Queen Bey shook the world at midnight last night, dropping her new self-titled fifth solo album out of absolutely nowhere, complete with 18 music videos and features from hubby Jay Z, Drake and lil baby Blue Ivy. The new album is steeped in the kind of gritty Houston sound that permeated her last single “Bow Down,” and delivers a distinctly hip-hop vibe with some areas where she’s unmistakably rapping over the syrupy beat. While we are still trying to process the entirety of BEYONCÉ, here’s a breakdown of some of the Queen’s most memorable hip-hop collaborations, from working alongside Jay to breaking it down with Missy. Happy Bey Day. —Dan Rys (@danrys)
“Back To Black,” Beyoncé featuring André 3000
Album: The Great Gatsby Soundtrack
With Jay Z helming the score, Beyoncé and 3 Stacks collaborated for this Amy Winehouse cover, which slows things down and lacks some of the bite that Winehouse’s sassy original captured so well. But hey, any time you can grab the Queen and pair her with maybe the greatest Southern rapper to ever do it, you jump at the chance. André isn’t rapping so much as lending his drawl to the track, but we’re gonna toss this in anyway.
“’03 Bonnie And Clyde,” Jay Z featuring Beyoncé
Album: The Blueprint 2: The Gift And The Curse
One of the most iconic songs of the power duo’s relationship, this track showed up on The Blueprint 2 and became Bey’s first Top 10 hit. Kanye kindly flipped Tupac’s “Me And My Girlfriend” while Jay and Bey spun an outlaw tale of reckless love.
“Soldier,” Destiny’s Child featuring T.I. and Lil Wayne
Album: Destiny Fulfilled
Grabbing two of the hottest rappers in the game at the time—both of whom would only get bigger—this track peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was just about everywhere at the end of 2004. The video was as star-studded as the song, with Bow Wow, Ice Cube and a pregnant Solange all popping up to help celebrate.