So just as there apparently was a big football game this past Sunday, there was a halftime show. A halftime show that like other halftime shows during some big, kind of important to some, football game had fans, lovers and haters galore. But the day before the big football game, with the halftime show one either loved or hated, there was a video that was dropped.
And as predicted, so much conversation caused because so much is here, so many layers of so many things that we can talk about.
Doncha love it when music, words, performance, art makes you think and then speak because you have just been provoked to think and speak.
I sure do! Formation does just that and I love it all…all the layers of provocation happening here.
But before we really could have a decent conversation about the music, the lyrics, the visuals, and all the layers that is Beyoncé’s Formation, it was the big football game and the halftime show.
Provoked again we were because one thing Super Bowl halftime shows always promise is controversy. Whether it is old, why-is-this-artist-still-relevant performances or deluges or power outages or breasts bared or left sharks, we are provoked and compelled to share that which we loved and hated about the Super Bowl halftime show.
This one, I loved in its rich homage to not only past Super Bowl halftime shows, but also to the rich, layered tapestry that is the Bay Area and some of it’s history in the last 50 years. Like the Super Bowls over the past 50 years, so much to try to cover…impossible to cover. Still honored all the same…San Francisco’s Summer of Love, a little bit of M.C. Hammer and Tower of Power uptown funk…oh and a little bit of the Black Panther Party because it’s not just the Super Bowl’s 50th birthday party.
And, yeah, we were provoked!
I don’t know about you but my social media timeline is literally flooded with so much discussion and proclamations about Beyoncé, Formation, the Black Panther Party, black women, black women’s hair…color, Right Wing pundits’ wish for more wholesome entertainment for a Super Bowl Halftime show …like I imagine The Rolling Stones, Prince or Justin Timberlake accidentally exposing Janet Jackson’s breast were…oh, and the truth that unless you are a woman of color, you have no right to any opinion on any of this.
I get it because, yeah, I don’t get it.
Still all that this social media shit storm has stirred up and provoked, I can’t help but have a thought or two or more…not that you care but now you know. I also appreciate the fact that while sitting down with my 14 year old and helping him work on research for his Black History Month biography, we both dug deeper trying at the very least to learn more about Jim Crow laws, Brown v. The Board of Education, Selma, voting rights, The Black Panther Party, post Katrina New Orleans because although none of this is our personal history, our personal legacy, our personal reality it is a part of our country’s history, legacy and citizens like us reality, and why shouldn’t we be provoked and compelled to try to learn more, try to understand and begin to have a conversation about?
Pop star that she is, Queen Bey, diagnosed the current moment and caused an amazing, still divisive, but necessary conversation and a need to know and try to understand more…as artists often do.
Well done, Bey!