Music

Here’s How Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ & ‘Renaissance’ Are Connected

If you thought surprise drops and visual albums were the peak of Beyoncé‘s powers, think again. With 2022’s Renaissance and her buzzy new Cowboy Carter album, Queen Bey is meticulously rolling out a sprawling trilogy of releases that is sure to leave an indelible mark on popular music.

Long before “Texas Hold ‘Em” made history across several Billboard charts, Beyoncé commenced her trilogy with the release of the Grammy-winning “Break My Soul.” That thumping house anthem served as the lead single for Renaissance, which Beyoncé detailed as the first in a “three-act project” she recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This three-act project was recorded over three years during the pandemic,” she wrote in a message on her official website. “A time to be still, but also a time I found to be the most creative. Creating [Renaissance] allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world. It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving.”

A kaleidoscopic mélange of country, R&B, opera, ’70s rock, hip-hop, Americana, house, blues, gospel and more, Cowboy Carter has a few entry points that seamlessly segue into the Renaissance world. In fact the end of Cowboy Carter closer “Amen” transitions seamlessly into Renaissance opener “I’m That Girl”; the shimmering synth at the end of “Amen” feels like a spaceship transporting us to a world of alien superstars.

The connections don’t stop there. There are several lyrical Easter eggs baked into both albums, further solidifying the relationship between the two albums. In a press release shared shortly after the album’s release, Beyoncé revealed that she “was initially going to put Cowboy Carter out first, but with the pandemic, there was too much heaviness in the world. We wanted to dance. We deserved to dance. But I had to trust God’s timing.” Needless to say, Beyoncé’s grand vision is coming together right in front of our eyes.

Here are a few connections between Cowboy Carter and Renaissance.

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