“If that ain’t country, tell me what is?” – Beyoncé Makes History with COWBOY CARTER

On March 29th, Beyoncé dropped the second installment of her three-act project.

COWBOY CARTER serves as act ii in this trilogy, two years after her critically acclaimed album RENAISSANCE. It’s her first country record, introducing to us with the singles “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” and “16 CARRIAGES.” With a run-time of a whopping hour and eighteen minutes, it features Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus, Post Malone, and others. There are also spoken intermissions throughout from guitarist and singer Willie Nelson. Highlights of the record include a spin on the classic track “Jolene” originally performed by Dolly Parton, and a powerful introduction to the record.

“AMERIICAN REQUIEM” is the first song on COWBOY CARTER. With help on production from Grammy-winning artist Jon Batiste, the track sees Beyoncé reclaim the originally Black-pioneered genre of country. She laments, “used to say I spoke too country / and the rejection came, said I wasn’t country ‘nough…They don’t know how hard I had to fight for this”. The fourth track “PROTECTOR” is an ode to motherhood, featuring a cameo from her daughter Rumi Carter. “I first saw your face in your father’s gaze / There’s a long line of hands carryin’ your name / Liftin’ you up, so you will be raised”, she croons as if the listener is the child she is singing to. Track eight, “BODYGUARD”, seems to diverge from the previous songs on the record up to this point. Combining elements of “surf rock with some 90’s country revival goodness,” Beyoncé further reinforces her statement: “[COWBOY CARTER] ain’t a country album, [it’s] a Beyoncé album”.

Beyoncé makes history as the first Black woman to secure the number one spot on the country charts. COWBOY CARTER debuted atop the Billboard 200, making it her eighth record to do so.

Elena Fry-Hernadez Music Editor

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