Beyoncé's Cowboy Carter Review: A Country Takeover Featuring Miley Cyrus, Tanner Adell, Dolly Parton, and More


“Genres are a funny little concept aren’t they?” American country icon Linda Martell muses on a sample on Beyonce’s Cowboy Carter, her eighth studio album. As Beyoncé herself has said about this record: it’s not a country album, it’s a Beyoncé album.

Across 27 songs, the musician dips in and out of sounds from a folk and country palette, plays with language and Americana iconography, and creates a seamless landscape that’s both sprawling and focused. Along the way, she pulls in collaborators like Miley Cyrus, Dolly Parton, Willie Jones, Willie Nelson, and Tanner Adell to fill out her world, pairing their voices with an adventurousness and swagger wholly her own.

Related: Cowboy Carter and the Black Roots of Country Music

"The joy of creating music is that there are no rules," Beyoncé said in a press release. "I think people are going to be surprised because I don't think this music is what everyone expects, but it's the best music I've ever made."

To unpack the album, Teen Vogue editors Kaitlyn McNab, Aiyana Ishmael, P. Claire Dodson, Jillian Selzer, and Versha Sharma parked in a group chat and listened through the 27 tracks on Beyoncé's Cowboy Carter together.

P. Claire Dodson, Senior Culture Editor: okay what is your favorite Beyoncé album era

Jillian Selzer, Social Media Manager: i had a visceral reaction to deja vu the first time i heard it so i'm inclined to say B'Day

Jillian: but self-titled came out at a very pivotal time in my life sooooo

Kaitlyn McNab, Culture News Editor: whew that’s hard

Kaitlyn: i know self-titled literally changed the world and everything

Kaitlyn: but 4 and Lemonade changed my life 😭

Jillian: RT to lemonade

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Jillian: she was already obviously an icon when it came out, but i specifically remember watching the visual album for it and being like “oh sh*t”

Jillian: it immediately felt like (and is) one of the most monumental musical projects in our lifetime

Kaitlyn: i think that’s the incredible thing about Bey: each project is more monumental than the last

Kaitlyn: it is a life event, every single time

Jillian: do i reflect on my life at specific ages or personal major events? no

Jillian: i track it by beyoncé drops

Versha Sharma, Editor-in-Chief: For me it was probably self-titled until Lemonade which yes, changed everything. I remember being on vacation with friends and just rewatching the visual album on my own on loop lmao.

Versha: And the Formation world tour was just incredible. It was during the 2016 election so have to say being with thousands of people in Queens while Beyoncé stood in front of a giant FEMINIST screen listening to Chimamanda’s voice like the voice of God was everything. It felt like church. One that I’ll always go back to

Aiyana Ishmael, Associate Editor: Lemonade was pivotal tbh I graduated high school when it came out and it was such a moment for me in my life, but Renaissance came at a time where my life was in turmoil so it really was an emotional experience for me! Literally from the moment it came out up until I went to the concert I listened to the album on repeat while at the gym to release the bad juju in my body sksksksk

Claire: i love that

Claire: mine was definitely self-titled, “XO” and the music video shot at coney island changed my brain chemistry

Jillian: not Bey romanticizing coney island

Claire: but also favorite bey era generally is when she was in that movie Obsessed

Claire: i was ~ obsessed ~ with that movie

Claire: alright y'all let's get into it… we have an array of southern representation and varying levels of beyoncé and country music expertise, excited to dive into Cowboy Carter

Jillian: oh my god

Claire: hahah

Jillian: this is spiritual already

Kaitlyn: Ameriican Requiem!!!!!!!!

Aiyana: I love a southern baptist opening


Versha: The gospel of Yoncé

Jillian: we're goin to church, y'all

Kaitlyn: this is a funeral song, a warning shot, a cinematic opening for a western epic

Jillian: i feel like we're gearing up to take someone down

Versha: “It’s a lot of chatter in here, but let me make myself clear” was just reading about the 2016 CMAs performance with the Dixie Chicks and this is a great response

Kaitlyn: i can feel the shuddering of all the crusty dusties who dared to tell her she did not belong, it’s in the bass it’s in the tambourine, God

Jillian: "salty tears beyond my gaze" why u cry, yoncé?

