Beyoncé Was Always Going Country

Beyoncé seemingly took a hard left turn into country music with her forthcoming album Act II: Cowboy Carter. The native Texan’s music has generally trended toward R&B, pop and hip-hop, with occasional forays into soul and funk. The album’s gospel-tinged second single, “16 Carriages,” was a noticeable departure from its predecessor, 2022’s Renaissance. However, it appears Queen Bey has planned on going country longer than fans may realize.

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Beyoncé Producer Reveals “16 Carriages” Has Been in the Works for Awhile

Turns out, “16 Carriages” actually predates the entire Renaissance tracklist. GRAMMY-nominated producer Atia “Ink” Boggs recently revealed that the single was the first song she and Queen Bey worked on together.

“So a lot of people don’t know, we actually had this first,” Boggs explained on the Acknowledged YouTube series, according to NME. “So imagine having this timeless, classic music first and having to wait, and then she came up with ‘Act I.'”

The women started working together in 2020, Boggs said. Naturally, the pandemic had some bearing on the music they produced.

“So we came out of being isolated, back into the world from no parties to finally expressing ourselves,” she said.

“Baby, We Don’t Do Just One Thing”

The house and disco influences of Renaissance transported listeners to “other planets,” Boggs said. Cowboy Carter, on the other hand, is about coming back down to earth.

“And it’s like, baby, we don’t do just one thing. We do everything and we do it well,” she said. “That’s what she’s letting you know. This is her southern roots, this is her Texas roots.”

Renaissance and Cowboy Carter have been billed as two parts of a trilogy. Fans speculate that the final act will see Beyoncé pivot to rock. Boggs isn’t spilling. However, she did emphasize that it’s unwise to pigeonhole the Lemonade singer.

“Representation matters, that sound matters,” the producer said. “This sound is Black music, this is what we started.”

Is Cowboy Carter a Clapback to the CMA Awards?

Recently, Beyoncé shared what led up to Cowboy Carter. The century-defining star said on Instagram that the album “was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t.”

[RELATED: Beyoncé Reveals Title & Cover Art for ‘Renaissance Act II’ Album, ‘Cowboy Carter’—Will We Get a Dolly Parton Collab?]

In 2016, Beyoncé performed her song “Daddy Lessons” alongside The Chicks at the Country Music Association Awards. It was reportedly the show’s highest-rated 15 minutes ever. Still, the backlash was swift.

Fans now believe that was the moment Cowboy Carter was born. “Beyoncé finished her cmas performance and said imma be back next time with a VENGEANCE,” one user wrote on X/Twitter.

Featured image by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

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