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Saturday June 15th

Beyoncé takes a deep dive into the country genre in new album

<p><em>Beyoncé is in her country era (Photo courtesy of </em><a href="" target=""><em>Apple Music</em></a><em> ).</em></p>

Beyoncé is in her country era (Photo courtesy of Apple Music ).

By Chiara Piacentini
Staff Writer

Beyoncé has gone country for the first time in her career with her newly released album, “Cowboy Carter.” 

The 27-track record, which came out on March 29, talks about country values with each song a reconception of a Western film. “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Space Cowboys” are just a couple of the western movies that Beyoncé drew inspiration from. 

“II Most Wanted” is one example of this inspiration having taken shape. In a collaboration with Miley Cyrus, this track features Cyrus and Beyoncé cruising along the I-405 highway while they talk about being in the throes of young love. It’s uncertain whether they are referring to each other or their respective partners, but the former appears to be more likely. The duo liken their relationship similar to that of Bonnie and Clyde, suggesting that they’re escaping from the criticism of others regardless of how fast and hard they fell into it.  

“Cowboy Carter” also takes us back to Beyoncé’s musical Southern roots while paying tribute to some of the greatest country stars of the ‘60s and ‘70s, including Linda Martell and Willie Nelson. 

To understand another part of her motivation for this album, we’d have to go back to her Country Music Association Awards performance of “Daddy Lessons” in 2016. Beyoncé performed this track in collaboration with the Dixie-Chicks, who had been criticized in the past for their critical remarks of George W. Bush in the beginning of the Iraq War. 

While there was an overall favorable reaction by the audience at the CMAs, commenters on CMA’s social media accounts told a different story. 

“Apparently the disgusting progressives at the CMA are considering allowing the police hating, racist Beyoncé [to] perform her brand of filth in an effort to destroy the image of country music,” wrote one Facebook user among a slew of similar hateful remarks, including her association with the Black Lives Matter movement, according to Rolling Stone.

Fasting forward to 2024, Beyoncé reflected on the inspiration for her album by appearing to reference this experience in an Instagram post.

“It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed,” she said. “But because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive.”

She explores the struggle of Black artists to be accepted into the country genre as a way to stick it to the 2016 haters. In fact, Beyoncé includes several African-American country singers in “Blackbiird,” which addresses the 1960s racial discrimination in the South, and an Nigerian-American rapper in “Spaghettii” and “Sweet Honey Buckin.’” 

You’ll notice that she includes song titles with two “i’”s or “I’”s as seen in the ones mentioned along with “Ameriican Requiem,” “Smoke Hour II” and “II Most Wanted” among others. This is in reference to her “Renaissance” trilogy project, as “Cowboy Carter” is the sequel

Another one of her songs, “Just for Fun,” name drops the Clovis Rodeo in California, meant to signify that country music and culture lovers’ first place to gather together and socialize is the rodeo.

It seems that “Cowboy Carter” overall has been gaining a lot of attention, as it currently holds Spotify’s 2024 record for most-streamed album in a single day. This also marks the first time a country album holds this title this year, by a Black female artist no less.

You can give her newest album a listen here on Spotify.


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