Aiyana: It feels like the song that’ll play at the ending of a western movie when the main character, a scorned woman, is walking away from the burning building in her small town that she’s finally moving away from (edited)

Kaitlyn: i actually think it’s the opening

Kaitlyn: Pam Grier in a cowboy hat

Jillian: not to be too on the nose with the album cover, but this is her riding into the battlefield

Versha: “A lot of taking up space” 🫡🫡🫡🫡🫡

Jillian: "now is the time to face the wind"

Jillian: she makes me feel so unafraid and unapologetic!!!!

Aiyana: She's speaking to the country Beyoncé nonbelievers

Versha: The Beyoncé battle hymn !!

Aiyana: C*T Awards be scared!!!

Kaitlyn: How dare they second guess her lineage!!! how dare they deny her BIRTHRIGHT

Jillian: i LOVE the callout of people telling her she isn't enough anywhere

Kaitlyn: VINDICATION!!!!!!

Jillian: TELL 'EM

Kaitlyn: my favorite part about the bookends of this album is it is the definition of a reset. Beyoncé has always been the rapture

Aiyana: Pretty house we never settled in, a funeral for the fair weather friends

Aiyana: crying

Jillian: hell yeah kaitlyn

Kaitlyn: She is always the first to touch new earth. HOW?

Kaitlyn: MY GOD. I’m sorry I just—

Aiyana: My sisters!!!

Claire: i loveeeee this grouping

Aiyana: I will say I wish this song were longer and each girl got their own moment, but their harmonizing is wonderful.

Jillian Selzer: harmony game STRONG

Kaitlyn: Agreed A

Jillian: sorry not sorry to the Beatles but every cover i've heard of this song has been inexplicably better than the original

Claire: i teared up so hard when blackbird came on

Claire: a mark of good songwriting!

Kaitlyn: I feel like my only critique for this album is that i wish the Black country artists she tapped got as much time and space as Posty and Dolly and Miley

Claire: yeahhh those are true duets

Kaitlyn: but I also understand that the point is that she alone is enough, just like they are enough

Aiyana: I love the symbolism of using four up and coming black country female artists. “You were only waiting for this moment to arise” feels so pivotal.

Aiyana: This was a lot of the girls first feature and for it to be with Beyoncé is amazing for their careers!

Jillian: it is truly wild that Tanner's debut album just came out months ago, and now she's a feature on what WILL be the biggest album of this decade, century, lifetime

Jillian: the trajectory

Aiyana: brb going to cry in the shower

Kaitlyn: Beyoncé’s production is so cinematic, its a full body experience every single time

Aiyana: Y'all this song is so emotional for me. It reminds me of home and growing up in the south.

Jillian: you feel every song in your BONES

Claire: in context this is very early for this kind of song!

Jillian: aiyana i'm there with you

Aiyana: Lone back road, all those tears I cried. Moving 2,000 miles from the south shaped me lord.

Jillian: i may be stuck in Brooklyn, but even driving down the BQE at sunset with this song blasting brings me back to Texas days

Kaitlyn: a song about fear, but also about letting go of fear by force

Versha: I’m curious if anyone else did square dance in PE or if that was a southern thing

Claire: hahah well so many of us are southerners

Claire: so yes

Kaitlyn: No we sure as hell did that up here too LMAOOO

Versha: Love

Claire: also i love now we have a song about being 38

Aiyana: Only God knows is literally me lord I'm crying again

Versha: Overworked and overwhelmed me

Jillian: there's something so beautiful about bey commenting on how she still struggles to this day

Kaitlyn: this final verse speaks to me on a level that is really hard to even articulate

Jillian: it's humbling, relatable, makes me feel safe and seen

Claire: for ~ legacy ~

Kaitlyn: i’ve been thinking so much about the personal sacrifices my icons make for Black culture

Kaitlyn: and culture PERIOD

Aiyana: The way she sang You'll remember me is so important

Aiyana: I think it speaks to the way Black artists and people as a whole have to push so hard to be valued and immortalized

Kaitlyn: i’ll come back to my legacy point, she returns to it later

Jillian: RUMI

Claire: all the children are getting a grammy

Jillian: she is just so rich in her songwriting

Kaitlyn: this song made me bawl the first time i listened to it. i love my mom. i’m about to bawl right now

Aiyana: This song makes me want to call my grandma right now.

Versha: Tell her!!!!!

Versha: Call them!!!!!!!!

Jillian: not a good day for the b*tches with mommy issues LMAO

Aiyana: Nothing like a praying grandmother + mother to get you through your days. No protection like it for me.

Kaitlyn: I move forward by the sheer propulsion of my grandma and my mom’s faith

Versha: I love her cross age appeal. It’s so powerful for you, it’s so powerful for me in a very different life stage than y'all as a new mom to a daughter

Versha: Literally hugging her tight listening to this feels so special

Jillian: that's the same reason i think of my sister during this song, V

Jillian: she's a new mom and her transformation since her daughter's birth has been magical to watch

Versha: Ahhh I love this for a big sister, too. Mine is also my protector.

Versha: What they say is true - having a baby is like having your heart on the outside of your body

Versha: And watching it run around vulnerable to the world, and you want to protect it every way you can.

Aiyana: Vocally there's no one touching Beyoncé and I love when she shows it

Aiyana: I would love a break down of these vocals layer by layer

Kaitlyn: Never can touch her, never ever will

Aiyana: WILLIE

Jillian: these transitions tracks, man

Jillian: we're on a JOURNEY

Aiyana: It literally feels like we're in a film

Jillian: why do i feel like we're traveling through time

Claire: such a good touch to have willie do radio hour, if you can't change the radio make your own

Versha: I actually saw Willie live in Austin once and it was everything — only thing better would be seeing him live with Bey omg I hope the tour brings us that



Jillian: this ain't texas!!!!! ain't no hold 'em!!!!!!!!


Aiyana: Texas Hold Em was made to ease the non-country loving beyhive into the world

Jillian: i wish y'all could see me dancing and singing at my desk right now

Aiyana: Now, weeks post the single release the girlies are practicing in the backyard with their banjos

Versha: I have already seen non American people line dancing to this song

Aiyana: Jillian how you doing… Miss TEXAS


Jillian: this song does something to me in a physical sense

Jillian: i am GROOVIN


Aiyana: Reminds me of driving an hour from Miami to Davey, FL to go to the Round Up country bar in high school lol

Jillian: that's iconic, A

Aiyana: I also would go to the chili cook off in Miami!



Aiyana: it's so sultry


Versha: VERY sultry


Aiyana: I know you know something bout that, K

Aiyana: Me too tho I get it

Kaitlyn: Complete and total devotion

Kaitlyn: On a cellular level

Aiyana: I can't wait for the day I can relate to a love song

Versha: Now seems like a good time to mention I danced with my dad to “Daddy Lessons” at my wedding

Versha: So I feel I have been waiting for this day for a while!!!!!!!! (More beyonce KNTRY)

Kaitlyn: Territorial Beyoncé is my favorite Beyoncé

Kaitlyn: “I don’t like the way she’s looking at you / Someone better hold me back”

Kaitlyn: is the same woman who asked “If that’s your man, then why he over here?”

Kaitlyn: Lmfaoooooooooooo. Like lady PLEASE

Jillian: i feel like we're in the "tread very lightly" section of the tracklist

Jillian: no sudden movements, watch your back, don't mess with B

Aiyana: “Sometimes I hold you just to know you're real,” my husband better say that in his vows

Versha: YES @Aiyana I love that line sm

Jillian: oooh this GUITAR

Aiyana: This is such an album for a cross country road trip! Let me drop the top real quick!






Claire: love a tie-in to bey's lore


Jillian: jolene you better run, girl

Claire: the change from begging to warning spot on

Aiyana: I love her remix to this song!

