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Every Question We Have About Cowboy Carter


By now, I’m sure you know that the second act of Beyoncé’s Renaissance project, which she announced during the Super Bowl, is a country album. This is hugely exciting for people who grew up on mix CDs that included both “Get Me Bodied” and “Wide Open Spaces.” But what is this album even going to be? Who is going to be featured? Will there be visuals this time? We have so many questions, and only a little more than a month before the album comes out. Let’s go, girls.

Is the album called Renaissance Act II?

No. A few weeks before the release date, Beyoncé announced via her website that the album would be called Cowboy Carter. Yeehaw! In true Beyoncé fashion, a merch drop accompanied the title announcement. I have my eye on this ringer tee, personally.

When is it coming out?

Thankfully, there is not a long runway on this one. The album is coming out on March 29. In order to hold you over until then, Beyoncé has already released two singles. “Texas Hold ’Em” is a four-on-the-floor barn burner that people are already line-dancing to on TikTok, while “16 Carriages” is a more soulful number about how Beyoncé has been working herself to the bone since she was a teenager.

Be real, do you think Beyoncé has ever been to an actual dive bar?

While she did venture to Bushwick this week, I think the last time Beyoncé was anywhere where the floor was sticky, it was a total mistake and someone got fired. So, no. But she’s doing the same sort of thing she did on “BREAK MY SOUL” where she pretends she’s just like you or me and has a nine-to-five grind. It’s fine if you don’t think about it too hard.

Will there be features?

Hopefully! So far, there are some exciting people in the liner notes, but no proper features yet. MacArthur Fellow Rhiannon Giddens is credited with playing the banjo and viola on “Texas Hold ’Em.” Giddens has spent a large portion of her career educating people about the African origins of the banjo, which makes her the perfect collaborator for Renaissance Act II. On “16 Carriages,” legendary steel-guitar player Robert Randolph is credited.

While we aren’t sure about features, it does seem that the album might include a cover. Dolly Parton recently said that she believed Beyoncé had recorded a cover of “Jolene.” Was she supposed to say that? Probably not, but now we have even more of a reason to be excited. Bey clearly has a vision for this project. Speaking of which …

What’s on the mood board?

Of all things, the 1984 Wim Wenders movie Paris, Texas. In the initial teaser for “Texas Hold ’Em,” we see the vast expanse of Texas and an older man in a red hat coming forward to look at what we eventually see is a Beyoncé billboard. The man in the hat is a clear nod to Harry Dean Stanton’s character in the film, a wayward man searching for his wife.

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A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce)

In the “16 Carriages” cover art, Beyoncé has a short blonde bob, one very similar to the one Nastassja Kinski has in the film.

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A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce)

Beyoncé, the cinephile — maybe this means that this time we’ll actually get visuals?

How long has she been working on this?

Well, wouldn’t we all like to know? Unlike Taylor and her Tortured Poets Department, this is not something Beyoncé only started working on after Renaissance came out in 2022. Here’s what we know: In “16 Carriages,” she sings about how it’s been “38 summers and I’m not in my bed.” If Beyoncé was 38 when she wrote the song, that would mean it was written about four years ago. Oh, but sometimes people hold onto songs for years. Yeah, I know that. The more interesting piece of evidence is that Tina Knowles — Beyoncé’s mom — posted to Instagram saying that she has loved this album “for years.” First of all, brag. Second of all, this has definitely always been the plan for Beyoncé’s Renaissance project.

What will Act III be?

Well, if Act I was house music and ballroom, and Act II is country and blues, the Hive believes that Beyoncé’s goal is to revisit genres often credited to white people that are actually rooted in Black history and culture. This is all to say, the BeyHive thinks we’re getting a rock album next. Get ready for a phone call, Jack White.

This post has been updated.

Related

  • Beyoncé Is the First Black Woman to Top the Country Charts
  • Is Beyoncé Covering ‘Jolene’ on Her Country Album?





Olivia Craighead , 2024-03-12 19:30:00

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