Controversy Erupts as Beyoncé’s Country Music Album Cover Draws Criticism from Black Artists: Labelled as ‘White Woman Cosplay’

Recently, Beyoncé unveiled the cover for her forthcoming country music album titled ‘Cowboy Carter,’ slated for release this Friday. However, the excitement turned sour swiftly as prominent black artists such as Azealia Banks and Erykah Badu wasted no time in criticizing the cover, branding it as ‘white woman cosplay.’

Beyoncé Reveals Cover for Country Album
A decade before the release of “Cowboy Carter,” Beyoncé revealed the album’s cover. It featured her adorned in red, white, and blue chaps, donning a modest white cowboy hat, striking a majestic pose atop a white horse, while lifting the American flag.

In the Instagram caption, Beyoncé reflected, ‘This album has been over five years in the making. It stems from an experience years ago where I felt unwelcome… It became evident that I wasn’t.’ She appeared to allude to her performance of “Daddy Lessons” with The Chicks at the 2016 Country Music Awards.

“However, that experience prompted me to delve deeper into the roots of country music and explore our diverse musical heritage,” Beyoncé elaborated. “It’s gratifying to witness how music has the power to bring together people from various backgrounds globally, while also shining a light on those who have devoted themselves to educating others about our musical legacy.”

‘Honored To Be The First Black Woman…’

Later in the post, Beyoncé acknowledged the success of her country music single “Texas Hold ‘Em.”

“I am deeply honored to be the first Black woman to achieve a number one single on the Hot Country Songs chart,” she expressed with enthusiasm. “This milestone wouldn’t have been possible without the unwavering support from each and every one of you. My aspiration is that in the years to come, an artist’s race will be inconsequential when it comes to defining musical genres.”

“This isn’t just a country album. This is a Beyoncé album,” she asserted. “This marks Act II of COWBOY CARTER, and I am thrilled to share it with all of you!”

Black Artists Respond
Regrettably for Beyoncé, her actions swiftly sparked criticism from black artists such as Azealia Banks and Erykah Badu, who lambasted her album cover, accusing her of pandering to a white audience.

“I’m somewhat dismayed by your transition from celebrating baobab trees and the black parade to this overt attempt to gain favor,” remarked rapper Banks on social media, alluding to Beyoncé’s Grammy Award-winning single from The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack, which she oversaw as executive producer in 2019, as reported by Billboard.

Banks proceeded to dub Beyoncé as “Whiteyonce” and accused her of engaging in “white woman cosplay,” alleging that she perpetuated the false notion that country music is exclusively a post-Civil War white art form.

“You engage in questionable actions like bringing out blacklisted white women (Dixie Chicks) at the Country Music Awards, knowing they would never reciprocate,” she continued. “You consistently share your platform with white women who harbor envy towards you but have a history of undermining other black women’s careers. There were numerous opportunities for insightful cultural commentary here.”

“I fail to comprehend why you feel the need to adopt a persona reminiscent of a white woman to create music that is essentially folk/bluegrass/adult contemporary,” Banks added. “It’s as if you hired a dialect coach and perfected the nuances of pronunciation and twang, conforming to the lyrical and melodic patterns that epitomize contemporary Confederate romanticism in a song.”

The singer Erykah Badu got in on the action as well, reacting to the album by calling on Beyoncé’s husband Jay Z to intervene.

“To Jay Z . Say somethin Jay . You gone let this woman and these bees do this to me ??” she wrote.

The specific target of Badu’s critique remains ambiguous, but her disdain for the album is unmistakable.

Liberals have attempted to frame any criticism of Beyoncé’s foray into country music as “racist” against black people. However, the involvement of significant black artists in these critiques complicates that narrative.

It remains to be seen whether Beyoncé’s debut country music album will be successful or if it will mark a significant misstep in her career. Only time will tell.