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  4. 9 moments in 'Swarm' that were definitely based on Beyoncé's life and career, from 'killer bee' fans to a family elevator fight

9 moments in 'Swarm' that were definitely based on Beyoncé's life and career, from 'killer bee' fans to a family elevator fight

9 moments in 'Swarm' that were definitely based on Beyoncé's life and career, from 'killer bee' fans to a family elevator fight
EntertainmentEntertainment1 min read
A side-by-side image of Ni'Jah on "Swarm," and Beyoncé in 2023.Prime Video; Mason Poole/Parkwood Media/Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal
  • Amazon Prime Video's new series "Swarm" is inspired by Beyoncé stan culture.
  • On the show, the main character Dre is obsessed with a singer who's an obvious stand-in for Beyoncé.

Ni'Jah's surprise album "Festival" is a clear reference to Beyoncé's "Renaissance."

Ni
Dre watches Ni'Jah's surprise project "Festival" in episode one.      Prime Video

In the first episode of "Swarm," Dre's favorite singer Ni'Jah Hutton (known mononymously as Ni'Jah) releases a surprise album entitled "Festival." With its highly-cultivated aesthetic, which includes imagery of Ni'Jah in crystal armor riding a horse, "Festival" is a clear reference to past albums of Beyoncé's, most notably 2022's "Renaissance," which also features the singer astride a horse.

The online chatter surrounding "Festival" is also a clear imitation of the "break the internet"-type discourse that surrounds every Beyoncé release, especially her past two albums.

Ni'Jah's fandom is referred to as the Swarm, and her fans are known as Killer Bees.

Ni
An image of a screengrab of a Ni'Jah Twitter stan account, left; right, a photo of Marissa and Dre at a Ni'Jah concert together in "Swarm."      Prime Video

"Swarm" not-so-subtly interpolates the language of the Beyhive (Beyoncé's fanbase) in its portrayal of Ni'Jah's stans. Fans of Ni'Jah are known in the show as "Killer Bees", and collectively as "the Swarm" — a clear reference to the bee-centric names for Beyoncé acolytes.

Much like Jay-Z, Ni'Jah's husband Caché is a rapper.

Much like Jay-Z, Ni
An image of a fictional article featuring Ni'Jah and Caché on "Swarm."      Prime Video

Caché is mentioned in the first episode, and later, his album "FL:T" and accompanying tour provide Dre with a key entry into Ni'Jah's inner world.

"FL:T" is an obvious reference to "4:44," the album Jay-Z released shortly after Beyoncé's "Lemonade." On "4:44," Jay-Z rapped about his infidelity and offered an apology to his wife. He also addressed the infamous elevator video footage featuring him, Beyoncé, and Solange after the 2014 Met Gala (which is also referenced later on "Swarm.")

And in the first episode, Twitter users speculate about Ni'Jah's husband's infidelity.

And in the first episode, Twitter users speculate about Ni
Dre looks at Twitter rumors about Ni'Jah in the first episode of "Swarm."      Prime Video

As fans consume Ni'Jah's latest album "Festival," speculation runs rampant on Twitter as to whether her husband Caché cheated on her.

These rumors of infidelity call to mind the intense reaction following the surprise release of Beyoncé's 2016 album "Lemonade." The project explored themes of heartbreak and recovery," confirming for many fans that Jay-Z had, in fact, cheated on Beyoncé. (The rapper later owned up to his infidelity in 2017.)

Ni'Jah's twins are also mentioned several times.

Ni
A fictional Vogue cover from "Swarm," featuring Ni'Jah posing on the cover.      Prime Video

Much like her real-life counterpart, Ni'Jah is mother to a set of twins — but her children are never mentioned by name on "Swarm."

And Ni'Jah's sister, who's also implied to be a musician, is mentioned several times on the show as well.

And Ni
Ni'Jah's sister (in the green dress), Ni'Jah, and Caché (on the couch) party together in a scene from "Swarm."      Prime Video

Dre becomes angry and frustrated whenever Ni'Jah's sister — described by one person on the show as more "spiritual" than Ni'Jah — is brought up in conversation. It appears that the Hutton sisters, much like the Knowles sisters, are both in the entertainment industry, and Ni'Jah's sister is a clear reference to Solange.

In the third episode, viewers see elevator footage of a fight between Ni'Jah, her sister, and her husband.

In the third episode, viewers see elevator footage of a fight between Ni
An image of a tweet from fictional user Alice Dudley, showing footage of a fight in an elevator between Ni'Jah, her sister, and Caché on "Swarm."      Prime Video

The argument between Jay-Z, Solange, and Beyoncé after the 2014 Met Gala was infamously captured on elevator security camera footage and later became fodder for social media users. Shortly thereafter, the family put out a statement announcing that Solange and Jay-Z had made up and that they were working through issues together.

On "Swarm," a similar fight occurs between Ni'Jah, her sister, and Caché, although the full context isn't explored in-depth on the show.

Dre biting Ni'Jah at an industry event recalls the famous mystery of who bit Beyoncé.

Dre biting Ni
Dre about to bite Ni'Jah on "Swarm."      Prime Video

In one of the more hilarious moments on "Swarm," Dre, finally given the chance to meet her idol Ni'Jah at a party, becomes so overcome with emotion that she bites the singer. The event quickly becomes a national news phenomenon, as Ni'Jah fans and newscasters alike wonder who bit the singer.

This incident is clearly inspired by a similar event that reportedly involved an unnamed female star and Beyoncé at an afterparty for Jay-Z's concert in Los Angeles circa December 2017. Tiffany Haddish, who was in attendance at the event, later told GQ that she spoke to Beyoncé after the altercation and offered to fight the woman for the "Flawless" singer.

Haddish seemingly confirmed in 2018 that the culprit was actor Sanaa Lathan (who'd long been suspected by some as having bit Beyoncé).

Tweets from the Swarm frequently mention "Becky" — an apparent reference to "Becky with the good hair."

Tweets from the Swarm frequently mention "Becky" — an apparent reference to "Becky with the good hair."
A screenshot of the tweets from Ni'Jah fans on "Swarm."      Prime Video

Beyoncé fans became bloodthirsty after the singer seemingly referred to the woman Jay-Z cheated on her with as "Becky with the good hair" in her 2016 album "Lemonade." Many consider designer Rachel Roy, who worked as a creative designer for Jay-Z and her ex-husband Damon Dash's clothing company Rocawear (and who may have been the source of the elevator fight between Solange and Jay-Z), to be "Becky with the good hair."

Fans of Ni'Jah on "Swarm" also frequently mention "Becky with the good hair" in their tweets about the singer, although her identity is also unclear in the show's universe.

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