Jillian: "you don't want no heat with me" // "we've been in deep love for twenty years i raised that man, i raised his kids, i know that man better than he knows himself" WOOF

Jillian: i LOVE that she made this her own

Kaitlyn: Here comes my favorite line





Kaitlyn: I can’t wait to say that sh*t to somebody omg

Kaitlyn: like okay Tweety

Versha Sharma: Here’s a great clip of Dolly saying she wants Beyoncé to cover Jolene two years ago despite the many many covers that already exist

Versha: lol

Aiyana: Not Tweety

Aiyana: Pls

Jillian: this ending

Claire: all the endings of the songs are so intentional and sweeping

Aiyana: She loves a choir moment, gotta respect it

Claire: bringing it back to this collective vibe even though the individual songs are very different

Jillian: she's always going to say her peace with her WHOLE chest and i love that about her

Claire: okay daughter is my favorite

Claire: "she was a big fan"


Aiyana: The Swifties heads goin poke up

Kaitlyn: Stop it

Claire: look i was trying not to go there but

Kaitlyn: Cut it out

Versha: Hahaha I was going to say the same thing about swifties

Aiyana: In one hour there will be a 500 minute youtube video about how Bey was foreshadowing a Taylor feature on the deluxe album

Versha: Hahahahhaha

Jillian: the delulu swifties are going to be like "reputation is on the way"

Versha: Should you do it @Claire

Claire: i think kaitlyn would plot my demise if i did that

Kaitlyn: Beyoncé singing in her operatic voice is also my favorite thing

Aiyana: It's so gorgeous

Claire: so beautiful!!

Versha: She has the range.

Jillian: *kim kardashian voice* “who sang at my wedding? andrea bocelli.”

Aiyana: I get why she why said this ain't no country album this a Beyoncé album

Aiyana: The way the album is able to intertwine current country, folk, and river so beautifully is such a skill

Jillian: for real this is something so beyond any genre, any category, any silo of music

Claire: genres ARE a funny little concept!!!

Jillian: that Beyoncé virgo sh*t!!!!!

Aiyana: Oh heck yeah this is fun. I love when she starts talking her junk, reminding us that she has nothing to prove and is just having fun with it!!!

Aiyana: She did this for the country hood folk, yup

Claire: ok the thanos line.... didn't love

Kaitlyn: As a Marvel fan I loved it sorry

Claire: just takes me out of it a little, feels like a line anyone could have thrown in, but you all enjoy

Versha: This beat

Kaitlyn: Beyoncé is my favorite rapper

Jillian: i am literally so afraid of her in the most "i'm also in love with her" way

Aiyana: She really does have shooters, have you met the Beyhive?

Aiyana: Oh this my one

Kaitlyn: Ok so i wanted to talk to y’all about the symbolism in here right

Kaitlyn: the phrase is crocodile tears so why do we think the switch

Jillian: oooh that's a great question

Claire: what is the difference between a crocodile and an alligator

Kaitlyn: crocodiles are more aggressive

Aiyana: Floridian it's their nose shapes

Jillian: crocodiles are more narrow in the nose

Aiyana: Crocodiles have long and pointed, V-shaped snouts while alligators have rounded, U-shaped snouts.

Versha: Also alligators are actually more common in Texas and Louisiana than crocodiles (I’m pretty sure!!)

Claire: okay fascinating

Kaitlyn: TRUE V

Versha: Gators are everywhere. Showing up in people’s backyards

Aiyana: Also, sorry the southerner in me:

Kaitlyn: Very very true as well ^^

Jillian: oh sh*t aiyana

Aiyana: Something we talked about a lot especially in Florida

Aiyana: And the "how does it feel to be adored" led me to that navigation of Black women in this world

Kaitlyn: the power of Smoke Hour II

Claire: real good sh*t

Kaitlyn: Willie Nelson said shut the hell up and enjoy this

Kaitlyn: again, I would’ve LOVED to hear more of Willie Jones on this song

Versha: Willie Jones is from Shreveport!!!!!!!!!

Versha: That’s my fam / where I went to college

Versha: The Louisiana REP

Aiyana: As soon as he started singing I started crying

Kaitlyn: it seems like an misuse of him almost

Aiyana: He sounds like honey flowing

Kaitlyn: his voice is so richly unique and one of a kind

Versha: Bold K but you might not be wrong…

Kaitlyn: it’s such a complement to Bey’s in that way

Kaitlyn: You would think he would’ve gotten more time and space

Aiyana: I feel this way about all the Black country artists on this album!!

