Is Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter telling us to get high?

cowboy carter

Beyoncé’s highly-anticipated Cowboy Carter dropped today, and the Bey Hive is buzzing. Speculation on what the country-themed album would be like was at a fever pitch immediately following the Super Bowl release announcement mere weeks ago. 

When the track list dropped, a number of guest collaborators were featured, but one name and song title stood out: Smoke Hour and Smoke Hour II, featuring Willie Nelson.

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Many wondered if the pair would sing a duet or if the Red-Headed Stranger would play a supporting role in some Beyoncé originals. What materialized was far beyond any expectations.

Instead of singing, Nelson acts as a radio DJ in album interludes—a role the legendary singer played as a young man in Vancouver, Washington. Playing into his well-known penchant for pot both in the title and the content, the Smoke Show series could be a proverbial message to take a quick toke break between songs.

After the quick flick of a lighter and what sounds distinctly like a satisfied exhale, Nelson lays on the weed puns during his short yet entertaining talk breaks.

“Now, for this next tune, I want you all to sit back, inhale, and go to that good place your mind likes to wander off to,” the country icon quipped on the first Smoke Hour.

The weed wordplay continues later on Cowboy Country when Nelson presents act two of his Smoke Show between My Rose and the smash single Texas Hold ‘Em.

“If there’s one thing you can take away from my set today, let it be this: Sometimes you don’t know what you like until someone you trust turns you on to some real good s***,” Nelson crooned.

Whether Queen Bey intended listeners to perceive the Smoke Show tracks as literal sesh time remains to be seen. But the tongue-in-cheek verbiage and the presence of one of the most famous cannabis enthusiasts of all time may lead some to wonder. 

It wouldn’t be the first time Beyoncé called out pot in her music, so maybe it’s just another way for the Grammy Award-winning artist to celebrate her passion for the plant. And while Willie and Bey weren’t the star collaboration the world expected, it’s the mash-up cannabis lovers deserve.


Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist and Editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, Cannabis and Tech Today, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter