BEYONCÉ: the discography rate ~ WINNER revealed!

anti rap girls low scoring the majority of EVERYTHING IS LOVE

(I didn't tank the album, though I think it did get my lowest album average in rates ever)

Anyway, how the heck is "SPIRIT" out first from that soundtrack album? When it was out first in BPG rate, I thought it was just... BPG rate behavior, but here it doesn't really make sense. I expected some other "The Gift" tracks, notably "NILE", to exit before it. It's not a big loss at this point but it's still confusing..
NICE is my least favourite track from Everything is Love, so I'm glad it went first, but it's still gone a bit too soon.

Speaking of too soon. Spirit sweetie I'm sorry. It is a shame the audio from the video version hasn't been released officially (has it?), maybe that would have helped it. I thought NILE would have left first too.



Also, I've come around to appreciate Spirit much more in hindsight. When it came out I was very harsh with it as it felt somewhat calculated and very much Oscar bait, but within context and especially after Black Is King I find it genuinely fantastic.
New page, new eliminations...


SCORE: 6.525

101/113 (-37) | 5.288 (+1.237)
HIGHEST SCORE: 9 x 2 ( @TheOnlyOne, @klow )
LOWEST SCORE: 4 x 3 ( @Sprockrooster, @Aester, @Robert )
MY SCORE: 7/10

This is pretty decent for a bonus track and definitely better than a good handful of songs that actually made it onto the standard edition of the album. It's average has jumped up quite a bit since the first rate as well, where it scored 5.288. Let’s argue about what we’d switch out on the standard edition for this... I’m gonna choose Hip Hop Star or That’s How You Like It, taking into consideration that we’ve already scrapped Daddy from existence mentally. What’s It Gonna Be was a bonus track on the Japanese edition of Dangerously In Love and then it appeared on Disc Two of the Live At Wembley CD. The song was written by Beyoncé, Kandice Love and the Soul Diggaz production team and samples 2Pac’s I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto, which in turn sampled Cameo’s The Two Of Us.

Being a 90s/00s kid, this kind of R&B was everything I adored when I was growing up. What’s It Gonna Be is Beyoncé giving me Aaliyah and Ashanti vibes and I’m so so so so good with that. Often diehard fans of early Beyoncé wish she would go back to doing songs like this and who knows? Maybe we'll get some uplifting R&B mid-tempos on Renaissance. R&B influence has never been missing on a Beyoncé album to date. The song actually ended up getting used for one of Beyoncé’s L’Oreal commercials in 2004, which are always fun to watch. Unfortunately, for international hunties (or is it just the UK?), What’s It Gonna Be is unavailable on streaming, which sucks.



SCORE: 6.566

83/113 (-54) | 6.009 (+0.557)
HIGHEST SCORE: 9.5 x 1 ( @Music Is Death )
LOWEST SCORE: 2.5 x 1 ( @boombazookajoe )
MY SCORE: 5/10

Speaking of Hip Hop Star, it comes as the first non-single on the Dangerously In Love tracklisting and Beyoncé makes sure not to stray away from the theme of the album. She is falling madly in love of course, but first and foremost she, as a young 20 something, is exploring her sexuality and is decidedly confident with her discoveries. Jay-Z has a writing credit on this track despite not featuring which is pretty clear in the chorus as Beyoncé sings, “Baby, let me know if you wanna roll with this hip hop star”. However, the verses are very much Beyoncé’s as she lets her lover know that she sits and waits for nobody, now undress her please!

Hip Hop Star is a semi-bop… maybe, and Big Boi has a couple good verses here. It ends up suffering a bit from coming after the three huge bangers that precede it on the album, but overall, I'm unsure where I’d place it in the filler section. That section is basically most of the second half of the album.

The song hasn’t been performed since the Verizon Ladies First Tour in 2004, however it did get a small shout out in one of The Formation World Tour interludes as a nice little nod for diehard Hive members. You can watch both the performance and interlude below.​

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NICE is one of the first songs I think was done wrong. She's a grower!

