Swarm Beyoncé references

A rigorous rundown of every Beyoncé reference in Swarm

‘Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or events, is intentional’

Donald Glover, AKA Childish Gambino, is back after his show Atlanta with Swarm – an outstanding Amazon comedy horror series that shines a light on the cult-like nature of online fandom and the depths intense stanning could potentially lead to, especially when artists are worshipped as deity-like, say for example, Beyoncé. Swarm stars Dominique Fishback as Dre, who worships Ni’Jah as part of the Swarm. Sound familiar? Swarm literally starts every ep with a disclaimer that reads: “This is not a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or events, is intentional.” With that in mind, here are all the Beyoncé references across the episodes of Swarm season one.

Episode One

  • Ni’Jah and her Jay-Z equivalent Caché appear in an article in the opening sequence that references the APESHIT music video from their album The Carters.
  • In Swarm, Ni’Jah was in a band called Glamour Child – references Beyoncé in Destiny’s Child.
  • Ni’Jah on Spotify has visuals that resemble Beyoncé’s HOMECOMING.
  • World tour Ticketmaster stress parodying the frenzy for Renaissance tickets – Dre buys one for her and one for Marissa.
  • Beyoncé’s love for Popeyes parodied with Ni’Jah’s affinity for fictional fast food joint Frenchy’s.
  • The Swarm fandom paralleling the real life BeyHive.
  • Caché cheats on Ni’Jah and she drops Festival, a surprise album. The themes of the album reference Beyoncé dragging Jay-Z’s infidelity on Lemonade and her gamechanging self titled surprise drop album in 2013.
  • Dre watches the visuals for Festival and they look like a hybrid of Bey eras, including Ni’Jah riding on a horse the fans call ‘Raneigh’ – Beyoncé rides a horse on the Renaissance cover. Or Raneigh-sance!

Episode Two

  • Dre dances on the pole to a slow song about a miscarriage Ni’Jah had – Beyoncé has an unreleased song called Heartbeat about the same experience.
  • Episode two is set in 2017 and Ni’Jah gives birth to twins – Beyoncé gave birth to twins that year, too.
  • Dre has a lemon air freshener in her car, nodding to Lemonade.
  • Ni’Jah seemingly has an Ivy Park equivalent called Honey.
  • Dre is from Houston, Texas – so is Beyoncé.
  • Ni’Jah and Bey both have A LOT of Grammys.

Episode Three

  • An elevator fight is shown between Ni’Jah’s sister and Caché, mirroring the infamous shot of Solange and Jay-Z in the lift.
  • Alice Dudley in Swarm is a conservative commentator who hates Ni’Jah’s Black empowerment messages, which happened a lot in the conservative media in the US – particularly on Fox News.
  • Caché’s tour font mirrors Jay-Z’s for his 4.44 album.
  • When Dre finally is in the presence of Ni’Jah at the Caché tour after party (she befriended an employee of the tour), she bites her – it’s… wild. Madly enough, this allegedly actually happened in 2018 at a party celebrating 4.44 according to Tiffany Haddish. Tiffany Haddish alleged it was actor Sanaa Lathan who denied it. When Dre legs it from the party some workers see her and say it’s the actress from a film called Love and Basketball. Which, you guess it… Starred Sanaa Lathan.

Episode Four

  • Ni’Jah is headling Bonnaroo, a big festival parodying Beyoncé headlining Coachella.
  • A character in the episode prefers Ni’Jah’s sister’s music because it’s more ‘spiritual’ – which is rather Solange-esque.

Episode Five

  • A celeb is being interviewed and is asked who bit Ni’Jah – Ellen did similar to John Legend when someone had a nibble on Bey.
  • Ni’Jah and Caché go on ‘The Running Scared II Tour’ – Bey and Jay did an On The Run II Tour.

Episode Six

  • One tweet says ‘Michelle carried’, referencing Michelle Williams.
  • A lot of ‘Becky with the good hair’ stuff going on.
  • The words Ivy Park are seemingly blurred out and then later on someone wears something from the Ivy Park collection.

Episode Seven

No references! Sad.

Swarm is streaming in full on Amazon Prime Video

Related stories recommended by this writer: