The singer’s two-hour, trailblazing set was filled with nothing short of an ode to #BlackExcellence, from celebrating HBCU culture and Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) to tapping into her Southern roots and evoking a sense of nostalgia with the highly-anticipated reunion of Destiny’s Child. It was a politically-charged, star-studded, unabashedly Black performance that broke the Internet and lit the entire desert on fire.
But, as Queen Bey sang and danced to her chart-topping hits, she also intertwined some familiar covers within the performance. In case you didn’t catch all the musical references, we’re highlighting the deep cuts she paid tribute to during the cultural tour de force at Coachella. You’re welcome.
1. “Do Whatcha Wanna” – Rebirth Brass Band
Appearing on the stage in a Nefertiti-inspired costume by Balmain, Beyoncé opened her set with the jubilant sounds of New Orleans’ very own Rebirth Brass Brand.
2. “Humble” – Kendrick Lamar
Then, Beyoncé strutted down the runway for a quick clothes change to the pulsating, aggressive beat of Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.”
3. “Back That Azz Up” – Juvenile featuring Mannie Fresh and Lil’ Wayne
Mid-way through “Crazy in Love,” Beyoncé and her backup dancers, who mostly took on the role of majorettes throughout the headlining set, twerked to this 1998 NOLA-bounce classic.
4. “I’m a Hustla” – Cassidy and Jay-Z
“Crazy in Love” also included interpolations of Philadelphia battle rapper Cassidy’s street hit “I’m a Hustla” that famously samples a line from Jay-Z’s diss track, “Takeover.”
5. “Down for My N****s” – C-Murder featuring Magic and Snoop Dogg
Yonce kept the New Orleans love going by weaving C-Murder’s hit song into another dance breakdown during “Crazy in Love.”
6. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” – James Weldon Johnson
Just before launching into the modern-day Black empowerment anthem, “Formation,” Beyoncé sang the first stanza of the hymn that’s often referred to as the “Black National Anthem.”
7. “Zombie” – Fela Kuti
Beyoncé also took time to honor Nigerian Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti during a dance break, where the band flawlessly executed this jazz- and funk-influenced song.
8. “No Mo Play in G.A.” – Pastor Troy
Queen Bey’s makeshift drumline infused the South’s official crunk anthem into the middle of the set, while simultaneously chanting the song’s infamous war-cry adlib, “We ready.”
9. “Hay” – Crucial Conflict
Beyoncé’s band took us back to this 1995 hit song from Chicago’s breakout rap group, Crucial Conflict.
10. “Lilac Wine” – Nina Simone
As the singer transitioned to “Drunk in Love,” the audience was treated to a lyrical ballet performance of Nina Simone’s “Lilac Wine” from Simone’s After Hours album.
11. “Swag Surfin'” – F.L.Y. (Fast Life Youngstaz)
Festival-goers got lit during “Drunk in Love,” when Beyoncé incorporated the wavy, crowd-favorite “Swag Surfin'” to highlight the Surfboardt part of her hit song.
12. “Headlines” – Drake
Beyoncé’s braggadocious anthem, “Diva,” featured the ultimate rap mash-up. Drake’s “Headlines” and Jay-Z’s “Hovi Baby” and “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” were used as the megastar reminded us that there are “no passengers on her plane.”
13. “Everybody Mad” – O.T. Genasis
Beyoncé is no stranger to using Long Beach-based rapper O.T. Genasis’ songs during her dance breaks. For the Formation World Tour, “Cut It” was the musical icon’s choice. This time, however, at Coachella she effortlessly milly-rocked to “Everybody Mad.”
14. “wokeuplikethis*” – Playboi Carti featuring Lil Uzi Vert
Just before performing “Flawless,” the singer mumbled two lines from last year’s infectious summer anthem.
15. “Bam Bam” – Sister Nancy
The Carters clearly love Sister Nancy’s “Bam Bam,” as both Beyoncé and Jay-Z have sampled the dancehall singer’s reggae classic.
16. “You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)” – Dawn Penn
During an epic rendition of “Baby Boy,” Beyoncé cooed the chorus of Jamaican artist Dawn Penn’s hit single.
17. “Broccoli” – D.R.A.M. featuring Lil’ Yachty
Beyoncé performed “Countdown” during the electrifying set, incorporating the horns of this popular song by rapper and singer D.R.A.M.
18. “U Don’t Know” – Jay-Z
Beyoncé reunited with her former bandmates, Destiny’s Child, to perform “Lose My Breath,” “Say My Name” (and the Timbaland-produced remix!) and “Soldier.” The latter sampled Jay-Z’s “U Don’t Know,” Tupac’s “California Love,” and The Jackson Five’s “Dancing Machine,” as Bey, Kelly and Michelle each described what kind of man they like.
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