Kaitlyn: Exactly what I was saying earlier yup

Aiyana: Sorry Posty... he ain't need all that time

Versha: It would be really interesting to hear her talk about that

Kaitlyn: Willie’s voice holds centuries

Versha: I still think she’s introducing some of these people to such a crazy massive audience

Versha: More people will probably remember hearing Willie Jones on this album than post Malone lolol

Kaitlyn: Mmmmmmm debatable given Levii’s Jeans is gonna be everywhere

Kaitlyn: but we’re getting ahead of ourselves

Aiyana: I also maybe just hope it forces people to crave these artist's voices and go listen to their standalone work.

Versha: Okay maybe I’m being optimistic lol

Aiyana: Oh here we go

Kaitlyn: This will be on my wedding playlist

Kaitlyn: It might be my wedding song idk

Claire: the landslide interpolation cry

Related: Beyoncé & Miley Cyrus Teamed Up for a Tearjerking Friendship Ballad


Aiyana: I am sobbing. Give them the Grammy for best collaboration omg

Versha: Yes my god I hope they perform together next year

Versha: Their voices together just make sense

Aiyana: "I’ll be your shotgun rider til the day I die" truly feels like a moment for the people who’ve been on this journey with both of them all these years. Growing up with an artists is such an emotional experience

Aiyana: I remember where I was when Hannah Montana premiered. Like this Miley feature feels so correct for me

Claire: and it's hard to sing with miley, the unique voice texture is hard for some people to work with (remember that Taylor grammys duet)

Claire: they go well together

Aiyana: Never forget LOL

Jillian: oof memory unlocked

Claire: do we think they have ever actually hung out

Aiyana: Absolutely

Aiyana: They got together after that performance

Aiyana: and talked sh*t

Claire: smoked a joint together maybe

Claire: friendship anthems, more of those

Kaitlyn: “We’re getting high till we don’t realize time is passing by”

Kaitlyn: Memories of driving through Houston with the windows down at 4 am

Aiyana: This my 2024 The Climb


Aiyana: Here we go

Aiyana: Country stations everywhere are shaking

Versha: Brb yall gotta go change a poopy diaper lol mom life. Beyoncé knows

Kaitlyn: Now, i’ll preface this by saying i love a good Posty feature. I don’t really listen to him outside of his features, but his features are always some of my favorite songs ever

Kaitlyn: and this one is joining Sunflower

Aiyana: Interchangeably this could be a single from any of the current country girlies out right now, imo. It feels very "it" right now of a pop country collab

Aiyana: I honestly think Lainey would've been a cooler feature instead of Posty but I get the appeal


Jillian: that's actually crazy because i have never found a pair of levi's that fit me

Jillian: lmaooo

Claire: ditto for me jillian haha, too short

Aiyana: Same, Jillian

Aiyana: I cannot shop Levi's lol

Jillian: i have honkin' thighs and a big tummy

Jillian: they just ain't for me

Aiyana: I will say this song is sexy lol

Aiyana: Like I'm swinging my hips in my room

Jillian: "girl i want to take you home" the crooooooning

Kaitlyn: okay, touche! i will say my first pair of levis made me cry because i didn’t have the hip-back gap-booty issue i always have

Kaitlyn: so i felt seen idk

Aiyana: Wish I was dancing with someone right now

Claire: i feel sort of lullabyed by this song

Kaitlyn: Aiyana do you wanna dance

Claire: in a nice way

Aiyana: Absolutely

Aiyana: Flamenco! Me gente latino!!!

Kaitlyn: Beyonce’s register allows her to make music that feels like it accesses a different emotional plane

Aiyana: All her shorter tracks have been faves that I wish were longer, smh

Kaitlyn: like no one else can go that low and that high just moments later

Kaitlyn: with that much precision

Jillian: this is more of a logistical note but the balance of short hits and long anthems is fantastically done

Versha: Yeah when I first saw 27 tracks I was like DAMN but it’s perfectly paced

Aiyana: YA YA


Aiyana: That's my nickname

Kaitlyn: This is a f*cking masterpiece

Kaitlyn: that’s what we call my grandma

Aiyana: Periodt grammy

Versha: This might be my initial favorite

Claire: boots are made for walking

Versha: It’s so good

Aiyana: I can't wait to hear this one live

Jillian: ooooooh this one is getting me riled up

Aiyana: I love the inclusion of the chitlin circuit. It's so important to be giving a peak into the history of Black artists especially in the south

Claire: i love just incorporating the tour opener into the song

Aiyana: Now there will be people googling what happened during Jim Crow + segregation

Aiyana: And the battles Black artists went through to be seen.

