Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Cowboy boots displayed on shelves
Cowboy boots displayed on shelves
Photo by Ana Applewhite
Culture > Entertainment

BEYONCÉ IS SHIFTING THE NARRATIVE ON COUNTRY MUSIC & I’M HERE FOR IT

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

From Queen B to Cowboy Carter, Beyoncé has OFFICIALLY made her entrance into the country music scene. This past March, Beyoncé dropped her eighth album, Cowboy Carter, which debuted as No. 1 on the charts, making Beyoncé the first Black woman to lead the Billboard’s country album chart. Cowboy Carter has a total of 27 tracks, including her well known song “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM”. As someone who enjoys listening to Beyoncé and basically grew up listening to a wide array of country artists, I just had to give Cowboy Carter a listen and it did not disappoint. Here’s a breakdown of my personal favorite songs on the album and how Beyoncé’s newest album has left its mark on country music:

1. JOLENE

“JOLENE” was inspired by the original song made by Dolly Parton, where she is basically pleading with a woman to not steal her man. Although Beyoncé uses the same chords as Dolly Parton’s original “Jolene”, she puts a twist on the storyline of the song. Dolly compares herself to this other woman, Jolene, putting herself down in the process while Beyoncé is confident in herself as well as her marriage. Beyoncé is ultimately warning this woman to not even try ruining her marriage, shifting the original narrative of a pleading wife to a protective, confident wife. As someone who loves Dolly Parton’s version of Jolene, I really enjoyed how Beyoncé chose to alter “Jolene” into a more empowering song for women while still paying homage to Dolly Parton. It really brought a strong sense of nostalgia for me.

2. 16 cARRIAGES

“16 CARRIAGES” was just a sweet, soulful song that really embodies Beyoncé’s journey with fame. Beyoncé entered the spotlight at a pretty young age in which she began getting popular and going on tours. I think in this song, she’s talking about all the struggles she had to overcome while navigating her newfound fame, such as leaving her parents behind to perform while trying to make them proud. I love this song because it’s just SO soulful, it’s almost like you can really feel Beyoncé’s struggle and perseverance in her vocals. Basically, she’s just reflecting back on her rise in the music industry and all the obstacles that came with, but also her determination to make a name for herself.

3. BLACKBIIRD

“BLACKBIIRD”, similar to “JOLENE”, was also a cover of an older song, the Beatles’ “Blackbird”. The original song was written to empower those struggling for civil rights during the ‘60’s and Beyoncé choose to expand more on this message of empowerment by touching on the empowerment of black artists in the country industry. This is a huge theme of Cowboy Carter in which Beyoncé is giving black country artists the recognition they deserve. This song features many black female country artists, such as Brittney Spencer, Reyna Roberts, Tanner Adell, and Tiera Kennedy. Beyoncé revealed how she didn’t feel welcomed into the country music community as a black woman when she first dropped the album, so I think it’s admirable that while she’s making her mark on the genre she’s also including other black, female country artists and giving them the flowers they deserve.

4. II MOST WANTED

Nothing beats a good country love song and this duet with Miley Cyrus did not disappoint. I really liked how she chose to include Miley in this song, not only because of her experience in country music, but also because their vocals blend so well together. “II MOST WANTED” was based on both Beyoncé’s and Miley’s shared experience of falling in love at a young age. The song is about diving right into a relationship and going all in despite the obvious cautions one should take. Honestly, it makes me think about young love and all the little innocent aspects of that kind of relationship.

5. Daughter

To me, it seems “Daughter” is a continuation of Beyoncé’s album, Lemonade, where she reflects on her husband’s infidelity. Lemonade is my absolute favorite Beyoncé album, so when I heard this song I was pretty interested to see the similarities between the two. “DAUGHTER” reflects Beyoncé’s anger toward her significant other’s betrayal and how she gets that anger from her father. As someone who has been told I have my own father’s temper, I just found this song relatable in that sense. I mean I AM my father’s daughter. However, what I found the most interesting is the musical style that mirrors the classic country murder medley. It really sounds like a showdown is going down and Beyoncé is prepared. It also creates this moment where we’re able to really see the anger that comes from her husband’s infidelity whereas Lemonade reveals more of her grief.

6. SPAGHETTII

“SPAGHETTII” is one of my absolute favorites. The blend of hip-hop and country just makes this song so unique. I also enjoyed hearing the collaborators on the song, Linda Martell and Shaboozey. This song really embodies how Beyoncé is paying homage to the black community and its contributions to country music. I would’ve never imagined that rap and country could blend so well, but once again Beyoncé pleasantly surprises me. 

Besides the unique blend of hip-hop and country and the wide array of features like Post Malone, Dolly Parton, Willie Jones, and even Willie Nelson, Beyoncé educates listeners about the Black community’s influence on country music and its history. I encourage y’all to go give Cowboy Carter a listen when you get the chance and really listen to the lyrics.

You can find Cowboy Carter on any music streaming platform!

Chelsea Rainwater is a member of the social media committee at Her Campus at Texas A&M. She is responsible for creating aesthetic and engaging content to post on the chapter’s social media pages, such as Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. Aside from her role within Her Campus, Chelsea is a sophomore Communications major at Texas A&M from Abilene, Texas. She is also a member of Delight, a christian women’s organization at the university. She is currently pursuing a social media certificate and plans to work in Marketing or Public Relations. In her free time, Chelsea loves to cozy up with a good book, go on coffee runs, binge new shows and movies, and spend quality time with friends and family. She enjoys listening to a wide variety of music and can usually be found with an airpod blasting in her ear.