Beyoncé accepts the Innovator Award at the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards held at the Dolby Theatre o...

Beyoncé Fans Spotted Act III Clues In Cowboy Carter

Listen to the "Ya Ya" bridge again...

Originally Published: 
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There’s a new blonde-haired sheriff in town: Beyoncé. Ever since she released Cowboy Carter in late March, social media has been in shambles. While country ran the heart of the album, Beyoncé also melted elements of funk, rap, and slight opera to release her most ethereal record yet. Though we’re still in the early stages of Cowboy Carter, the BeyHive has already predicted what genre will dominate Act III. Let’s discuss.

Many fans on X, formerly known as Twitter, believe Act III will be an ode to rock ‘n’ roll. This hunch derives from theories that Beyoncé’s trilogy album is an homage to sounds that originated from Black culture. She interestingly touched on that detail at the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards, strengthening this already probable theory.

On April 1, Beyoncé accepted the Innovator Award at the award show. During her speech, she dedicated the award to other innovators such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Stevie Wonder (who presented the honor to her), Prince, André 3000, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson and more. Her inclusion of Tharpe caught fans’ attention, as the late singer is known as “The Godmother Of Rock.”


That’s not the only subliminal hint fans believed Beyoncé dropped. On Cowboy Carter, the singer referred to rock-adjacent staples such as “mosh pitting” and leaned into its thrashing sound on “Ya Ya.” The lyrics to “Ya Ya” also seem to suggest a road trip to rock is in the future. Fans pointed out how on the bridge Beyoncé sings, “We gon’ bus it down from Texas to Gary / All the way down to New York City.” The theory is that these locations may be pivotal to the three genres Bey is focusing on: NYC for Renaissance’s house sounds, Texas for Cowboy Carter’s country, and Gary, Indiana for rock, since its the home of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame.

Also, shortly after the album’s release, she sent flowers to Jack White — who co-produced her rock-laden Lemonade track, “Don’t Hurt Yourself.”

Let’s breakdown more of the theory below.

This Theory Isn’t Too Farfetched

Beyoncé hasn’t strayed away from sounds that have a rich history of Black artists. She began with Renaissance, whose sampling and lyrical finesse celebrates the Black and Latinx icons — stretching from DJs to queer legends in ballroom — across Detroit, Chicago, and New York who created house music. Not to mention, she grounded the rich roars of HBCU culture in the album’s final send-off, “My House.”

On Cowboy Carter, she undeniably reminds listeners of the Black roots in country-western music. (These origins also scale beyond music, and as a Texan woman, Beyoncé has shown that she’s aware of those ties.) Specifically, she tipped her hat to Black country musicians of the past and future.


Similar to house music and country, there are several Black musicians who laid the groundwork for rock music. With this direction, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Beyoncé rage on a guitar in Act III. She’s slightly dipped her toes in rock in the past, such as on The Weekend-assisted “6 Inch,” “Haunted” from 2013’s self-titled, and her debut album’s underrated “Hip Hop Star.”


Even her 2017 remix of “Crazy In Love” for the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy is evocatively alternative, and personally, recalls glimpses of Deftones’ “Change (In The House of Flies).” To simplify this all: Beyoncé has a damn good ear for a rock-infused hit.

For over a decade, Beyoncé has made pop music on her own terms. And if she embraces rock in the album’s final act, it’ll be a long-awaited moment.

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