Aiyana: We had to make our own spaces, which to this day is so integral to holding up our stories and artistry. I love it so much

Versha: Still fighting for those spaces..

Versha: In 2024

Versha: I feel like this song has everything. What an anthem

Claire: "whole lotta red in that white and blue huh" she does a lot with a little

Kaitlyn: if act III really is rock, this is the most gorgeous segue track

Kaitlyn: James Brown and Little Richard are proud

Claire: ugh i wish i could tell my dad that the beach boys and the beatles are incorporated into the new beyoncé album

Aiyana: Hugging you Claire

Kaitlyn: the “VOTE!” is interesting.

Kaitlyn: i know she gave us 27 tracks. i know

Kaitlyn: but i really really wish she gave us one zydeco record

Jillian: that transition to oh louisiana was SEAMLESS


Aiyana: Versha RISE UP

Versha: Okay when I first saw this on the track listing I was SO EXCITED

Jillian: it's your MOMENT, V

Claire: i almost missed the song change it was so seamless!!

Aiyana: Always. She's so good at blending songs together

Aiyana: It's masterful

Versha: and then I saw it was 1:00 and I was like damn.

Versha: But this is 1971 Chuck Berry Oh Louisiana

Versha: We love the history

Aiyana: Desert Eagle is c*nty

Kaitlyn: Beyoncé always makes me feel so sensual and sexually empowered

Aiyana: I am a whole lot of woman

Kaitlyn: Desert Eagle and Partition are sisters

Aiyana: Thank you for recognizing me, Bey

Claire: i love an artist who truly appreciates the album as a format and concept and makes the most of every second, and she has always done that

Versha: Yes that’s why each album is indisputably art. She puts so much thought into it

Jillian: it's full throttle from the START

Jillian: every moment is intentional

Kaitlyn: This one is for the backseat lovers IYKYK

Versha: We are listening to years’ worth of process and artistry, what a treat!!!!


Kaitlyn: sorry it’s my truth

Jillian: never apologize





Versha: Can blue ivy play banjo on the next tour

Aiyana: I'm Irish line dancing and twerking at the same time


Kaitlyn: Made for the ballroom.

Versha: HAHAHAH Aiyana that’s perfect

Kaitlyn: NO. HANDS.


Jillian: i just know i'm going to compulsively say "bounce on this sh*t, dance" every day for the rest of my life

Aiyana: Ok but can a DJ get on the remix, riiverdance and no hands by waka flocka

Kaitlyn: It’ll be on TikTok by the end of the weekend

Versha: Could easily fit in on Renaissance

Versha: We love a bridge

Claire: and the nails as percussion!

Kaitlyn: yes Claire!!!!! a true daughter of Dolly!!!!

Aiyana: I still haven't picked a favorite, like there's so many I love

Jillian: another seamless transition

Kaitlyn: What Church Girl did for me is what this song is amplifying times 10

Aiyana: i really want to know how she will incorporate iii into song titles for act three lol

Kaitlyn: and for context, I got Church Girl lyrics tattooed

Versha: Ooh which ones

Kaitlyn: “I was born free”

Aiyana: And where

Kaitlyn: under a Black baby cherub that’s designed after my baby pic

Kaitlyn: Like, I cannot wait to be on the floor of a stadium with both hands in the air getting my entire life with my best friend by my side singing this at the top of my lungs

Claire: beautiful

Aiyana: Aw I can't wait to go, K!

