Long ago, before Beyoncé’s 2022 dance album Renaissance took us all to a space-age future populated entirely by silver-haired, house music-loving alien superstars, it was rumored that the album would be broken up into multiple set pieces delineated by Black folks’ oft-overlooked contributions to genres like dance and country. As it turns out, it looks like that wasn’t just speculation on the part of fans; Beyoncé herself just shared a short promo video teasing that country album with the cryptic title “Act II.”
Such an album — which could bear the title Texas Hold ‘Em as an ode to the star’s home state — would be the culmination of Beyonce’s flirtations with the genre, which began early in her career and seemingly peaked in 2016 on the Lemonade cut “Daddy Lessons.” At the time, Beyoncé was credited with helping to kickoff the so-called “Yee-haw Agenda,” reclaiming space in country music for Black people, who were some of the earliest pioneers of the genre before being written out of the history books in favor of performers like the Dixie Chicks (now re-named “The Chicks”) and Lady Antebellum (now somewhat contentiously known as “Lady A”). Now, a veritable renaissance (heh) of Black performers has overtaken country music, with Tracy Chapman making history and acts like Mickey Guyton finding huge platforms.
So, when is “Act II” beginning? Beyoncé hasn’t given too many hints — according to the promo, the first inkling will arrive on 3/29 — but odds are, it’ll be sooner rather than later. Beyonce.com currently lists two tracks: “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages.” You can listen to both below: