BEYONCÉ: the discography rate ~ WINNER revealed!

The one that launched a thousand duets...


SCORE: 8.033

60/113 (-5) | 7.133 (+0.900)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 4 ( @Sprockrooster, @theincredibleflipper, @soratami, @godspeed )
LOWEST SCORE: 4 x 1 ( @Daniel_O )
MY SCORE: 7.5/10

And so here it is, the first song with Jay-Z that kicked off a string of duets from the couple. '03 Bonnie and Clyde was everywhere in 2002. It was chosen as the lead single for Jay-Z’s seventh studio album, The Blueprint 2: The Gift and The Curse. Later, it was added as a bonus track to the international editions of Dangerously In Love alongside Work It Out. The song was produced by Kanye West and Beyoncé samples some lyrics from Prince’s If I Was Your Girlfriend. Also, West put their own spin on the 2Pac classic, Me and My Girlfriend for the other sample. Meanwhile, R&B Legend Toni Braxton had also used the 2Pac sample in her song, Me & My Boyfriend from her 2002 album, More Than A Woman. She claimed that Jay-Z had stolen her idea and went onto the gloriously messy Wendy Williams radio show and stated that, "Jay-Z and Beyoncé are messin’ with my money." Oh the D-R-A-M-A. West and Jay denied everything, putting it down to coincidence. Presumably the beef was squashed, and it never really involved Beyoncé anyway… who paid homage to Toni for Halloween in 2008, calling herself 'Phoni Braxton'.

'03 Bonnie and Clyde received positive reviews from critics, and justifiably so. You could even argue that this is the most 'effortlessly cool' duet from them both. This is absolutely Jay’s song though as Beyoncé only gets one verse, plus singing on the hook. In hip hop publications at the time, '03 Bonnie and Clyde was reported to have given Beyoncé some "street cred", which clearly I do not fully understand as a gay man, as Destiny’s Child were and still remain one of the coolest girlbands to ever exist. Nevertheless, the sleek, chilled R&B flavour of this means it still sounds 'cool' to these modern day ears and is the perfect introduction to couples artistic relationship, as well as personal.

The song was a pretty huge hit worldwide, reaching Top 10 and even Top 5 in most markets. It reached No.2 in the UK, which is always good fun, because it means I get to go look at the chart for that week and see who beat them off the top spot... It was David Sneddon who was the winner of a popular singing contest at the time, Fame Academy. Alas, the track ended up shifting over 2 million copies worldwide and has over 75 million Spotify streams. But the true gem of '03 Bonnie and Clyde is the video.

The video that launched 1000 tours… well two in reality. But the video is pretty much the concept for both On the Run tours. Inspired by the film True Romance, Beyoncé and Jay-Z are criminals, running from the law across America in a fancy Aston Martin. Together they count money, go flamenco dancing and Beyoncé performs her verse in an empty pool with a Burberry bikini on. Undoubtedly, it’s an iconic video and it was nice that Jay-Z finally uploaded it to his YouTube channel at the end of 2021.

The couple first performed the song on Saturday Night Live. Since then, it has been performed on both On The Run tours and got brief showings on the I Am… Yours and Roseland Ballroom concerts.

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Toni and Jay/Kanye using the same sample at the same time is a bit fishy, but could also be tracked back as simple as the song being used in a series or film to inspire both sides.

I like both versions and the original.
Pretty Hurts feels like such an outlier in Self-Titled to me. It even feels like the album actually jump-starts with Ghost/Haunted with Pretty Hurts working as a nice segue between the one-off 2013 releases and the BEYONCÉ body of work. It's good, don't get me wrong, but it still has Sia all over it while the rest of the album is purely Giselle.


SCORE: 8.066

65/113 (+1) | 6.921 (+1.145)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 3 ( @Phonetics Girl, @Maria, @godspeed )
LOWEST SCORE: 6 x 2 ( @theincredibleflipper, @Daniel_O )
MY SCORE: 7.5/10

Taken from Beyoncé's fifth studio album Self-Titled, Superpower was co-written with Pharrell Williams and Frank Ocean, with the latter featuring on the song and BOOTS helping produce. The song serves an alternative R&B ballad with some doo-wop flair, due to the gorgeous string arrangements done by Margot. The song has a simple but effective message about how if you are with ones you love, you can conquer anything. Destiny's Child band members, Kelly and Michelle are also on the record, getting background vocal credits. It is believed Beyoncé might have imagined this about their friendship, especially as you can hear them sing in the final chorus and outro, "they couldn't break us down".

Superpower is a gorgeous and understated track and a welcome change of pace after ***Flawless, leading into the last couple emotional songs on the album. As we know, I love when Frank and Bey work together and I hope they do more in the future. I probably could have rated it higher, however there was just so much more which I wanted to have a chance at winning, but an increase in average to an 8 score is still pretty commendable.

