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Beyoncé redefines a genre with ‘COWBOY CARTER’

An overview of Beyoncé’s greatest album to date
The+album+cover+for+Cowboy+Carter+features+Beyonce+on+a+white+horse+in+full+patriotic+display.+%28Courtesy+of+Columbia+Records%29
The album cover for Cowboy Carter features Beyonce on a white horse in full patriotic display. (Courtesy of Columbia Records)

 

 

The highly anticipated “COWBOY CARTER” was finally released on March 31, and with this album, Beyoncé has completely changed the way that music fans view the country genre. The album is five years in the making, and with 27 songs, Beyoncé has once again perfectly crafted an album.

At first glance, 27 songs could feel overwhelming; however, a small majority of the album are features, or interludes that are at maximum 50 seconds, allowing each song to perfectly flow into the next.

“COWBOY CARTER” is exceptional, and the opening track “AMERICAN REQUIEM” sets the bar extremely high for the rest of the album. The song is a testament to Beyoncé’s experience with the genre, with many of the lyrics alluding to her experience at the Country Music Awards in which she performed “Daddy Lessons” – a song from her sixth studio album.

“and the rejection came, said I wasn’t, / Country nough” responds to criticism she faced after the performance. The song shows off Beyoncé’s flawless vocals and storytelling.

The album is more than just a collection is songs, though. Beyoncé is reclaiming a genre and space in which she felt rejected. Country music has always been heavily influenced by the Black community, with many hymns, instruments, and songs rooted in American slavery. Instruments such as the banjo originated in Sub-Saharan West Africa and came to America with Black slaves. However, African Americans fail, to this day, to receive the credit they deserved for molding, creating, and influencing the country genre.

“COWBOY CARTER” not only honors Black history, but creates it. With “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” Beyoncé became the first ever Black woman to hold a Billboard Top 100 spot with a country song, and by featuring so many black country artists such as Linda Martell, Shaboozey, Tanner Adell and more, she is forcing the world to recognize the pivotal role of Black artists in country music, while also exposing her listeners to “underground” country artists and music. 

The album progresses from slower, soft ballads like “BLACKBIRD” and “PROTECTOR” to country pop hits like “YA YA” and “SWEET ★ HONEY ★ BUCKIIN’” to show how versatile Beyonce can be.  

Throughout the album, Beyonce is not limited by genre, and explores elements of R&B, pop, rap, country, and dance. The record defines what country music is, but then makes the genre its own and redefines listeners’ expectations 

Beyonce is a vocalist, and with “ALLIGATOR TEARS”, the audience can tell. Other songs on the album such as “YA YA” and “SPAGHETTI” are what one would put on if they wanted to listen to a version of Beyonce that sounds like Beyonce, but with these tracks, Beyonce is inviting the audience to become spectators, participants, and critics of her art. The vocalization – combined with the deep and personal lyrics – makes for a well-thought-out and enjoyable song. 

To conclude, “COWBOY CARTER” is certainly more than just a country album, or even a Beyonce album: it is a reclaiming of a genre, a testament to Black history and culture, and potentially one of Beyonce’s greatest albums to date. It goes above and beyond expectations and truly forces the audience to understand the context of the music.

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About the Contributors
Karidja Monjolo
Karidja Monjolo, Managing Editor
Karidja Monjolo is a senior, and this is her third year on the Wildcat Chronicle. She participates in WeGo Drama, Speech Team, Roar, and more! Her hobbies include reading, writing, and listening to music. In the future Karidja would like to pursue a career in Broadcast Journalism.
Emily Ziajor
Emily Ziajor, Multimedia Manager
Emily Ziajor is a WEGO senior in her second year of journalism. She attended the National High School Journalism Convention last November, and thoroughly loved the experience. She is a Polish-American (she finished her final year of Polish School in the spring of 2023) with a creative soul and high aspirations. When it comes to writing, she has a sharp imagination, and one of her true passions is photography. Emily is a multi-year member of the AV Club at West Chicago Community High School.
Vincent Muci
Vincent Muci, Reporter
Well-known as WEGO’s Varsity quarterback, Vincent Muci, a hardworking senior, is now exploring the world of journalism. He will, most definitely, though, continue his passion for football throughout college, and is looking forward to leading to a career in athletic training. Aside from his passion for football, he enjoys hanging out with friends and playing video games.
Dhanveer Gill
Dhanveer Gill, Managing Editor
Dhanveer Gill is a senior at WCCHS and this is his second year on the Wildcat Chronicle. Dhanveer is a dedicated Math Team member, NHS member, and senior engineer of WeGo's Robotics Team. Outside of school, he loves to be in the gym, go on long (and he means very long) bicycle rides, listen to music, and write. In the future, Dhanveer wants to pursue computer engineering and minor in journalism.
Aly Dusing
Aly Dusing, Reporter
Alyson (Aly) Dusing is a highly outgoing and engaging sophomore who enjoys listening to music and hanging out with friends. This is her first semester on the Wildcat Chronicle staff. Once she graduates high school, Aly plans to attend the University of South Carolina before ultimately pursuing her dream career as a criminal defense attorney.
Eshan Amir
Eshan Amir, Senior Reporter
Eshan Amir is a senior who partakes in watching movies, filmmaking, and photography in his free time. He strives to accomplish his best at West Chicago Community High School and acknowledges that WEGO provides a great space to meet new people and prosper social skills. After school, he plans to pursue a career in film making or the law industry. He is currently drafting a screenplay, learning the basics of criminal law, and intends on taking journalism to get better at communicating and listening to people.
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  • DinahApr 12, 2024 at 10:49 am

    Great article Karidja! Can’t wait to listen to this album now.