“Upgrade U,” Beyoncé featuring Jay Z
I mean, this video with Beyoncé writhing around in the water makes it hard to focus on the song at hand. One of two tracks on Bey’s sophomore solo set that features Jay (“Dejá Vu” is the other), the track is a confident banger, and Jay’s verse is rapped with the authority of a man at the top of his profession. And then, again, there’s the video. Bey-utiful.
“Check On It,” Beyoncé featuring Bun B and Slim Thug
Taking it back to her roots, Beyoncé recruits two H-Town legends in Bun B and Slim Thug as she sings the hook in between the sparring verses. One of many times where she’ll flash her hometown pride.
“Ego (Remix),” Beyoncé featuring Kanye West
Album: I Am…Sasha Fierce
A remix of a bonus track off Bey’s third album, the appropriately-titled “Ego” pairs Kanye rapping a little tenderly over the piano-based beat before Beyoncé comes in and brings the track back home. Also contains maybe one of the most Kanye line that Kanye has ever spit: “My ego is my imaginary friend.”
“Hip-Hop Star” featuring Big Boi and Sleepy Brown
Album: Dangerously In Love
Though she’s had two recent collabs with André 3000, Big Boi was the first OutKast star Beyoncé tapped, inviting him and frequent ATL collaborator Sleepy Brown onto this track off her debut solo album. The beat is similar in style to the type of straight-ahead, side-steppin’ grooves that Big would make his own on his own solo albums later in the decade, but this one leads the way.
“I Been On (Remix),” Beyoncé featuring Bun B, Slim Thug, Z-Ro, Willie D and Lil Keke
The B-Side to “Bow Down” was a chopped and screwed gem to begin with, but then it got the remix treatment with a who’s who of Houston All-Stars, from Bun B (UGK), Willie D (Geto Boys) and Slim Thug to Lil Keke and Z-Ro. Feel the syrup flow through your veins.