The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Beyoncé’s Country Debut

In a surprising twist to her iconic music career, Beyonce, or  “Queen Bey” released a country song on Feb. 11 titled “Texas Hold ‘Em” that left fans with many questions. I have always been a Beyonce fan, and while I may not be a part of the “BeyHive,” I think it’s cool she’s trying to make the jump to create country music. However, this song fell short, especially as her country debut, although, as listeners, we can appreciate the effort that was made. Dropping a country music song amongst her pop and R&B discography is unexpected and showcases her versatility as an artist, whether or not it’s what her fanbase wants. 

Rilee Menonza, a third-year criminal justice major and an avid Beyonce fan said, “This song crosses the line between Hip Hop, R&B, and country, which is uniting cultures and people.” 

Hip-hop and country music have always had contradicting styles, which has caused a divide between the two. 

This isn’t Beyonce’s first country debut. In 2016, she released an album titled Lemonade which also featured a country song, “Daddy Lessons.” This song bridges the hip-hop and country divide with its southern twang and lyrics referencing her hometown of Houston, Texas. 

“I love Beyonce’s switch to country on this track, but I wish she was more accepted by the country music community, and I think it speaks to the fact that they’re pretty separate audiences,” said third-year English major Sophia Ryan when asked about Beyonce’s new song.

Neither fan base seems extremely satisfied with the new release, speaking to the fact that Beyoncé’s supporters are likely accustomed to her sound and style, the one they fell in love with from the start. This also shows her lack of acceptance in the country genre. 

ABC News published an article referencing an Oklahoma radio station that refuses to play Beyonce’s new song on their station because of their “traditional” country music fan base.

Country music fans complain that it wasn’t country enough because it includes Western iconography that some may view as tacky or cliche. The hate seems less directed at the quality of the song and more at the artist. This could also be because there’s a predominantly white audience for country music, and women of color aren’t always respected in that genre. 

Cassius Klinetobe, SSU alumni and avid country fan, said “ It’s a good song but it’s not country. You can’t put an acoustic guitar behind a track and call it country.” This song teeters the line between country and pop and for most country fans it doesn’t meet the mark. With that being said, this song deserves to be accepted as a country track even if it isn’t a “traditional” country song. Beyonce dipping her toes into country music has allowed audiences to hear her unique vocals on something very different from her usual style. She’s attempting to unify the two in a new and alternative way. 

As of right now, “Texas Hold’em” is number one on Beyonce’s streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. There are over 32 million streams of the song as of now and it will most likely keep growing as it gets closer to her album release, March 29th. 

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About the Contributor
Coreen Brogan, Staff Writer
Coreen Brogan is a third year communication studies major at Sonoma State.
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