What's It Gonna Be is cute, and you hit the nail on the head: one of those throwaway bonus tracks that ends up being better than some of the actual album cuts. There's an absolutely killer ten track album you can make out of the Dangerously In Love era songs!
This is too early for Forward to go. It's the weakest on Lemonade but it's still a vibe. I wouldn't have kicked SPIRIT out now either, it's a biiiit Beyoncé on ballad autopilot but that uplifting chorus hits me good and it's actually one of my most returned to on Black is King.
"Forward" is quite incredible if you ask me. It's such an outlier in her discography. Of course, it doesn't work as well when it's singled out but it goes on to show how important it is in the context of Lemonade. I understand that some of y'all gave it a low score because James Blake takes a lot of room on it but what I find fascinating about "Forward" is that Beyoncé took the backseat and used someone else's voice and presence to give a different echo to the song's message. James Blake is the main vocalist here but you can tell all of it is Beyoncé's idea. He's here to serve her purpose, play a very specific role on the album, deliver a certain feeling and create a different atmosphere after the more conventional "Sandcastles." (it ain't shade, "Sandcastles" is a 10) I don't know, it's just something that I find fascinating how adventurous Beyoncé has become with her music and how utterly surprising and confusing "Forward" felt on first listen. And the way it was used in the Lemonade movie makes for one of the most powerful moments of the entire thing, so it definitely gave it an even deeper and moving meaning.

Also, "NICE" and "Hip Hop Star" shouldn't be out yet, but whatever... If some of y'all had to lose your dull ballads, I guess I can see a couple of my fun bangers go.
Hip-Hop Star I don't mind leaving at this point.
It serves its place as an uptempo album track, but in the context of a discography rate it falls through the cracks. There are uptempos from later albums which double down on what Hip-Hop Star does successfully but it takes it to the next level. And in the context of Dangerously In Love, it feels like a more realized version of the sound of a song like Sexuality. Ultimately, I like it well enough but it doesn't reach the soaring heights of the singles on Dangerously In Love. And I definitely prefer the sleek midtempo and slow r&b/soul album tracks that feel make up the bulk of the album (Be With You, Speechless, Yes, etc).

Forward is a beautiful song, but unfortunately I think it suffers in a rate like this because most people consider it an interlude with barely any Beyoncé. But in the context of the Lemonade visual album, it is simply stunning and a nice echo of the previous song that James Blake contributed to, Pray You Catch ME.

NICE is a fun song that I didn't expect to go *too* far, but there are other songs on The Carters I could have seen leave first (713 and Friends, even though I quite enjoy those songs as well).

Spirit is one of the more predictable songs from The Gift. But with this rate I decided to rate every song in their multiplicities. Meaning it's impossible for me to hear a song like Diva, Formation, Halo, etc and *only* rate it based on its studio recording. This means that some songs unfortunately get the short end of the stick. But since most songs have at least been performed live, have a video, and many are constantly evolving it just made sense.
With that in mind Spirit the studio recording is a gorgeous vocal performance. I love the soaring vocals, I love that we hear the contrast of Beyoncé with the lowest and highest ends of her voice on a studio recording. The sustained low notes on the verses, the roaring chest voice on the chorus, and the beautiful use of her head voice by 2:44 onward. I love the choral elements layered throughout the song. I love the use of the phrase/word Spirit, even in terms of the way that ATRs venerate and celebrate Spirit. In a period of fans complaining that Beyoncé wasn't *sanging* anymore every since Self-Titled and Lemonade, it was refreshing to hear her take this very diasporic gospel centered vocal performance.
I think what elevates it from an 8 to a 10 for me, is the video and the Black Is King alternate version.
Forward - 7
~ This being the first "Lemonade" cut? A real pretendstobeshocked.gif moment. I wonder if this wasn't anyone's lowest score from this album (unless @sesita gave 10s to the entire album ddd). For a shortest song in the entire rate, basically an interlude, and one with the least amount of Bey vocals, it's actually really pretty and greatly slots between the two songs on the album. I love the harmonies and the way it captures the uneasiness with the distorted effects and gloomy instrumental really strikes you. It's good this is a concept album because otherwise I would have trouble with scoring this one.
I do think this went early simply because "Lemonade" is the most consistent of her albums and deserved to be the last one to lose a track.

