Queen B: “Cowboy Carter” And The Ironic Underestimation of Beyoncé’s Artistry 

Beyoncé's personas throughout the years./Courtesy of Reddit r/beyonce

By Rami Mansi 

 

  Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is more than a singer: she’s the matriarchal essence of music and artistry incarnate. The extent to which her impact has spread far and wide outwards into culture, music, entertainment/ performance, and various social constraints such as gender norms and race, is undeniable. With her unchanging destiny and powerful acts of her musical virtues, each album brings us one step closer to understanding who is Beyoncé, continuing with her latest creation, “Cowboy Carter.”  

   Beyoncé’s newest album is set within the country genre. The lyricism spans all of Beyoncé’s personas with perspectives of being a mother, daughter, wife, and woman all coming to a cohesive sonic marvel.

   “Cowboy, Carter” is the second album within Beyoncé’s trilogy of albums that is dedicated to reclaiming originally Black genres. The first installment, “ RENAISSANCE,” claims the electronic genre with house, dance, and ballroom as its majority. The second installment, “Cowboy Carter,” introduces country into the mix with the origin of the genre residing within bluegrass and Black folk music. The last album, expected to be released in 2026, has been highly suspected of channeling the rock genre. 

   Beyoncé is no stranger to being a multifaceted artist, with her entire discography ranging dramatically from genres such as R&B to Hip-Hop, pop to blues, soul to electronic, and many more.

   Beyoncé previously used the country genre on her fan-favorite song “Daddy Lessons” off her 2016 critically acclaimed “Lemonade.” However, even though Beyoncé was born and raised in this genre and has used it in music, the world hasn’t been ready to experience and welcome Beyoncé within the country genre. 

   The world has truly never been ready for Beyoncé and the cultural resets she has created. For example, her controversial performance at the 2016 Super Bowl led to the #BoycottBeyoncé movement, when police districts and politicians called for a national boycott against Beyoncé. This is due to her vocal political stance in her support for the Black Lives Matter movement and her commentary on police in America. Another is her Country Music Awards performance with the Dixie Chicks, another controversial show due to the political notions surrounding it. Another underestimation was of her debut album “Dangerously In Love,” assumed to have zero hit songs and ended up having five hits. 

   Beyoncé has constantly and consistently been underestimated as a performer, artist, and all-around person. Constantly fighting against various racial and gender barriers as a Black woman, Beyoncé has broken down many of the barriers and extended the viability for Black women in music. A political pioneer within music and a feminine voice in an industry that runs on controlling masculine figures, Beyoncé became the first in many aspects of her career and influenced multiple generations of musicians and artisans alike. 

 When it comes to “Cowboy Carter,” the underestimation of Beyoncé hasn’t changed as many people didn’t agree with the artist’s journey into country music. As seen in The Week, country radios refused to play her music due to Beyoncé herself not being a “country singer,” and fans also not appreciating country music and constantly attaching Beyoncé to her old music. 

   The underestimation of Beyoncé is extremely ironic because as huge of a superstar and legend as she is, Beyoncé is constantly undermined by both her fans and the public. Her fans take to Twitter and make attempts at being her creative director, by creating fake setlists or simply rushing the creative process by listening to leaks. While many communities within the mainstream public listen to her singles and make full assumptions about her art and musical ethics, as seen through the impact of the lead single of “Cowboy Carter”: “Texas Hold ‘Em.”

   “Texas Hold Em” went viral on various social media platforms and became a widely diverse song, with many people either falling in love with Beyoncé’s new song or struggling to grasp the concept of this song. Those people who fall into the latter, refuse to listen to the new album as they’ve already created their assumptions on the album through its one single. 

   However, if Beyoncé has taught us anything about her career, it is that she always has a plan. Listening to her singles is not merely enough: to truly appreciate Beyoncé you must listen to her albums in their entirety, as the experience of listening to the album will completely transform your understanding of her artwork. 

  Beyoncé will forever be your favorite singer’s favorite singer. From powerful lyricism to visual albums and genre-smashing artworks, Beyoncé truly is that girl forever and always. 

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