Beyoncé has, once again, taken the world by storm.
On Saturday, she dropped a surprise joint album, “Everything is Love,” with her husband Jay-Z, but she wasn’t done yet. A few days later, the Carters dropped a new video for their song “Apeshit” — and, well, the video has everyone going apeshit.
The video, which currently has around 20 million views (and counting), is set in the middle of one of the greatest tourist attractions in the world: the Louvre, which is home to some of the world’s most well-known art but is unfortunately still predominantly white.
“Apeshit” spans 6 minutes and encompasses a collection of shots of famous paintings, dancing and recreations of the art itself, giving Beyoncé fans plenty to go crazy about.
Not only have the Carters created a new top hit and viral video, but they have managed to sneak historical symbolism into every nook and cranny possible in the “Apeshit” music video, fighting for people of color and telling a story all in one.
Beginning with a shot of Beyoncé and Jay-Z posing in front of the world-famous Mona Lisa, the video spans to show different Neoclassical paintings, which feature predominantly white subjects. In fact, the only painting featuring a black woman shown in the video is the “Portrait of a Negress.” The video then switches to different shots of the dance crew and the Carter couple wearing various costumes.
In a Buzzfeed interview with art history major Heidi Herrera, the interviewee explains the symbolism of “Apeshit” in depth. During the interview, Herrera stresses the importance of the music video when considering the Louvre’s earlier portrayals of people of color.
Herrera also posted a long Twitter thread, focusing specifically on actions — such as Beyoncé posing as the Mona Lisa — and significant lyrics from the “Apeshit” song.
Y’all this #Apeshit video has me losing my shit. This moment right here is the fulfillment of my art history degree. Beyoncé’s vision and talent is unmatched. Stay tuned for some thoughts. #Beyoncé #EverythingIsLove pic.twitter.com/IMrVlyl6wf
— Queen Curly Fry (@itsmeheidi_h) June 17, 2018
She also notes that Beyoncé challenges the ideals of white-centric beauty, such as when the music artist models herself as the Greek statue, Venus de Milo. Beyoncé redefines these huge art movements as a black woman, going against the norms that have been seen for centuries throughout history.
On top of the depictions of famous artwork, Beyoncé creates her own art through dance. Her dance crew was composed of many black dancers, representing a spectrum of different skin tones. The dancers perform in synchronized choreography alongside Beyoncé, as well as posing as art themselves or swaying to the music.
In the chorus of the song, Beyoncé and Jay-Z both repeat “We made it.” As one of the most beloved and successful couples in America, they have done exactly what they have said.
The representation throughout the “Apeshit” video and song is incredibly important to the black community, showcasing its current history and the future while also creating a striking example of just how successful people can be, regardless of any stereotypes targeting people of color.