Unpopular Opinion: Beyonce’s New Country Single “Texas Hold Em”
UPDATED: February 19, 2024
UPDATED: February 19, 2024

What is Country Music?

What is country music? What is roots music? Does it matter at this point thanks to the internet? Will AI destroy us all, or at least what it means to be human? I don’t know, folks… I don’t know much… Due to the fact my children have afterschool activities, the only meaningful decision I’ve made in the past 24 hours was to have spaghetti for dinner. Yes, that’s right, spaghetti. That is the only connection tethering me to any semblance of reality that I have control over my life.

Texas Hold Em

So you ask? What the hell does this have to do with roots music? Well, about as much as Beyoncé‘s new “country” song Texas Hold Em…The song has a banjo in it… The real question is, does that matter? I suppose that’s truly irrelevant. I think going forward I’ll most likely skip these types of articles altogether, as I vowed to never write with political undertones. I could have very easily just announced her album as a bit of news and then moved on. However, I think it’s important for me to state, I find her new “country” song to be stale and uninspiring. The whole situation has already struck a nerve amongst pop culture and news sites alike. I suppose the term “country” before the word “song” is what makes the whole damn thing controversial? So, let me rephrase, I find the new Beyoncé SONG Texas Hold Em stale and uninspiring. That’s very much a compliment, as I find most of the Top 40 country stale and uninspiring.

We live in such a volatile social climate at the moment that unfortunately, I don’t know if you could publicly dissect this particular song, its meaning, and whether or not it belongs on country radio. When researching the album, unfortunately, the headlines were already co-opted about racism, reclaiming country music, right vs. left, and various hate speech.

Rhiannon Giddens

A redeeming quality of the song is that Rhiannon Giddens, arguably one of the most influential roots musicians of our lifetime, provides banjo throughout the track. Giddens, who is best known as the front person for the Carolina Chocolate Drops, has spent her life dedicated to the resurgence of old-time music, specifically that of African roots. Their 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. Giddens has released multiple solo projects as well as collaborated with various country artists throughout the years, such as Eric Church‘s top 40 hit Kill a Word. Giddens is a true underrated gem; anything that puts her in the public eye, or catapults her, is a good thing in my book.

Final Thoughts

I’ve digressed multiple times throughout this article; I apologize. I find it difficult to write freely while trying to give a sincere opinion that won’t be mistaken for some imaginary social stance. When it’s all said and done, here’s what I think. I don’t know why anyone cares so strongly in either regard. Top 40 country is essentially a wishy-washy, pop music mix of genres anyway.

Who in the hell is claiming to be a gatekeeper? You’ve got Morgan Wallen and Hardy out here essentially making hip-hop. Nelly has thrown his hat in the ring multiple times, Breland and Sam Hunt, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus had the biggest song known to the galaxy, and shortly down the road we’re expecting a country album from Post Malone. Why the hell would anyone give a shit that Beyoncé wants some of that? It only makes sense that she does.

 Therefore, I personally welcome Queen B with open arms. Love her or hate her, she is a powerhouse of a diva and has just as much right to claim herself as country as any other artist in the genre. Her new song seems insincere, unauthentic, sonically pandering, and the lyrics are gibberish. I would wager, just like other country music staples, Body Like a Back Road, Cruise, or Fancy Like Applebee’s, Texas Hold Em is destined to be a country music classic. I, for one, have no issues with Beyoncé in country music. I welcome her. She can be the honorary Queen of Shit Mountain. As for me, I have to figure out what to make the kids for dinner tonight…

 

You may also be interested in Beyonce’s 16 Carriages

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