Aiyana: LOL

Kaitlyn: this is a romantic love song, but it’s also a song of faith, it’s a song of platonic love, it’s a song of self love

Kaitlyn: Ten thousand steps towards the time of your life. ❤️

Jillian: speaking of being at the stadium, cannot WAIT to see the looks for this tour from both bey + the bey hive

Aiyana: And it's funny because people already went semi-western for Renaissance with an alien vibe

Aiyana: SO excited to see the Americana takes on the fashion

Versha: Right wing media gonna lose their shit

Aiyana: Breaking: The Beyhive is Gentrifying the American Flag

Versha: Reverse gentrifying? Somehow its racist

Aiyana: Absolutely. They'll make it make sense

Kaitlyn: Let me go pull the trigger on those chaps in my cart

Versha: Haha I was just thinking custom chaps…

Versha: Beyoncé making people feel the most patriotic they’ve felt in years….

Versha: An American hero

Aiyana: Tiera is also on this track harmonzing! My sweet Blackbirds

Versha: Omg didn’t realize ! Beautiful

Claire: tbt to my tiera profile from 2020!

Versha: How are we almost at the end, I need more

Aiyana: I love Tyrant actually, might be in my top three

Jillian: i can't even process choosing a top three right now

Aiyana: The hips are swinging again during this one

Jillian: the string backing in this

Jillian: adds yet another cinematic vibe

Jillian: i am fully immersed

Kaitlyn: yeah. it’s this one


Aiyana: The jersey club remix to this gonna go crazy

Kaitlyn: Holding my belt buckle and thrusting rn

Aiyana: Well saddle up and call me a buckle bunny

Versha: This takes me back a little bit to Destiny’s Child era

Aiyana: Have y'all ever rode a mechanical bull

Aiyana: I wildly underestimated how difficult it is

Kaitlyn: Yuh. I made the rookie mistake of wearing the wrong pants

Versha: There is a country bar in midtown where you can do it… lol

Aiyana: I fell off after 4 seconds

Versha: It’s so hard!!!

Kaitlyn: Going to Nashville in October to redeem myself

Aiyana: Also the multi meaning because if you buck at me baby we going outside


Versha: She hits so many different notes in this one


Jillian: i'm not ready to say goodbye

Versha: The last third of the album is really heavily layered musically, there’s so much here

Aiyana: Ending this with Amen, absolutely full circle experience

Versha: Love that it ends with Amen, though

Versha: On this GOOD FRIDAY

Kaitlyn: Who she’s addressing in Ameriican Requiem is not who she is addressing in Amen

Kaitlyn: “I need to make you proud / Can you hear me now?”

Kaitlyn: we hear you Bey 🥹

Aiyana: Uncle Johnny ❤️

Kaitlyn: the South hears you

Versha: Lies of stone you better believe these Black and brown girls from the south feel that

Versha: Growing up around confederate statues

Kaitlyn: *standing ovation*

Jillian: the ameriican requiem circle back is so beautiful

Versha: AMEN

Jillian: just masterfully done

Aiyana: Sensational loop abilities

Kaitlyn: i have my album on a loop

Kaitlyn: and having Ameriican Requiem start with “nothing really ends”


Kaitlyn: HER MIND!!!!!!!

Jillian: this AIN'T THE END Y'ALL

Versha: She’s perfect ugh I wish we could get a visual album of this like Lemonade.

Claire: can we talk about some things from the press release

Claire: from the press release: Each song is its own version of a reimagined Western film. She took inspiration from films like "Five Fingers For Marseilles," "Urban Cowboy," "The Hateful Eight, "Space Cowboys," "The Harder They Fall" and "Killers of the Flower Moon," often having the films playing on a screen during the recording process. Some aspects of the percussion were inspired by the 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' soundtrack, where it was more Bluegrass. This body of work undulates from singing cowboy and Blaxploitation to Spaghetti westerns and fantasy with Beyoncé weaving between personal experiences, honoring Black history, to exaggerated character building.

Versha: Well I’m going to have to rewatch all those films this weekend

Versha: The O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack is soooo good, I love that reference

Aiyana: this album would be so cool behind a western fantasy/dystopian novel turned film

Jillian: if this doesn't win album of the year next year i will single-handedly dismantle the academy

Aiyana: Oh sister

Aiyana: be ready to get angry

Kaitlyn: Jay-Z produced The Harder They Fall, and I would kill to be in the room during their discussions

Kaitlyn: I would love to know her work informed his work on that film and vice versa

Jillian: i know it's naive of me to think this time will be the time

Claire: it's also interesting that Cowboy Carter was written first, before Renaissance

Jillian: has she spoken about that more in depth yet? i wonder why she chose Renaissance to go out first

Claire: "This album took over five years," she says. "It's been really great to have the time and the grace to be able to take my time with it. I was initially going to put COWBOY CARTER out first, but with the pandemic, there was too much heaviness in the world. We wanted to dance. We deserved to dance. But I had to trust God's timing."

