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The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

A country catalyst

Beyoncés latest album reclaims a genre for Black artistry
Apple Music
Beyonce captivates fans across the world as she dives deep into the country genre.

In the words of the queen bee herself, “This isn’t a country album, it’s a Beyoncé album.” “COWBOY CARTER,” The second act, following her 2022 hit album “RENAISSANCE”, serves as a declaration of her intent to redefine and reclaim the country genre, particularly for Black artists who have historically been excluded from the genre despite their creation of the genre. Through her music, Beyoncé not only showcases her versatility but also challenges preconceived notions, paving the way for a more inclusivity and representation within country music.

Throughout the record-breaking album, a whopping 27 tracks combine the impactful themes of heartbreak, resilience and pain through the beautiful melodies of country, R&B and gospel chymes. Throughout the nearly hour and a half duration of the album, Beyonce exquisitely tells her story of growing up in Houstin, Texas as a young girl eager to express her musical talents. 

On the first track “AMERICAN REQUIEM,” in a voice deep and earthy, the Houston native sings, “Used to say I spoke too country/And then the rejection came, said I wasn’t country enough.” In this first track Beyoncé shines, as she triumphs over her pain and rejection in pursuing music in the country genre. This track perfectly encapsulates Beyoncés lyricism and songwriting, leaving me intrigued to hear what’s to come.

In “BLACKBIIRD,” Beyoncé pays homage to the trailblazing Black women, Tanner Adell, Tiera Kennedy and Reyna Roberts, who paved the way in country music, inviting their spirits to join her in celebration of their enduring legacy. 

Expanding her musical palette, Beyoncé ventures into rock ‘n’ roll territory with “YA YA,” skillfully blending influences from The Beach Boys and seamlessly incorporating elements of Nancy Sinatra’s classic “These Boots are Made for Walkin’.” Beyoncé exudes raw emotion as she sings, “My family lived and died in America/ Good ol’ USA/ Whole lotta red in that white and blue/ History can’t be erased.”

The pre-release singles “16 Carriages” and “Texas Holdem” made an indelible mark on the music scene, catapulting Beyoncé to the top of the charts and earning her the distinction of being the “First Black Woman to Achieve a #1 Country Song.” This historic achievement heralded a new era of representation and recognition for Black artists in the country genre. 

Standout tracks like “Il Most Wanted” and “Leviis Jeans,” featuring collaborations with Miley Cyrus and Post Malone, showcase Beyoncé’s seamless fusion of diverse musical styles, resulting in perfect performances that captivate audiences worldwide. Miley and Beyonces harmony’s perfect fuse together to create a beautiful and impactful song, whereas Beyonce and Post Maloney contrast in tone create a beautiful upbeat track perfect for the summertime.

Additionally, Beyoncé pays homage to country music icon Dolly Parton with a breathtaking cover of “Jolene,” reaffirming her reverence for the genre’s legends while adding her own distinctive flair.

In essence, “COWBOY CARTER” is more than just an album—it’s a testament to Beyoncé’s unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries and challenging conventions. With each soul-stirring note, she invites listeners on a journey through American music history, transforming what could be a mere lesson into the ultimate celebration. Beyoncé’s foray into the country realm not only solidifies her status as the “queen bee” of music but also serves as a heartfelt love letter to the country community and a rallying cry for inclusivity in the industry.

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About the Contributor
Quinn Burton
Quinn Burton, Staff Reporter
Quinn is a senior and this is his third year on the CATalyst staff. As CATalyst editor-in-chief, Quinn has spent his time in Room 312 designing, editing and producing the latest edition of Millard West’s print paper. Aside from writing, editing broadcasts, and even dj-ing a radio station, Quinn likes to spend his time hanging out with friends, listening to music, and watching Disney princess movies.

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