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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — 16 Carriages and Texas Hold ‘Em are the two newest Beyonce singles to hit streaming services. Unlike her last album, which featured more Afrobeat-inspired tracks, these two songs heavily reflect country music.

It’s not surprising that the Queen would dabble in the genre, considering her hometown of Houston, Texas. However, a local radio station in Oklahoma has refused to play Beyonce’s country debut singles. 

KYKC is Ada, Oklahoma’s country hits radio station. When a resident emailed the station Tuesday morning requesting the song Texas Hold ‘Em he received an email response saying, “We do not play Beyonce on KYKC as we are a country music station.” 

The post then went viral and was eventually reposted by Pop Crave, which garnered even more attention. 

Later the same day, KYKC posted that they would play the song. They learned the hard way that hell hath no fury like a devoted fan base scorned. 

The Very Black History of Country Music

Somewhere down the line, middle-class White people adopted country music, originally rooted in the Black community, to increase the profitability of the genre. Even the banjo, which is a popular instrument used in country music, was exclusively considered a Black American creation. It blended the European guitar with traditional instruments of West Africa. 

Like other popular genres, including rock and roll, the Black history of country music doesn’t receive as much attention as it deserves. 

Fast Car by Tracy Chapman, initially released in 1988, has recently re-entered the spotlight. Singer Luke Combs covered the song last year and made sure that the world gave Chapman her flowers for her song. Together they took to the Grammy stage in 2024 and performed a duet of the song. The performance temporarily launched the thirty-six-year-old song to No. 1 on the iTunes Top 100 chart

From Afrobeats to Country

Beyonce is one of the most popular pop stars of all time. On the day of its release, her last full-length album, Renaissance, was streamed 43 million times on Spotify. The Renaissance World Tour grossed well over $579 million. 

When she released the 2022 album, she announced that it was part one of three, leaving many members of the Beyhive curious about what was to come.

Many fans expected music videos to accompany her record-breaking album, similar to the surprise drop of her 2013 self-titled album and Lemonade. Nearly two years later, Beyonce has not released any visuals for Renaissance besides the film, which debuted after her world tour concluded. However, she had been dropping subtle hints about what the global pop star was planning next. 

At the 2024 Grammy Awards, she was supporting a cowboy hat. While this isn’t necessarily out of the fashion norm for her, it was a precursor to her announcement to come the following week. 

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Breaking the Internet

Super Bowl commercials are some of the most expensive and highly viewed advertisements in the country. A 30-second timeslot has a price tag of nearly $7 million. One of this year’s commercials was a Verizon ad featuring Beyonce. The over-arching theme was Break the Internet. 

The phrase “break the internet” is typically reserved for events that go extremely viral, whether good or bad. A famous example is Kim Kardashians’ 2014 Paper Magazine cover which replicates a famous Grace Jones photo. Some Kardashian fans took to their keyboards to defend the photo, while others criticized it, including Jones.

Beyonce released her two country songs as soon as the commercial aired. This caused quite a buzz on social media, with many hoping that her involvement in the genre would help other Black country artists. 

Discrimination in the Country Music World

Many Black country artists don’t receive the credit they deserve. Tennessee lawmakers were attempting to pass a resolution to honor Black American Roots singer and songwriter Allison Russell. However, Republican House Caucus Chair Jeremy Faison blocked the decision and it died in committee. 

Rissi Palmer, a Black country artist originally from Pennslyvania, has openly discussed the scrutiny she experienced from her music label. PBS aired a special on Palmer in which she talked about how her label wanted to control not only her lyrics but the way she wore her hair. 

With one of history’s most decorated music artists embarking on a country music journey, it could inspire more Black musicians to explore the genre. Representation matters and Beyonce’s influence could encourage a more inclusive country world.

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