Beyoncé Says the Record Label Underestimated Destiny’s Child
Beyoncé is speaking out against critics who claim that the music video for her latest single, “Formation”, is a movement against the brave men and women that serve and protect our country. Though the video addresses unjust police brutality, the singer tells ELLE magazine that her grievances are pointed — not universal.
“I mean, I’m an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood. But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken,” says Knowles. “I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe. But let’s be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things.”
Though proud of her activism through art, Knowles refuses to be labeled by a cause. “I don’t want calling myself a feminist to make it feel like that’s my one priority, over racism or sexism or anything else. I’m just exhausted by labels and tired of being boxed in,” she continues. “If you believe in equal rights, the same way society allows a man to express his darkness, to express his pain, to express his sexuality, to express his opinion—I feel that women have the same rights.”
Knowles also reflects on the first time she realized the breadth of her power, which she notes as the period right after Destiny’s Child released their debut album.
“The label didn’t really believe we were pop stars. They underestimated us, and because of that, they allowed us to write our own songs and write our own video treatments,” she says. “It wasn’t a conscious thing. It was because we had a vision for ourselves and nobody really cared to ask us what our vision was. So we created it on our own, and once it was successful, I realized that we had the power to create whatever vision we wanted for ourselves.”