Azealia Banks Accuses Beyoncé Of Being In 'White Woman Cosplay' With 'Cowboy Carter'

22 March 2024 | 10:01 am | Mary Varvaris

"Wow, we didn’t even try to put even a little effort into a more artistic title?"

Azealia Banks, Beyoncé

Azealia Banks, Beyoncé (Source: Supplied)

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Azealia Banks has fired at Beyoncé regarding her new country album, Cowboy Carter, accusing her of being in “white woman cosplay” and calling her out for a perceived lack of originality surrounding the album title and artwork.

Taking to Instagram Stories this week – screenshotted and posted to X (formerly known as Twitter) and gaining over 19 million views – the rapper began by taking aim at the album title.

“Wow, we didn’t even try to put even a little effort into a more artistic title?” she wrote, unimpressed by the combination of Beyoncé’s surname and a country music reference in the title.

Equally unimpressed with the album art, which finds Beyoncé sitting on a saddle on a horse and holding the reins, wearing red, white and blue, donning a sash with the words Cowboy Carter on it, and holding an American flag as the horse moves, Banks accused the Single Ladies singer of being in “white woman cosplay”.

She took issue with the album art on a broader level, writing: “How u switch from baobab trees and black parade to this literal pick me stuff”, referencing Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack, which she executive-produced in 2019.

According to Banks, Beyoncé is “reinforcing the false rhetoric that country music is a post civil war white art form. And subsequently reinforcing the idea that there is no racism, segregation, slavery, violence, theft, massacres, plagues, manifest destiny craziness that form the bedrock of epithets like ‘proud to be an American,’ or ‘god bless the usa.’”

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In her post, Banks also mentioned Beyoncé’s performance at the 2016 CMA Awards with The Chicks (then known as the Dixie Chicks), writing, “u do lame stuff like bring out some black listed white women (Dixie Chicks) at the country music awards and they would never ever do the same for you”.

You can read the remaining commentary from Banks below.

Beyoncé hasn’t responded to Banks’ comments at the time of publishing.

Earlier this week, Beyoncé revealed that Cowboy Carter was born out of adversity.

“This album has been over five years in the making. 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,” she wrote, referring to the backlash she received for the aforementioned CMA Awards performance.

She continued, “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.

“This ain’t a Country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album,” she added, revealing that her aim for Cowboy Carter is to reach a point where “the mention of an artist’s race, as it relates to releasing genres of music, will be irrelevant.”