Amor Gitano - 10
~ Ah, this Latin bop. I may talk about it separately because I love it so much ddd

NICE - 3.25
~ My second lowest score in the entire rate. Sorry, but I can barely find anything salvageable here. It got a few points for production values and Bey's verse being not that bad. The rest, however... That hook is plain ugly and the beats are so uninspired it makes the song sound even lazier than it already is. Bye to this trash.

And I just realized that "Amor Gitano" and "NICE" were only 0.1 points away, so it's very annoying to know their placements could've easily been reversed.
After hearing your thoughts on SPIRIT and watching the Black Is King version multiple times this evening, I now can't believe some songs scored a better average. I'm now a SPIRIT stan.


SCORE: 6.658

HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 1 ( @Sprockrooster )
LOWEST SCORE: 3.5 x 1 ( @Robert )
MY SCORE: 6/10

The last Missy Elliott collaboration leaves us. Fighting Temptation was released in July 2003, in between Beyoncé's summer chokehold on the charts with Crazy In Love and Baby Boy following in August. The song features other female rappers MC Lyte and Free alongside Missy and was used to promote the film Fighting Temptations, which Beyoncé also starred in. Our girl just can't do a movie without doing a song... well except Obsessed now I'm thinking about it. Imagine that soundtrack - I can imagine 10x Ring The Alarm's!

Anyway, Fighting Temptation samples Uncle Louie's 1979 track, I Like Funky Music and is about resisting the "temptation" to have sex, which plays into the films plot.

I've always liked this for what it is. A funky little soundtrack song with a cute visual. Beyoncé only sings the hook on this though, but it's catchy enough for me to give this an above average score. I can't help but like all of the verses and I actually know the lyrics pretty much off by heart. I think I listened to this a lot when I was younger.

The song is unavailable on streaming in the UK for me. Again, I'm not sure about you guys in the US or Europe, but it's greyed out on Spotify here. The music video, shot by Antti Jokinen, is also not really available anywhere officially, unless that's a UK/European thing as well... which is unusual because Europe is the only place this song charted. I've got you covered though and you can watch the video in good quality above.

Overall... SPIRIT is better. I'm bitter.



SCORE: 6.663

HIGHEST SCORE: 8.75 x 1 ( @TéléDex )
LOWEST SCORE: 3 x 1 ( @Sprockrooster )
MY SCORE: 6.5/10

"People think I'm crazy but I love you 'cause you crazy too..."

This one is catchy guys, I'm telling you. Longtime collaborator, producer and friend The Dream released an album in May 2013 called IV Play to mixed reception and little buzz. A week before the album's release, The Dream released the Beyoncé and 2 Chainz collaboration called Turnt. This was a nice little nugget for Hive members suffering in that weird period before Self Titled was released at the end of the year, although I actually feel like the song is pretty much unknown to many, as proven by its 3 million streams on Spotify.

I genuinely do like this. I think Beyoncé kills her verse, especially the delivery of the line, "in the back of that limousine, Billy Bob and Angeline". Is this a hint to Partition? Like with the majority of these kind of collaborations... I kind of wish Beyoncé was on the entire thing. She carries it, although The Dream's "Where Michelle at? Where Kelly?" always gives me a chuckle.

Overall... SPIRIT is definitely better and should have been higher. That is all.

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I’d never heard of Turnt before this rate, but it was a nice little find that I’m going to add to my Beyoncé collection. The vibe of the song slightly reminds me of Aaliyah’s style, which is cool. It would be nice to hear Beyoncé on more icy bops.
Okay people what are we doing eliminating Spirit, Amor Gitano and Hip Hop Star when Lost Yo Mind, Ego and a number of other middling midtempos remain. We’re veering into the danger zone here!