Beyoncé, ‘Cowboy Carter’ and Filling in History’s Gaps

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Last month, Beyoncé released “Cowboy Carter,” an album that tackles the whole of American music, using country, roots and Americana as jumping off points for explorations of race and power and the implicit politics that come with them. It is currently the No. 1 album in the country, with the biggest debut week of the year so far.

On the heels of “Renaissance,” her 2022 album that served as a primer and commentary on the history of queer Black dance music, “Cowboy Carter” takes a parallel approach, unearthing and underscoring the Black history and influence behind genres that have, especially since the mid-20th century, been whitewashed.

On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about what Beyoncé is attempting to achieve on “Cowboy Carter,” the way the album has been received and where she is likely to turn next.


  • Marcus K. Dowling, country music reporter at The Tennessean

  • Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, who writes about music for Pitchfork and others

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