Beyoncé (all hail) pulled out every single stop during her history-making, two-hour, 26-song set at Coachella on Saturday. Besides a hell of a performance, she also delivered on another front. Her costumes—which she collaborated with Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing to design—weren’t only incredible to look at, they also carried deep significance. It wouldn’t be the first time she’s used symbolism to make larger points: Her 2016 visual album for Lemonade was filled with homages to black excellence.
Some fans believe, for instance, that the gold-and-black colour scheme was far from accidental—and not just because of the
beyhive beehive reference. They pointed out that the colours also represent those of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first black fraternity.
“Beyoncé’s colours are black and yellow because of the bee motif and because she’s QUEEN BEY. ALSO black and gold are the colours for the Alphas —the first black fraternity—because she’s the first black woman to headline Coachella,” wrote @danikwateng on Twitter. “LEVELS. I”M SHOOKETH. GOOD-NIGHT. #Beychella”
If you don’t think there is a direct correlation between Beyonce using black and gold as the 1st black woman to headline Coachella and the ice cold brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha – the first black fraternity… i can’t help you. #Coachella2018 #Beyonce #blackandgold
— Jaime Primak (@JaimePrimak) April 15, 2018
Beyonce got me shook!! She’s the first black woman to headline Coachella and her colors are black and gold, which represents my brother fraternity and the first black fraternity the ice cold brothers of AlphaPhiAlpha. #Beyonce 0608 🖤💛💞💚
— LAB (@Akamedian) April 15, 2018
Alphas gone head make Beyoncé Mrs. Black and Gold 😂😂
— Venny4Short (@_VennyTweets) April 15, 2018
— a .27 discount (@Deion_Slanders) April 15, 2018
Every Alpha i know probably lost they mind watching Beyoncé last night….. I’m losing my MIND WATCHING THIS
— Franny D (@FrannyDiva) April 15, 2018
Then there’s that yellow sweatshirt she wears, emblazoned with the Greek letters B (Beta) and K (Kappa). Some see the Greek letter Delta in the middle, but other fans are reading the centre letter as Alpha—look closely.
If you ain’t never been to a southern homecoming then we have little to discuss about last night’s Beyoncé Alpha Knowles function. pic.twitter.com/HwjeWXpASd
— Carl Clemons-Hopkins (@cch1816) April 15, 2018
when does the Beyonce Alpha Knowles merch go on sale? I’m pledging and buying it ALL.
— ROCKALETTA MOSS (@eb_so_major) April 15, 2018
willing to postpone graduation to rush beyonce alpha knowles
— nikki javadi (@nikkijavadi) April 15, 2018
I’m pledging Beyoncé Alpha Knowles
— this is fine (@kaylanmcqueen) April 15, 2018
That, plus the stepping of her dancers and the marching band in the back—fans are reading her performance as a homage to the HBCU experience.
First Black Woman to headline Coachella tributing Alpha Phi Alpha the First Black Intercollegiate Fraternity with steps and colors during this HBCU theme is FULL CIRCLE. Beyoncé did that #Beychella pic.twitter.com/sqGkUqmCYC
— Jeff J. (@JeffJSays) April 15, 2018
Bro, #Beychella just tripled HBCU enrollment in one show. Oh and she got her train leg tight!!!
— Alan Williams (@AlanWil17023936) April 15, 2018
The Alpha Train is a slowly cominggg…👀
Shoutout to Beyoncé for being the first Black woman to headline Coachella & for using her platform to give a nod to HBCUs and Black Greek Life. pic.twitter.com/EVmLbv6dac
— Texas A&M Alphas (@PotentPiO) April 15, 2018
I am literally floored. The homage to HBCU’s, the symbolism in the costumes, the surprise DC3 reunion, the Bey-Solo dance out, Beyoncè…you told them people to suck your balls & they must be mad you getting money!!! YOU TOO MUCH BEY!!! #Beychella
— BG (@BG_THEGREAT) April 15, 2018
Watched #beyonce #slay Beychella she made me proud representing #HBCU did this:
1. Raised #HBCU stereotyppes and culture (woof-woof, AKA ALPHA DOGS killed it!
2. Free #cochella stream for fans unable to attend
3. Unapolgetically, messaged WOC past, present, and future.
— Connie W. (@konniewoodson) April 15, 2018
Then there’s her costume change into her black top with a crest, which fans point out is symbolic of “black power and liberation,” with one noting that the four figures on the crest—”a Nubian queen, a black panther, a Black Power fist, [and] a black bee”—all underscore that theory. The ancient Queen Nefertiti of Egypt, an icon of beauty and strength, is typically pictured wearing a blue crown like the one pictured on Bey’s top, too. (And, if you remember, Bey also made a visual reference to Nefertiti during Lemonade’s “Sorry.”)