In the music video, directed by Jonas Åkerlund, we see Beyoncé leading a revolution. It's actually not too dissimilar to the themes in Run The World (Girls) in terms of aesthetic, however with Superpower the shots are laced with green colours and it feels more like an underground movement fighting for love in a dystopian world. Kelly and Michelle make an appearance, as well as Pharrell and Luke James. The video ends with Beyoncé and the protestors running towards a group of policemen before stopping and turning to her man and holding his hand. Basically violence isn't the answer, love is.

Beyoncé has never performed the song live. The instrumental was used behind Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's speech during the 2014 VMA medley performance for Self-Titled. It was also used as an interlude before Mine on the Formation World Tour. Frank performed the song at Bonnaroo Festival in 2014, however I can't seem to find a video of it online.

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Two great songs from one great album...


SCORE: 8.068

HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 3 ( @Ana Raquel, @soratami, @Purple )
LOWEST SCORE: 6 x 3 ( @theincredibleflipper, @Daniel_O, @TheOnlyOne )
MY SCORE: 8/10

Co-written with Nija Charles, Nana Afriyie and Richard Isong, WATER is from Beyoncé's companion album to 2019 The Lion King remake, The Gift and features Salatiel and Pharrell Williams. The song is a nod to the moment in the film where Simba and Nala drink water together during Can You Feel The Love Tonight and how Simba is holding back what he believes to be the truth of his past from Nala. The song is an up-tempo, high energy afrobeats track which speeds by at the speed of 2m33s.

WATER is super catchy and slaps hard! Beyoncé comes in on the second verse and rides the song out with Pharrell to the end, but its honestly one of my favourite collaborations between the pair. I'm obviously going to go on and on about Black Is King during The Gift eliminations, but, again, the visual is stunning. Looks upon looks upon looks, the WATER video is vibrant and full of choreography with references to many different parts of African culture.

The song has never been performed live, like with all of The Gift tracks, but currently sits at 30m streams on Spotify.



SCORE: 8.091

HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 6 ( @Sprockrooster, @theincredibleflipper, @odyism, @Purple, @sesita, @Robert )
LOWEST SCORE: 3 x 1 ( @Daniel_O )
MY SCORE: 8.5/10

And another one to be cut from The Gift, MY POWER features a mostly female lineup consisting of Nija Charles, Busiswa, Yemi Alade, Tierra Whack and Moonchild Sanelly with DJ Lag, who helped produced the track. Nova Wav also have writing credits on the song, with Moses Boyd on production with Beyoncé as well. The powerful female lineup is meant to reflect the lionesses in The Lion King as they fight with Simba against Scar towards the end of the film.

MY POWER is huge. It absolutely deserved more recognition in the world. Some stage was playing it at Glastonbury this year as they were preparing for the next act to come on and it went completely OFF! Truly a full throttle assault on the ears in the best way. The music video, co-directed with Julian Klincewicz, features all of the women and was meant to showcase multi-generational strength in women, hence why Blue Ivy also appears, almost showing up her mother! Additionally, the fashion is key, as the video is meant to represent the colours of the Seven African Powers, and each woman dressed as different African orisha's, which are spirits. Honestly, Black Is King is everything.

The song deserves a stadium performance, which we'll likely never get. But who knows! It currently sits at 32m streams on Spotify.

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I feel like this one's a bit unexpected, right?


SCORE: 8.158

29/113 (-32) | 8.294 (-0.135)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 3 ( @allyshone, @Sprockrooster, @Maria )
LOWEST SCORE: 5 x 1 ( @Ana Raquel, @Purple )
MY SCORE: 10/10

This is only the second time in the entire rate so far where the average for a song has decreased and look at that placement change. I'm shook!

Heaven was included on Beyoncé's killer fifth studio album, Self-Titled and comes towards the end of the album. The track was both written and produced by BOOTS and Beyoncé herself. It's an emotional ballad about the experience of death and loss and finding the positives in knowing that person gave you so much while they were here. Many fans speculated the song was about Beyoncé's miscarriage she revealed in her Life Is But A Dream documentary, however BOOTS claimed the song could be interpreted in many different ways and made relatable to anyone who's suffered an unthinkable loss.

The music video, co-directed with Todd Tourso, is one of the standouts for me on the album. The story goes with two best friends, with Beyoncé singing and crying at a funeral as we see flashbacks of some of the good times they had together, including getting tattoos, skinny dipping etc. It's assumed Beyoncé's best friend in the video dies. The other friend is Beyoncé's long time dancer and probably the most known one, Ashley Everett. The song itself feels really sad in soundscape and its lyrics and due to Beyoncé's vocal performance, the pain is felt. It's up there with Bey's best ballads for sure.

Beyoncé performed the song on the second European leg of The Mrs Carter World Tour and one performance got her really emotional at the London O2, which I was at. Heaven is currently approaching 50m streams on Spotify.

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