BEYONCÉ: the discography rate ~ WINNER revealed!

I can't believe Get Me Bodied missed the top 20.

My very unrealistic and "You're a dreamer. You're dreaming." order of eliminations:

19. Don't Hurt Yourself
18. Baby Boy
17. Freedom
16. Drunk In Love
15. Crazy In Love
14. Love On Top
13. Countdown
12. XO
11. Deja Vu
10. All Night
9. Haunted
8. Schoolin' Life
7. ***Flawless
6. Formation
5. Partition
4. Hold Up
3. Daddy Lessons
2. Sorry
1. End Of Time
Into the 9 averages we go...



26/113 (+6) | 8.361 (+0.639)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 9 ( @theincredibleflipper, @Ana Raquel, @Remorque, @Purple, @sesita, @TheOnlyOne, @klow, @Lost In Japan., @Robert )
LOWEST SCORE: 7 x 2 ( @Phonetics Girl, @BubblegumBoy )
MY SCORE: 8.5/10

It’s always a difficult task to follow up a ultra mega debut single with a follow up that keeps the momentum going and more importantly keeps interest in the artist alive, so as to not become overexposed. Crazy In Love was insanely successful for Beyoncé, but luckily she had this banger lined up in her arsenal and continued to dominate. Released on August 3rd 2003, around 3 months after Crazy In Love, Baby Boy was released and with the help of Sean Paul, it became the ultimate summer party anthem that year. I was 10, so I’m just assuming this.

Produced by Scott Storch (who produced every Dangerously In Love single bar Crazy In Love), and co-written with Robert Waller, Sean Paul and Jay-Z, Baby Boy was created as a sort of sequel to '03 Bonnie and Clyde, which had been a hit the previous year. Beyoncé was clearly falling for Jay-Z and Baby Boy tells the simple story of having a Jay-Z constantly on your mind. Sean Paul was hugely popular at the time so it made sense for him to jump on the track - and I believe it was a genius move because his voice has such a nostalgic quality to it, it just immediately transports you right back to the early 00s. If I’m being totally honest, I think without the Sean Paul feature, Baby Boy would slightly more forgettable but a cute bop or whatever. His feature is the flavour that takes this to the next level.

Baby Boy proved itself to be another huge hit for Beyoncé, dominating radio until it finally reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, to which it stayed at the top for the entirety of October and November. Its run at the top meant that Beyoncé had spent 17 weeks at No.1 on the Hot 100 in the year of 2003. Not bad for a debut era. Baby Boy was pretty much a hit elsewhere in the world, reaching #2 in the UK, only to be held off by Where Is The Love? from The Black Eyed Peas. The song has a healthy 220m streams on Spotify, which makes it comfortably her second most streamed song from the album.

The video, once again directed by Jake Nava, is pretty standard for an early 00s pop music video. We see Beyoncé all hot and sweaty writhing around on a furry bed, then nailing some choreography on the beach alongside Pussycat Dolls very own Carmit (who you can also spot in the Crazy In Love video) and then dancing with her man in the club as the dancefloor becomes the sea. Additionally, the video features a classic dance break which has Beyoncé throwing sand in our faces, backward rolling and nearly breaking her back to the beat.

Beyoncé has performed Baby Boy hundreds of times, mostly because she includes it on the setlist of pretty much every tour. The song was first performed on the 2003 VMAs as a medley with Crazy In Love and then later performed at the 2003 EMAs with Sean Paul, with the added dance break from the music video. As a side note, other performers from the 2003 EMAs included Christina Aguileria performing Dirrrty, Kylie performing Slow and Missy Elliott performing Work It. Ugh, the heyday of award shows. Anyway, Beyoncé brought out Baby Boy for her first Super Bowl performance and since then the arrangement of it hasn't changed too much. She usually brings it out for a quick 1 ½ minute throwback and stops after Sean Paul’s “dutty wine” line. See the evolution of Baby Boy performances below!

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Released on August 3rd 2003, around 3 months after Crazy In Love, Baby Boy was released and with the help of Sean Paul, it became the ultimate summer party anthem that year. I was 10, so I’m just assuming this.

I was 20 and think back on that summer fondly. "Crazy In Love" was probably the ultimate summer party anthem that year (its reign did not let up), but "Baby Boy" was a close second. 2003, what a time!

Lemonade is a great album, but I don't think over half of it deserves to be in the top twenty over songs like "Upgrade U" and "Baby Boy."
Does anyone know the reason why there are two versions of Baby Boy with different lyrics in the verses? I always thought one was the Sean Paul album version and one was the Beyoncé album version, even though it’s the Beyoncé parts that have different lyrics. But I streamed the Sean Paul album track recently and it was the same as the Beyoncé one. Is the other track a demo or was it released somewhere else?

Im not even sure which version I prefer and ended up adding both to the album.


