“Swarm,” a Prime Video series that debuted on March 17, is getting a lot of buzz due to its parallels to Beyoncé. In fact, the title alone has an obvious connection as Beyoncé’s fans are known as the Beyhive — and bees do, indeed, swarm.
Dominique Fishback stars as Dre, a young woman whose obsession with global pop star Ni’Jah (played by Nirine S. Brown) takes a sinister turn. Dre develops an unhealthy obsession, murdering anyone who discredits her as an artist.
Created by Donald Glover and Janine Nabers, the series includes real-life singers Chloe Bailey (who was signed under Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment venture) and Billie Eilish. Malia Obama cowrote the show’s fifth episode.
Along with the themes of fandom, rage and idolization, the edgy series showcases the different looks of Dre, as the character molds into various identities throughout her development.
Here, WWD dives into Dre’s transformations and subtle nods to Beyoncé. Read on for more.
In the first episode, viewers get an introduction to Dre before she becomes a serial killer. Working at a mall clothing kiosk alongside her sister, Marissa, Dre spends thousands of dollars on Ni’Jah tickets. In another nod to Beyoncé, the singer made a surprise announcement of her album, similar to when Beyoncé did a surprise drop of her self-titled fifth studio album in 2013. Dre goes out clubbing to celebrate the album release, wearing a sequin cowl-neck dress, a sparkling reminder to Beyoncé fans of when the star wore a silver sequin halter top for her “Club Renaissance” party with Tiffany & Co. in 2022.
As Marissa does Dre’s makeup in another scene from the series, the moment draws some similarities to the 2006 film “Dreamgirls,” in which Beyoncé starred alongside Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose. In the scene, the vanity has Hollywood-inspired lights channeling the film and there even is a desk accessory that reads “dream.”
When Dre’s sister suddenly dies, she attends Marissa’s funeral in a structured midi dress with bra-insert cups, seemingly trying to console herself through fashion. Wearing her hair in a top knot with bangs, the style is similar to the top knot Beyoncé wore in 2012.
Adidas even makes an appearance in the series, though Beyoncé’s relationship with the brand is now severed after it was announced on March 23 that her Ivy Park line partnership came to a mutual end due to creative differences. Recently it was reported that Adidas was losing money on the line. In the scene, Dre is laying on the couch wearing an Adidas T-shirt.
In the fourth episode, Dre goes to a festival to see Ni’Jah, similar to Beyoncé’s Coachella headline act in 2018, where she became the first Black woman to front the festival since its existence. Dre wore a denim bucket hat with a distressed fringe brim, green tassel earrings and a spaghetti-strap halter top with floral embroidery.
Another scene from the series shows a poster for Ni’Jah and Caché’s (her husband) “The Running Scared II Tour,” which is similarly branded like Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s On the Run II Tour in 2018. The promotional photos are even similar to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s tour imagery, with a black-and-white image of the couple.
In the fifth episode, Dre visits Marissa’s childhood home in Texas, wearing a cozy crewneck sweater emblazoned with “H-Town,” another nod to Beyoncé, as the star is originally from Houston.
In the final episode of the series, viewers get a better glimpse of Ni’Jah, the pop star Dre idolizes. Ni’Jah’s outfit, a black and gold bodysuit with a matching beret, is similar to the outfit Beyoncé wore on her “Formation” tour in 2016. Beyoncé wore a gold long-sleeve crop top and matching shorts by Givenchy. Even Ni’Jah’s honey-blond curly hair is seemingly a reference to Beyoncé’s signature hairstyle, which is long curly blond-brown tresses.
The series contains even more uncanny parallels to Beyoncé. In episode three, Dre actually gets close enough to Ni’Jah and in a moment of ravenous obsession, bites her. The news surrounding the incident went viral on social media, as fans noted it had direct similarities to 2018, when Sanaa Lathan was rumored to have bit Beyoncé. Lathan denied the allegations, tweeting “Y’all are funny. Under no circumstances did I bite Beyoncé and if I did it would’ve been a love bite.”