Beyoncé is making a country album. White people like John Schneider need to get over it.

OPINION: From John Schneider comparing her to a dog to a country station refusing to play her song, white people seem upset that Beyoncé is tapping into her country roots. 

Beyonce leaves the Luar fashion show at 154 Scott in Brooklyn during New York Fashion Week on February 13, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

I was watching “The Greatest Night in Pop” the other night. 

It’s a Netflix documentary about the 1985 recording of “We Are The World” — that song many of us Gen X kids sang at middle and high school graduations in 1986 because the song was everywhere and you couldn’t escape it. 

The story of how that song came together and everything they went through to record it on the same night many of the stars had attended the American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles is very interesting, and I highly recommend you watch the documentary, but I’m bringing it up for a specific reason.

There’s a part in the doc where they are talking about Lionel Richie not only being the host of the American Music Awards that night, but he performed twice and he won six awards as well. The documentary then showed a clip from the actual award show, and in it, Lionel Richie is seen winning the award for “Favorite Black Male.”

I did a double-take and immediately hit rewind on my television because surely I read that wrong. Did that award really say Favorite Black Male?

It did in fact say Favorite Black Male, and that sent me down a rabbit hole to find out why. 

It turns out that in 1985, the American Music Awards sought to find another way to “other” Black artists because of what happened in 1984 when Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dominated the “R&B/Soul” category. Many argued that “Thriller” was actually a pop album (I would posit that “Thriller” has a mix of both pop and R&B hits, but I’m not a music expert), and to prevent someone else from running the category again — while also keeping Black people out of “pop” category (because clearly that was only for white people, lol), they made new categories and labeled them “Black” instead. 

Those categories were only used in 1985. Thankfully, the AMAs got rid of them the following year, but it didn’t get rid of the othering of Black artists who stepped outside of what is “traditionally” considered to be Black music. 

The point of this trip down memory lane is to highlight how historically, Black artists who bend genres with their music still get pigeon-holed into what are regarded as “Black” music categories instead of being honored for the work they are actually putting out. 

The othering of Black people and our music is nothing new. At the advent of what we now consider to be popular music, what white people recorded was called “blues” or “country” or “rock and roll” while what Black people recorded — even if it was one of those same styles of music — was called race records

They have never wanted us to thrive in areas they consider their own. 

This is important right now because of what is happening with Beyoncé and country music. 

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Let’s first be clear about the fact that Beyoncé is a Southern girl from Texas – Houston to be exact, and there is nothing more country than Houston, Texas, baby. 

I mean that in the most respectful way because when a Black, Southern-raised woman from Texas says she is going to make a country album, there’s no reason for anyone to get up in arms about it.

So it is incredibly ignorant on the part of John Schneider, aka Bo Duke, to compare Queen Bey to a dog marking its territory when it was announced she would have a country album coming out. 

In response to Beyoncé fans trying to get an Oklahoma radio station to play her song, “Texas Hold ‘Em,” OANN’s Alison Steinberg asked Schneider, “The lefties in the entertainment industry just won’t leave any area alone, right? They just have to seize control over every aspect, don’t they?”

“They’ve got to make their mark, just like a dog in a dog walk park,” Schneider replied. “You know, every dog has to mark every tree, right?”

 Let’s understand that “lefties’ in this case isn’t a political statement; it’s a euphemism for a word I can’t type here, but it starts with an “N” and ends with a hard “ER.”

It is upsetting to both Steinberg and Schneider that Black people dare take up space in areas of music they helped create. 

Likening her to a dog “pissing” on everything is insulting because Beyoncé actually has talent, and she puts a lot of work and thought into her projects. You don’t have to like her or her music to still respect that. 

Likening a Black woman to a dog is insulting on an entirely different and racist level. 

I’m sure neither Steinberg nor Schneider knows anything about the origins of country music, but Black people have been all up and through that genre from the very beginning. Not knowing or understanding that as you attempt to trash a Black woman for making country music is laughable and embarrassing. 

They aren’t the only white people up in arms about this upcoming country album.

As PBS noted, “Black musicians have always had a place in the history of country music, despite the music industry’s push to label white folk music as hillbilly music, and Black folk music as ‘race records.’”

“Black women, in particular, have deep roots in country music and are among the originators of the genre,” as noted by Francesca T. Royster, who further wrote:

The banjo is, after all, an instrument with African origins, cousin to the current West African instrument, the akonting. Black people are said to have brought their banjos (and the knowledge of how to make them), with them during the Middle Passage. The first string band performers were enslaved people, and this music was appropriated to form Blackface minstrelsy, the United States’ first successful commercial music. A major country music guitar and banjo picking style originated in the Piedmont region’s blues, exemplified by virtuoso Black woman musicians Elizabeth Cotten and Etta Baker.

As I’ve previously stated, this isn’t new territory for Black people. We’ve been here before. Anything we demonstrate even a modicum of ability or success at, (some) white people try to gatekeep it and keep us out. 

The irony of that is the way they themselves co-opt any and everything else from us. They want our style; our music; our melanin and beautiful, rich skin colors; our hairstyles; our physical features; our language; our slang — our everything

Meanwhile, they closely guard the things they steal and act like we are doing something wrong if we take those things back. 

Is that not the very basis of America? 

They stole this country, and now, they fight so hard to keep any and everyone else out.

Funny that. 

Beyoncé is not stealing anything from you by making this album. 

Beyoncé isn’t borrowing anything from you by making this album. 

Beyoncé is a country girl, and she’s making a country album.

I am personally praying for a Black Buckle Bunny Tour where she takes all the other Black country girlies and hits the road. 

Yee haw.

Monique Judge is a storyteller, content creator and writer living in Los Angeles. She is a word nerd who is a fan of the Oxford comma, spends way too much time on Twitter, and has more graphic t-shirts than you. Follow her on Twitter @thejournalista or check her out at

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.