Thursday, May 23, 2024

Explaining Beyonce’s latest hit “Texas Hold ‘Em”

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Should you’re a fan of nation music from North America or Beyonce (or each), then you definately’ve in all probability been following the extremely coated launch of her newest hit, ‘Texas Maintain ‘Em’. The track is squarely within the nation music class, which has garnered loads of headlines contemplating Beyonce is basically often called the Queen of Pop.

The pivot to nation music has been met with suspicion, pleasure, confusion, and rather more. The track, which dropped on Tremendous Bowl Sunday on February 11 earlier this yr, was a shock hit on Beyonce’s model new album. Titled ‘Cowboy Carter’, it appears will probably be closely influenced by nation music. 

The album cowl options Beyonce clad in red-white-and-blue leather-based chaps, driving a horse with a big American flag behind her. Even that has garnered divisive opinions—since when is Beyonce a rustic artist? Let’s get to this query and lots of extra beneath as we discover the lyrics, hype, and controversy surrounding this newest hit.

Beyoncé in the cover image for her forthcoming album, “Cowboy Carter,” which drops this week. (Parkwood / Columbia / Sony via Associated Press)Beyoncé in the cover image for her forthcoming album, “Cowboy Carter,” which drops this week. (Parkwood / Columbia / Sony via Associated Press)Beyoncé in the cover image for her forthcoming album, “Cowboy Carter,” which drops this week. (Parkwood / Columbia / Sony via Associated Press)
Beyoncé within the cowl picture for her forthcoming album, “Cowboy Carter,” which drops this week. (Parkwood / Columbia / Sony through Related Press)

Digging Into the Lyrics

At just below 4 minutes lengthy, ‘Texas Maintain ‘Em’ isn’t a fancy hit. It’s an association of plucky guitar notes, Beyonce’s soulful voice, and background accents. The track’s identify is a reference to the wildly standard poker recreation of Texas Maintain’em, which partly originated within the Lone Star state again through the Wild West period of dusty saloons and card rooms. 

Regardless of the historic relevance of the sport, Texas Hold’em poker remains hugely popular for on-line gamers. Estimates place the worldwide participant pool at round 100 million folks, lots of whom reduce their tooth on-line with the hopes of qualifying for in-person tournaments. The sport is even broadcast on main channels like ESPN. 

In different phrases, Beyonce’s option to give attention to Texas Maintain’em without delay locations her in nation music territory—however with a recreation that folks around the globe acknowledge.

Nation Roots

Once more, you is likely to be questioning what might be so controversial about Beyonce entering into a rustic music function. In spite of everything, she’s from Houston and grew up attending rodeos—what’s extra nation than that? Throw within the actuality that round one-quarter of all US cowboys through the Wild West period have been black and there’s much more motive to say that Beyonce, although she got here up within the pop scene, has robust nation roots.

However there’s a robust divide within the US between who’s ‘allowed’ to symbolize nation music. This has many historic nuances—however there’s usually a sense of vilification amongst many country-loving communities. Nation followers are sometimes from rural, poor, and under-served communities. To see a pop star billionaire like Beyonce show her nation pleasure by driving round on a horse in Americana gear feels disingenuous for many who didn’t notice she was a part of the musical scene.

Nation Questions

Pop stars shifting into the nation area is considered as controversial. Even Taylor Swift, who started as a rustic musician, has acquired flack for transitioning forwards and backwards into pop music. Evidently nation music has existed in a world of its personal—its listeners merely aren’t used to musicians dipping a toe into the territory. 

However Beyonce is much from the primary non-country star to flex her nation abilities. Rapper Nelly has collaborated with the Florida Georgia Line (‘Lil Bit’, 2021) and Tim McGraw (‘Over and Over’, 2004), making crossover hits for properly over a decade. The concept nation music have to be squarely throughout the style is a purist argument—one which gained’t win over the music trade or its followers.

Tugging on Historic Strings

Chances are you’ll be selecting up on deeply cultural and historic notes on this article—which is a superb abstract about why ‘Texas Maintain ‘Em’ has been so controversial. At its easiest, it’s a four-minute track about common, virtually senseless nation fluff (mentioning dive bars, life’s difficulties, and hoedowns). At its most advanced, it’s a part of an ongoing battle to outline what’s nation music throughout the context of the American identification. Nevertheless, plainly this debate is raging solely throughout the bounds of the US, which suggests Beyonce may develop into the US’s biggest ambassador for nation music overseas.

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