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The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

“COWBOY CARTER” – what you should know before you listen

Here are some of the basics about Beyoncé’s RENAISSANCE act ii record. And why you should absolutely listen to it.
via Rolling Stone


I gathered some important basic context of what you should know about “COWBOY CARTER” before you say “I don’t like country,” and move on.


Renaissance act ii:

This record is a continuation of “RENAISSANCE,” the 2022 album and world tour turned pop culture phenomenon. “COWBOY CARTER” has been in the works for the past five years and was originally going to be released before “RENAISSANCE,” but the pandemic put a wrench in those plans. According to a statement from Beyoncé quoted by Rolling Stone, she planned to release “COWBOY CARTER” first but after the world went into lockdown decided, “we wanted to dance. We deserved to dance,” and dropped “RENAISSANCE.”


In her words:

When she announced the record Beyoncé provided a bit of backstory as to what inspired her to dive into country music. “The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me,” she wrote in an Instagram post ten days before the album was slated to release. After “an experience [she] had years ago where [she] did not feel welcomed” in the industry, she hit the books and dove into the history of the genre. The experience was her performance of “Daddy Lessons” from her album“Lemonade” at the Country Music Awards in 2016, according to NPR.


Collaborations and covers:

This tracklist has showstopping features including Miley Cyrus, Post Malone, and Shaboozey to name a few. Each artist has roots in country music and brings their strengths to this album. Her daughter Rumi Carter is also featured on track four “PROTECTOR” making this a family affair.

But this is still Beyonce’s show.

A handful of covers on this record are just as important as the originals. Her utterly moving cover of “Blackbird,” originally written by Paul McCartney during the civil rights movement in America, appears second on the tracklist. The rich legacy of this track makes her cover all the more powerful and groundbreaking. 


Get into it: 

If you haven’t given this record a listen and claim not to be a big Beyoncé fan, this is the album to jump into. If you are looking to dance, “YA YA,” “RIIVERDANCE,” and “SWEET ★ HONEY ★ BUCKIIN’” are the tracks for you. If you want a slower more acoustic vibe, “PROTECTOR,” “ALLIIGATOR TEARS” and “BLACKBIIRD” are a great place to start. But if you really want to dive into “COWBOY CARTER,” start at the top and listen straight through.

It is genre-bending, barrier-breaking and utterly show-stopping. And if you argue that you’re not a big country music fan, this is the perfect record for you. She said it herself, “This ain’t a Country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album.” It digs deeper into the historical roots of the genre while blending with modern sounds providing a delectable varied tracklist.


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

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About the Contributor
Julia Rush
Julia Rush, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Julia Rush (2024, she/her) is a Communications major with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Business. She is also the General Manager of Simmons Radio: The Shark and DJs her own show. Aside from student-driven media, she loves listening to nearly any type of music, going to concerts, and spending time outdoors.

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