SCORE: 9.01

11/113 (-8) | 8.965 (+0.051)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 9 ( @boombazookajoe, @Phonetics Girl, @BubblegumBoy, @Remorque, @Maria, @eatyourself, @sesita, @klow, @Robert )
LOWEST SCORE: 5.5 x 1 ( @Daniel_O )
MY SCORE: 8.5/10

Taken from Beyoncé's sixth studio album, Lemonade, Hold Up comes in second in the tracklisting after the emotional opening of Pray You Catch Me. The song was written with Diplo, Ezra Koeing from Vampire Weekend, Emile Haynie, Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty, MNEK and MeLo-X and features multiple samples and interpolations, which include Can't Get Used to Losing You by Andy Williams, Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Turn My Swag On by Soulja Boy. A demo for the song, written by Diplo and Koeing was first written and recorded in 2014, which Beyoncé saw potential in, so enlisted the help of other songwriters to bring it all together, into the song we hear today.

Hold Up appears to be a bop on the surface, which it undoubtedly is, however the lyrics tell a very different story as Beyoncé details her trust in her relationship crumbling and how it is making her crazy. Similar to the juxtaposition in sad bangers, such as Dancing On My Own, Hold Up is like an angry, easy, breezy, beautiful bop and for that reason, I love it. It's not my favourite on Lemonade by any means, but it really sets the tone for the rest of the album, in the sense that Beyoncé is mad, and she's going to be mad in any genre she wants.

The video, directed by Jonas Åkerlund, is one of the most memorable from the Lemonade film. We see Beyoncé stroll through the streets in a now iconic yellow dress, smashing up the place with a "hot sauce" baseball bat, as her face switches up from being mad to happy. Also, she sets off a water hydrant, just like she did in Crazy In Love, which is a very cute throwback. Her mind. In the end, she stares directly into the camera and hits it to the ground before strolling off into her monster struck. So good. Upon its release, the Hold Up video definitely made the most noise across the internet.

The song itself was a decent-sized hit, sticking around in the charts for a while, despite not hitting the Top 10 in either the US or UK. It's hard to quantize how big some of the tracks from Lemonade actually were, due to the unconventional release strategy of the album. However, it currently is the second most listened to track on Spotify, with over 168m streams, coming behind lead single Formation. I think it's fair to say Hold Up would have been a much bigger hit in terms of numbers if it had a proper release.

Beyoncé has performed the song quite a bit since its release. She included the song in the Lemonade medley performance at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, where she recreated the scene where she smashes the camera with the baseball bat. On The Formation World Tour, she performed part of the song before switching up into Countdown, which she would later keep for the On The Run II Tour and Coachella performance... probably because the crowd always gets so lit during the transition.

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sorry @boombazookajoe, again...


SCORE: 9.04

10/113 (-8) | 9.117 (-0.077)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 15 ( @allyshone, @lalaclairi_, @boombazookajoe, @Phonetics Girl, @odyism, @Remorque, @eatyourself, @Purple, @sesita, @TheOnlyOne, @godspeed, @Ensnare, @klow, @Lost In Japan., @Robert )
LOWEST SCORE: 4 x 1 ( @Sprockrooster )
MY SCORE: 10/10

And so Lemonade gets another cut. This time, it's the third most popular track from the album (according to Spotify), Sorry. Partly surprised this is out so early in the Top 20, but also... I kind of get it, I guess? Co-written with Diana Gordon (QUEEN!) and MeLo-X, with Hit-Boy and Stuart White as co-producers, Sorry is the up-tempo electronic R&B moment on the album and it slays! As we move along from the outright ferocity and anger pouring out of Don't Hurt Yourself, Sorry comes in as the cool, FU anthem... but it still never lets go of the vulnerability which is a common thread throughout Lemonade. Additionally, Beyoncé was able to have fans doing some hand choreography for the chorus, like with Single Ladies, except this time, it's all about putting them middle fingers up, waving them in your lovers face and telling them "boy bye".

Sorry, to me, is a great Beyoncé track. It is filled with attitude, the production is brilliant and interesting and the lyrics are both catchy and endearing. As I previously mentioned about its vulnerability, in a song packed with confidence, the outro is strips it all away as Beyoncé describes actually leaving her marriage with her daughter. Of course, we get the iconic "Becky with the good hair", which set the internet alight with speculation. Despite not having many high peak positions, I would consider the song a pretty big hit, as it has sold over 3m copies in the US and has over 130m streams on Spotify.

The music video, shot in black and white, was one of the most memorable from the Lemonade film, like with Hold Up, largely in part to Serena Williams cameo as Beyoncé's backing dancer. For the final date of The Formation World Tour, Serena appeared to reprise her role from the video. Only Beyoncé could get a legend like Serena Williams to both appear in her video and also on tour as a backing dancer! Also, I would say the music video really shows some early signs of what was to come with Black Is King.

Beyoncé has performed the song a lot since the release of Lemonade. She included it in the Lemonade medley at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, as well as on The Formation World Tour, On The Run II Tour and the Coachella performance.


