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Music Review: “16 Carriages” and “Texas Hold ‘Em” by Beyonce

Beyonce stuns one again, however, this time embracing the cowgirl hat, but not in its mirrored disco state.

Shortly after the Super Bowl on Feb. 11, Beyonce starred in a commercial for Verizon, showcasing her ability to defy all boundaries; from highlighting her playing the saxophone to running for “Beyonce of the United States,” or BOTUS, a play on the phrase POTUS, or President of the United States.

With the release of tracks “16 Carriages” and “Texas Hold ‘Em,” Beyonce further demonstrates her ability to defy all boundaries of music, showcasing her talent within the Country Music genre, a genre trailblazed by the African American community in the U.S.

“16 carriages drivin’ away, while I watch them ride with my dreams away, to the summer sunset on a holy night,” Beyonce wrote in “16 Carriages,” a song titled after her age when she formally left to join girl group powerhouse, Destiny’s Child. She uses these lyrics to signify the loss of her childhood at the young age of 16, after choosing to chase after her dreams and build a life not only for herself but also for her parents. 

This is not the first time Beyonce has shared her country music talents or shed light on her childhood. In her 2016 cult classic album, “Lemonade,” she showcased her Texan heritage with the song “Daddy Lessons,” where she opens up about her relationship with her father growing up. 

In many ways, “16 Carriages” is a continuation of “Daddy Lessons”. Having to grow up and leave your childhood at an early age, an experience among many child superstars. 

Unlike “16 Carriages,” “Texas Hold ‘Em” shines a light on her hometown of Houston and the roots of country music: the African American community. 

“And I’ll be damned if I cannot dance with you. Come pour some liquor on me, honey too,” Beyonce sings with a light whistling tune in the background. With this, she uses these playful lyrics to showcase what country music is traditionally: dancing music. The opening of the song uses a banjo, a traditionally West African instrument brought to the United States by slaves. 

The singer has never been afraid to show her Texan heritage, in “I Been On,” a song from her live album titled “Homecoming,” Beyonce pays homage to her hometown through lines such as “Rolling high, leather and wood; Keep it trill, that’s what’s good” she refers to the word “trill,” a historically Houstonian word.

These two singles perfectly embody not only Beyonce’s ability to showcase her wide range when it comes to a genre but also her ability to show she is just as human as everybody else. 

With the launch of these singles, Beyonce released a teaser for her upcoming album “Renaissance: Act II,” releasing March 29, a follow-up to her album “Renaissance: Act I,” a celebration of dance house music, a genre built by the black LGBTQ+ community in the 1970s and ’80s. It is rumored the final act of the Renaissance trilogy is going to be of the rock genre, another one of the many genres trailblazed by the black community.

A renaissance is the revival of art, and with this release, Beyonce continues to be a trailblazer in the revival of popular country music by black artists, proving she is BOTUS. 

Gabriela Quintero is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information on this story or others, contact her at

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