Kaitlyn: The world needed it and she is but a humble servant.

Versha: “Among the crowds were Black, Hispanic and Native American Cowboys, who made their valuable, authentic allowances to the culture. Their stories are synonymous with American history.”

Versha: That’s a very clear statement

Versha: In a time where people constantly try to muddle American history. In a time when people are banning the teaching of actual American history!

Aiyana: there is no America without it.

<h1 class="title">COWBOY CARTER - PRESS 04</h1><cite class="credit">BLAIR CALDWELL/PARKWOOD ENTERTAINMENT LLC.</cite>



Claire: kaitlyn did you have more to say about legacy

Kaitlyn: ah yeah. I watched the Quincy Jones documentary earlier this month and was taken aback by how much of his life and his family’s life he sacrificed to give us some of the most important cultural artifacts of our time. he missed everything so that he could be present in his art, and his reach on music and film is something we might never see again. there will never be another Quincy Jones, the same way there will never be another Beyonce. and as a mother, that kind of sacrifice is compounded… to think that she has given up so much time, her innocence, her childhood, and so much PRESENCE in her own life and her family’s life to this very day to have a reach across music like the one she is still spreading makes my knees buckle. she believes that we are worth it

Kaitlyn: and she says that. it’s all for the legacy

Jillian: damn kaitlyn

Claire: wow

Aiyana: Look at how you ate that

Jillian: now THAT'S art

Kaitlyn: and as a Black artist who is always thinking about how to honor my own people and my own family, its terrifying to think about how much i will have to sacrifice too

Kaitlyn: but like, if Beyonce says its worth it, I believe her

Kaitlyn: and that is what matters most to me

Jillian: okay i'm literally crying what the hell

Kaitlyn: lol me too

Kaitlyn: so yeah i am just deeply grateful to be alive in the time of Beyoncé and this is a masterpiece

Versha: that part

Aiyana: It's like actually insane that I will get to say I experienced Beyoncé in my lifetime.

Versha: I love Renaissance so much but this feels more wholly complete I think? That’s how I feel after a first listen anyway. Maybe it’s those years and years of working on it coming through

Aiyana: I often think about how I was six or seven [Editor's note: Aiyana was 10.] when MJ passed and I couldn't fully understand the magnitude of his existence and why my grandma, mom and sister were crying when we were watching the news.

Aiyana: But now I get it

Aiyana: She's such a force and its an honor man to experience it

Aiyana: country <3

Aiyana: I just want to say thank you Beyoncé for reminding me its okay to continue to loudly boast my love for the south, even now that I am stuck in the north

Jillian: i am so interested to have conversations with folks today who don't "vibe with country music" and hear their reactions to this album

Jillian: it is completely undeniable that this is so beyond "just a country album," it's truly the highest of art

Jillian: and i'll have very little patience for anyone who says it's not their thing

Jillian: grow up!!!!!!!!!!

<h1 class="title">COWBOY CARTER - MAIN COVER ART</h1><cite class="credit">BLAIR CALDWELL/PARKWOOD ENTERTAINMENT LLC.</cite>



Celebrate Cowboy Carter with some Renaissance-era merch below:

Renaissance World Tour Merch Billboard T-Shirt

$24.00, Amazon

Renaissance World Tour Merch Billboard Crewneck Sweatshirt

$48.00, Amazon

Renaissance World Tour Merch Sweatpants

$45.00, Amazon

Renaissance World Tour Merch Alien Superstar T-Shirt

$20.00, Amazon

Renaissance World Tour Merch Virgo's Groove T-Shirt

$20.00, Amazon

Beyoncé Tapestry Renaissance World Tour Merch Disco Cowboy Hat

$18.00, Amazon

Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue

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