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SCORE: 9.146

23/113 (+6) | 8.424 (+0.722)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 11 ( @Sprockrooster, @boombazookajoe, @Daniel_O, @Phonetics Girl, @Dijah., @eatyourself, @soratami, @Purple, @TheOnlyOne, @Lost In Japan., @Music Is Death )
LOWEST SCORE: 6.5 x 1 ( @Ana Raquel )
MY SCORE: 8/10

Lemonade can't catch a break! Taken from Beyoncé's critically acclaimed sixth album, Lemonade, Daddy Lessons was co-written with Diana Gordon, Kevin Cossom and Alex Delicata. The song marked Beyoncé's first official outing in country music and another chance for Beyoncé to flex her "I can do any genre" muscles which is part of the reason why Lemonade is so special. Cossom said about Beyoncé, "Once a formula works, people want to use that formula again until it doesn’t work anymore but what’s awesome about Beyonce is she doesn’t have to play by the rules: she creates them." I know that's right!

Daddy Lessons really is an outlier in Beyoncé's discography, but it's a great one. As we've talked about previously in the rate, Beyoncé's relationship with her father has been a rocky one throughout the years, but he played an important part in making Beyoncé become the behemoth in the industry she is today, and she uses Daddy Lessons as an ode to everything he taught her. With the rumours about Beyoncé recording a country album, for any doubters, Daddy Lessons should put their concerns to rest. The song currently has a healthy 84m streams on Spotify, making it the fourth most popular track on the platform from the album.

In November 2016, Beyoncé released a remix featuring The Chicks, who previously went by The Dixie Chicks. The band features three legendary female country stars who dominated the country music scene for a long time. Sampling their song, Long Time Gone, the remix came about after the group performed a cover version on their DCX MMXVI World Tour. The studio version was released after their performance, with Beyoncé for the 2016 Country Music Association Awards and it's such an enjoyable watch. Of course, there was controversy after the performance, with criticisms being heavily steeped in racism as country music has been a largely conservative space for a long time now. Racists gonna racist.
The Chicks vowed to never perform at the CMAs again.

Beyoncé also performed the song during The Formation World Tour.


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15. Freedom
14. Don't Hurt Yourself
13. Countdown
12. Haunted
11. Partition
10. ***Flawless
9. Love On Top
8. XO
7. Drunk In Love
6. Schoolin' Life
5. Formation
4. All Night
3. Deja Vu
2. Crazy In Love
1. End Of Time

But it will literally could be completely different tomorrow. Tens across the board.


SCORE: 9.175

9/113 (-7) | 9.155 (+0.02)
HIGHEST SCORE: 11 x 1 ( @Robert ) | 10 x 11 ( @Sprockrooster, @Ana Raquel, @Phonetics Girl, @Aester, @BubblegumBoy, @Remorque, @eatyourself, @sesita, @TheOnlyOne, @TéléDex, @Lost In Japan. )
LOWEST SCORE: 7.5 x 2 ( @Ramalama, @Maki )
MY SCORE: 8/10

XO was the first official single from Beyoncé's world-stopping Self-Titled, alongside Drunk In Love. Co-written with Ryan Tedder and The Dream, XO comes about two thirds into the tracklisting and is essentially the big, classic love ballad on the album. Beyoncé dedicated the song to Jay, but additionally to her loyal fanbase, who will always be ride or die for her. Tedder, who co-wrote Halo with Beyoncé, revealed to the press that he thought XO was a much bigger, better song than its predecessor, and I'm sure we're all inclined to agree, considering their rate positions.

There's no denying XO's immediate power. Upon release, it really was that emotional, hands in the air, hug your friends moment on the album, so it's easy to see why it was picked as a single first. I've had my own crying moments to XO and I'm not ashamed to admit it. When it hits, it hits! Over the years since its release, I have found myself not going back to it as much as some of the other tracks from Self-Titled. The reason? I'm not too sure... because I still enjoy it when it comes on. I wonder if any of you have felt the same? All that being said, it still very much deserves it's rate position and average. Due to the then unconventional release of the album, XO didn't make a huge dent in the charts, however it still sold millions of copies and has around 225m streams on Spotify.

The music video, shot by T*rry R*chardson, takes place at the famous Coney Island theme park. I remember when the paparazzi pictures came out at the end of August of this video shoot and once again, we were anticipated something coming a few weeks later... but nothing! The way she put us through it (and now again with the Renaissance videos!). I believe Beyoncé had an ear piece for all the outside shoots to avoid leaks. The video is heartwarming and fun as we see Beyoncé ride roller coasters, laugh with her friends and play games. The song really doesn't need much else to convey its message.

Beyoncé first performed the song during The Mrs Carter Show World Tour, where she confirmed its dedication to the Beyhive. Elsewhere, she appeared at the end of the 2014 Brit Awards to perform the song looking absolutely stunTING. It was the closing song for her iconic Video Vanguard performance at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards and since then she has performed the song occasionally here and there. Most recently, she sadly performed the song at Kobe Bryant's memorial.

I will say the officially released performance of the song for X10, the HBO special series, which puts together clips from The Mrs Carter Show World Tour, still gets me in my feelings. It's the best showcase of the song for me...


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