Everything You Need To Know About Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’

“This ain’t a Country album. This is a “Beyoncé” album.”

Beyoncé continues to remind the Beyhive why she has the internet in a chokehold after revealing the cover of her album Cowboy Carter. After releasing her first album, Renaissance, an ode to house music and dance, the songstress is dropping her new album, which is dedicated to breaking barriers in country music.

She broke the internet during Super Bowl weekend after releasing her trailer, kicking off the new era and releasing two singles. “16 Carriages,” a reflective track highlighting the highs and lows of Beyoncé’s career, and “Texas Hold ‘Em,” a fun line dance tune guaranteed to smash at any social function.

“Today marks the 10-day countdown until the release of Act ii,” she captioned her Instagram post. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of the supporters of TEXAS HOLD ‘EM and 16 CARRIAGES.” As we replace our metallic Renaissance gear with a more rustic and Southern aesthetic, these are the things to know as we prep for the Cowboy Carter era.

Read ‘Is Country Music Reclaiming Its Black Roots?’

Cowboy Carter Was Five Years In The Making

We all know Beyoncé is known for having music stored away, but this project, in particular, holds a special place. “This album has been over five years in the making. 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,” she says.

This is not Beyoncé’s first time touching the elements of Country music. During her Lemonade era, she dropped her song “Daddy Lessons,” giving us a taste of what was in store despite her obstacles. “Because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive,” she says. “It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives to educating on our musical history.”

The Album Is Making History Beyond Music

After releasing the two singles, Beyoncé made history and became the first Black woman artist to top Billboard’s Hot Country Songs charts. Still, she’s looking to make a greater impact on the next generation of artists regarding genre.

“I feel honored to be the first Black woman to have a number-one single on the Hot Country Songs chart,” she says. “That would not have happened without the outpouring of support from each and every one of you. I hope that years from now, the mention of an artist’s race as it relates to releasing genres of music will be irrelevant.”

Act ll Is A Result Of Beyoncé Challenging Herself

As the “16 Carriages” singer raises the bar, she continues to find new ways to test her skillset and break the status quo. “The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me,” she says. “Act II is a result of challenging myself and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work.”

The rollout for Act II symbolizes the work that needs to be done within the music industry and the treatment of Black artists. “I focused on this album as a continuation of RENAISSANCE…I hope this music is an experience, creating another journey where you can close your eyes, start from the beginning and never stop,” she says. “This ain’t a Country album. This is a “Beyoncé” album. This is Act II, COWBOY CARTER, and I am proud to share it with y’all!”

About the Author: Kenyatta Victoria is the lead writer for Essence GU, working on all things pop culture, politics, entertainment and business. Throughout her time at GU, she’s garnered devoted readers and specializes in the Zillennial point of view.

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