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Beyoncé — Cowboy Carter

Beyoncé is back with another act. Nearly two years after dropping Renaissance, Queen Bey unveils Cowboy Carter. The highly-anticipated project is said to be the second of three acts and this one explores country music without being a country album (more on that later).

Cowboy Carter features a who’s who of guests, including musical icons Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton, who lend their celebrated voices here and there. Miley Cyrus, Post Malone, Tanner Adell, Brittney Spencer, Tiera Kennedy and Shaboozey make appearances as well.

Bey has already broken barriers with this album. “Texas Hold ‘Em” earned her the honor of being the first Black woman with a No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart. “My hope is that years from now, the mention of an artist’s race, as it relates to releasing genres of music, will be irrelevant,” she recently wrote on Instagram.

Yoncé says she made this album over the course of five years. “I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive,” she said. “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 went on: “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.”

And although this is inspired by Country music, Beyoncé made something clear in that caption: “This ain’t a Country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album.” Listen to Cowboy Carter below.

Doechii f. JT — “Alter Ego”

Doechii broke onto the scene with last year’s “What It Is.” Now, Top Dawg Entertainment’s rising star unveils her newest single, “Alter Ego,” featuring JT of the City Girls.

“Doechii season, new persona,” the TDE rapper-singer says on the track. Soon thereafter, The City Cinderella follows up with a confident verse of her own: “Unfazed, unbothered, unf-ckwithable, b-tch, why bother?”

Doechii also celebrated the song’s release on social media. “I accidentally created my own genre with this one,” she wrote. “This record doesn’t sound like anything out right now. I’m so excited for y’all to experience this song, this visual, and this ERA with me! when they ask you.. tell em it’s editorial rap; if hip hop and house music had a baby.”

Camila Cabello f. Playboi Carti — “I LUV IT”

Camila Cabello enters a new musical era with “I LUV IT” featuring help from two hip-hop heavyweights. Playboi Carti delivers a guest verse and Gucci Mane appears via sample.

Camila and Carti might seem like an unlikely pairing, but Cabello says it worked out organically. “I DM’ed him,” she told Apple Music. “A lot of people were like, ‘He’s mysterious and whatever.’ I was like, ‘I’m just gonna DM him.’ It was very genuine.”

The two ended up working together in-person. “He really loved the new visual world that I was leaning into. There’s a lot of similarities,” she added. “We are more similar than you would think on the outside…We have similar ways of working.”

El Guincho and Jasper Harris produced the track, which features such a heavy hip-hop influence, in part due to the Guwop sample (“Lemonade”). Cabello says that’s what she was listening to while working on new music. “I listened to so much rap, so much hip-hop, and learned so much from that genre of music throughout this album,” she explained.

CALIsthenics — CALIsthenics

CALIsthenics — comprised of MC Juice, Georgia Anne Muldrow and All Natural — just released their eponymous debut album under Golden State Entertainment, an affiliate of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

This is particularly monumental for Juice. He earned battle acclaim during the freestyle on-beat era, famously sparring with the likes of Eminem. But this marks his first official album, according to a press release.

Bay Area legends also make appearances here. This includes E-40, Casual and Del The Funky Homosapien. All of them appear on the album’s opener and single, “Paper Thick.”

Listen to the full project below.

STREAMED: Beyoncé Drops ‘Cowboy Carter,’ Camila Cabello Taps Playboi Carti For “I LUV IT” & More  was originally published on cassiuslife.com