Beyoncé released “Formation,” her first new song since 2014

On Tidal and YouTube in advance of her Sunday appearance at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The song’s subject is familiar Beyoncé self-affirmation .

 Beyoncé released “Formation,” her first new song since 2014
 
Video is among the most politically direct work she’s done in her career, with implicit commentary on police brutality, Hurricane Katrina and black financial power. Jon Caramanica, a pop music critic for The New York Times, Wesley Morris, The Times’s critic at large, and Jenna Wortham, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, discussed the song’s sound, the video’s look and the way that Beyoncé increasingly blends the aesthetic and the political. Here are excerpts from their conversation:


JON CARAMANICA Beyoncé is nothing if not fastidious, and that is clear from the timing of the arrival of "Arrangement," 24 hours before the Super Bowl, where she's planned to impart the halftime show to — and totally demolish — Coldplay. Beyoncé has a history with the Super Bowl: her 2013 halftime execution at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans was maybe the best of the present day time.



Furthermore, in "Arrangement," she comes back to that city; this time, she's in scenes that recommend a fantastical post-Katrina hellscape, however fundamentally changed. She straddles a New Orleans police cruiser, which in the end gets submerged (with her on it).

What's more, toward the end of the clasp, a line of uproar apparatus clad cops surrender, hands raised, to a moving dark kid in a hoodie, and the camera then skillet over a graffito: Stop Shooting Us. This is abnormal state, outwardly striking, Black Lives Matter-period moral story. The halftime show is typically a locus of diversion, yet Beyoncé has quite recently modified it — overridden it, to be completely forthright — as a minute of polit
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