Y’all Pissed Beyoncé Off

beyonce cowboy carter country album

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Country music industry beware. Beyoncé is coming and she’s not happy. 

We’re only 10 days away from getting an album that will most likely change the trajectory of country music forever. Cowboy Carter will be Beyoncé’s ninth solo studio album and from all accounts, it will probably be her most significant. When Cowboy Carter was first announced, many believed that she was reclaiming country music as a genre that was started by, and eventually excluded, Black people. Fans pieced together different Easter eggs she dropped in the music and visuals for both singles ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ and ‘16 Carriages’ to drum up different theories and uncover the rich history of Black country music. 

Then Beyoncé posted the official album cover of Cowboy Carter with a lengthy statement basically confirming that she is, in fact, coming to dismantle what we believe country music is and who’s allowed in. “The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me,” she said. “Act ii is a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work.”


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Beyoncé, who usually doesn’t say too much about her albums and lets the music do the talking, said that Cowboy Carter 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”. Although she didn’t name the experience, it’s heavily implied she’s talking about her beautiful performance of ‘Daddy Lessons’ at the Country Music Awards in 2016 alongside The Chicks. Conservative country fans and artists lobbied CMA to take the performance down as they were angry a pop singer was allowed to perform, especially a Black woman. CMA allegedly temporarily took the video down from their social media and website, which they denied. The experience led Beyoncé to do a “deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive”. Those CMA people really pissed Beyoncé off so much that she became a music historian. Iconic Virgo energy. 

What got me a little emotional was when Beyoncé said that her hope “is that years from now, the mention of an artist’s race, as it relates to releasing genres of music, will be irrelevant”. She rarely speaks openly about her experiences with racism in the music business, much less before an album is released. It’s clear how special this body of work is to her. Similarly, it’s clear that this album is going to impact a lot of different parts of the industry. 

Now believe me that I screamed when I read this part: “I have a few surprises on the album, and have collaborated with some brilliant artists who I deeply respect.” When I tell you that if she’s done a ‘Jolene’ collab with Dolly Parton, as is heavily speculated, I will float away into another universe. 

Because Beyoncé fans never rest, they’ve already figured out what she’s telling us through the album cover. For example, she was likely inspired by the rodeo queens, especially those at the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, which celebrates Black rodeo culture. It’s just another way for Beyoncé to pay homage to Black history and lead us to learn more about it. 

To me, the cover is such a bold statement filled with power and movement, almost as if she’s leading the charge of a revolution. It might be one of the best album covers I’ve ever seen. Cowboy Carter will very much be the revolution of country music. As Beyoncé said herself, “This ain’t a Country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album.” Queen shit. 

I just can’t wait to see the cover of Act iii, which many believe will be rock. I want leather jackets and black cowboy hats. 

The tapestry Beyoncé has woven for us sets up Cowboy Carter to be one of the most important albums of the year, perhaps the decade. The album already feels bigger than us. And it certainly feels bigger than any music genre.

Ky is a proud Kamilaroi and Dharug person and writer at Junkee. Follow them on Instagram or on X.

Image: Getty