Hold up. Did Beyonce create her own crest, with a bee, nefertiti, a black panther and a Black Power fist?! I AM HERE FOR ALL OF THIS. #BEYCHELLA
— Ghenet Actually (@GhenetActually) April 15, 2018
“To all the ‘why you gotta make it all about race’ people. @Beyonce’s crest is literally symbols of Black power & liberation,” @BritniDWrites wrote on Twitter. “A nubian queen, A black panther, A Black Power fist, A black bee, And on top, a winged sun w/ the eye of Horus in the middle. SHE TOLD Y’ALL #Beychella”
“I hope Beyoncé is somewhere relaxing with her kids and soaking in the praise for the stamp she just left on #Coachella,” tweeted @BAHjournalist. “Vocal and dance prowess aside, the way she celebrated her blackness was so important (her crest, ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,’ nods to Malcolm X and Nina Simone)”
“I really hope once the #Beyonce #Coachella hype has died down young fans will examine each symbol on her crest, their origins and their relevance for our ppl, I hope it encourages & empowers some to find their purpose. Art+Politics=Knowledge #Beychella,” @aisha_wish tweeted.
“Hmmm… What do we have here?,” @ibizoboi wrote on Twitter. “1. The Eye of Horus 2. Wings of Ma’at 3. Queen Nefertiti 4. A Black Panther 5. A Raised Black Fist 6. A Bumblebee 7. Greek lettering of #Beyoncé 8. All within an Ivy (IV=4) Crest 9. A Crucifix in the centre Ok! We see you Bey!✊🏾👑🐝”
Other fans point out that it’s another nod to HBCU tradition:
Beyonce definitely did it for the culture with that performance. From the hbcu band to the black national anthem to swag surf she really is unmatched. Not to mention her HBeyCU crest. #Coachella #Beychella. ✊💯
— Check1stMarley (@Sonatra_) April 15, 2018
“LETS TALK ABOUT Beyoncé’s college crest for a sec ok? Nefertiti, a black panther, a black fist, and a honey bee. FLAWLESS,” @hugeloser94 tweeted.
Speaking of Nefertiti, look no further than her leotard-and-cape look, topped off by a glittering headdress. (And yep, that’s Nefertiti’s head embroidered on the back of Beyoncé’s cape.) Bey’s even pictured with a black feather in the Egyptian Queen’s hat, much like the famous bust of Nefertiti that was discovered in 1912.
Still recovering from #Beyonce serving “Queen Nefertiti line-dancing at Howard Homecoming” realness last night at #Coachella Was half expecting T’Challa and the ghost of Michael Jackson to drop from the sky & cape her (ala James Brown) at the end. #HellaBlack #HellaProud #NotMad
— ☼Blue-nita Applebum (@bluecentric) April 15, 2018
Beyonce got Nefertiti on the back of her cape. She was Egyptian Queen.
— Nylles V. (@ESSNSE) April 15, 2018
I’m about to graduate from medical school after yrs of struggle, hard work and dedication, but somehow, Beyonce reclaiming Nefertiti’s Blackness is the greatest achievement of my life.
— Erica (@Forever_Erica) April 15, 2018
There seems to be confirmation from the design team on this one, if you read into this quote from Rousteing from a Vogue story about the costumes: “Jay saw the Egyptian goddess cape and when B put it on, his eyes went wide and he was so excited, he said, ‘Oh, wow!’ That gave me a lot of satisfaction.”
Although none of these theories have been formally confirmed by either the Beyonce or Balmain camps, everything does seem to line up. Until then: Keep it coming, Beyhive.
Taken from GLAMOUR US. Click here to read the original.
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