Scroll Top

What ‘Cowboy Carter’ might mean for the music industry

Beyonce - Hannah Anderson

Hannah Anderson/The Olaf Messenger


I’m not really a part of the Beyhive. I’m not really a country fan. But I’m ecstatic for “Cowboy Carter.”


Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” and “Halo” were staples of my childhood. “Drunk in Love” quickly became a favorite after hearing it on my “2015 Grammy Nominees” CD. From her most recent album, “Renaissance,” I love “Alien Superstar,” “Cuff it,” and “Virgo’s Groove.” But I’ve never anticipated one of her albums before “Cowboy Carter.”


The release of “16 Carriages” and “Texas Hold ’Em” put Beyoncé’s new album on my radar.


“16 Carriages” particularly hit me. The ballad follows her professional journey as a performer that started when she was fifteen years old. While we have very different life experiences, I can try to sympathize with the pressure she faced from a young age.


The two lead singles have significantly increased my interest in the album during a season of highly anticipated releases.


“Cowboy Carter” is also the follow-up to Beyoncé’s 2022 “Renaissance” album, and it is Act II of her trilogy project.


“Renaissance” mainly draws on house and dance music genres, where “Cowboy Carter” is more of a country.


In the album’s cover announcement on Instagram, Beyoncé stated that the album has been in the works for five years. “It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t,” Beyoncé said, likely alluding to the backlash of her 2016 Country Music Awards performance of “Daddy Lessons” with The Chicks.


She ended her announcement with: “This ain’t a Country [sic] album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album.”


Beyoncé is an artist that extends beyond — the arguably socially constructed — genres. They are rooted in ideology and expectations the performers look and act a certain way. Longtime artists who explore and create outside what they are known for challenge the boundaries fans and society have placed on individuals.


“Texas Hold ’Em” made Beyoncé the first Black woman to top the Billboard country charts. She acknowledged her race and the genre, dominated by white performers, in her post as well.


“My hope is that years from now, the mention of an artist’s race, as it relates to releasing genres of music, will be irrelevant,” Beyoncé stated.


For now, I hope that “Cowboy Carter” will expand Beyoncé’’s fanbase, introduce country music to new audiences, and be an album remembered by generations.

+ posts