no one can ever “take the country out [of her],” even joking about keeping hot sauce in her bag. This line may be funny to some, but actually has a lot of meaning to it. Despite the fact that Beyonce has been extremely successful in her life, she will never forget the pride she has for her ethnicity and for her roots. She reminisces on the work it took to get where she is and the importance of proving others wrong when they told her she could not do something through her success.

One of my favorite things about Beyonce and this song is her ability to represent minorities and women so well and  passing on a meaningful message that empowers them. She knew that the song would receive backlash but chose to stand behind her beliefs as Beyonce always does so eloquently. She will always take pride in her ethnicity and will always so unapologetically be herself.

 

 

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One thought on “She Woke Up Like This

  1. Your analysis of Beyoncé and the current situation of racial polarization in America is incredibly poignant, and the way you use it to analyze Beyoncé’s message is really great. I am also a huge lover of Beyoncé and Formation, and you gave me a great, fresh point of view on this song.

    Like

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