According to Rolling Stone, Beyoncé’s “Formation” video is the best video of all time. In honor of MTV’s 40th anniversary, the magazine compiled a list of 100 of the greatest music videos to ever be released, and Queen Bey’s 2016 visual was on top of the list.
The Melina Matsoukas-directed “Formation” video came as a surprise the day before Queen Bey was set to headline the Super Bowl 50 halftime show. With its powerful messages about Black culture, its debut during Black History Month was not only strategic, but fitting. In the music video, Beyoncé addressed issues of police brutality, remembered Hurricane Katrina and danced over lyrics that flaunted her Black pride, her country roots and her Creole background.
The song and music video sparked backlash from conservatives and politicians, who called the Houston native out for allegedly spreading anti-police messages.
Despite the negative reactions, the visual helped Bey bring home a few awards, including six wins at the MTV Video Music Awards and the Best Music Video award at the 2017 Grammys. Billboard named “Formation” the best music video of the 2010s, and now, Rolling Stone is praising the visual as well.
“In under five minutes, Beyoncé moves from a plantation-style house where the Black denizens are the masters not the slaves to the top of a sinking police car,” the magazine wrote. “If Beyoncé’s self-titled visual album established her as one of the greatest artists of all time, her surprise-released ‘Formation’ video (and ensuing album Lemonade) marked her as one of the most important.”
Other notable songs in the top 10 are “This Is America” by Childish Gambino — which placed at No. 4 — the seventh song, D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does It Feel?)” and “Billie Jean” by the late Michael Jackson, which just made the cut as the tenth song on the list.