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Beyoncé’s ‘Ameriican Requiem’ Slams Haters That Say She’s Not ‘Country Enough’

Beyoncé is officially in her country era — and she doesn’t care what you think about it.

The superstar opened her freshly released Cowboy Carter album on Friday (March 29) with “Ameriican Requiem,” a half-spoken word declaration of her intentions with the country-tinged project. “Looka there, looka in my hand / The grandbaby of a moonshine man / Gadsden, Alabama / Got folk down in Galveston, rooted in Louisiana / Used to say I spoke, ‘Too country’ / And the rejection came, said ‘I wasn’t country ‘nough,” she sings on the tracks second verse. “Said I wouldn’t saddle up, but / If that ain’t country, tell me what is? / Plant my bare feet on solid ground for years / They don’t, don’t know how hard I had to fight for this / When I sang my song.”

The lyrics are seemingly in response to criticism the Texas native has faced when trying to dabble in country music throughout her career, especially after the release of “Daddy Lessons” from her 2016 album Lemonade. Half a year later, she performed it at the 2016 Country Music Association Awards alongside The Chicks. A pre-show announcement teasing her performance sparked calls for a CMAs boycott on social media, with some people blasting the awards show for including Bey, whose tribute to the Black Panther Party during her performance of “Formation” at the 2016 Super Bowl had also earned pushback.

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“This album has been over five years in the making,” Bey wrote on Instagram earlier this month. “It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t. But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive. It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world, while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives educating on our musical history.”

She continued, “The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me. act ii is a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work.”

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