Dissecting the ‘Cowboy Carter’ Cover: Beyoncé’s Yeehaw Agenda

As Beyoncé gears up for the release of her next solo album, “Cowboy Carter,” she teased fans on Tuesday with the new record’s cover, which, like her previous album, shows her sitting on a horse. But unlike on that record, “Renaissance,” this time she’s in full rodeo gear, riding a white stallion, kicking off a new era of her three-act project.

It has been nearly two years since she dropped “Renaissance,” which birthed a world tour and inspired an array of sequined and chrome-heavy looks among fans internationally. If Act I, as she called that album, paid homage to disco and house music, Act II is sure to be her official entry into country music.

In advance of the album’s release, on March 29, members of The New York Times’s Styles desk took a close look at the album cover, and what it represents for Black American contribution to country music.

Gina Cherelus How do we feel about the album cover? Off rip, I love how she and the horse have matching hair. I wonder if it’s the same one from “Renaissance” or a new member of the stable. Either way, they’re both striking.

Melissa Guerrero I always appreciate visual consistency! Which is something we’re definitely seeing in these first two acts, so far.

Marie Solis Since “Renaissance,” she’s clearly been trying to reinscribe images of Black women into the history of the cowboys and the West, which is a quintessential part of the American mythology — and a terrain ripe for patriotic and nationalist symbols.

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