Every Jay-Z and Beyonce Collaboration, Ranked
Jay-Z and Beyonce have been an item for more than a dozen years now, but their creative partnership stretches back to 2003. Since then, the couple -- which married in 2008 -- has released 12 records together.
Rumors of a budding romance between the hip-hop star and R&B queen were sparked by their first collaboration, 2002's "'03 Bonnie & Clyde." They stayed relatively mum on their relationship initially, but soon fueled the fire with frequent collaborations – including "Crazy in Love," "That's How You Like It," "Deja Vu," "Upgrade U" and "Hollywood" – as well as numerous joint public appearances.
Since tying the knot a decade ago, Jay-Z and Beyonce have continued to appear on each other's projects, with Hov appearing on Beyonce ("Drunk in Love"), and Beyonce contributing to Watch the Throne ("Lift Off"), Magna Carta Holy Grail ("Part II") and 4:44 ("Family Feud"). They've also added to their family, with Beyonce giving birth to daughter Blue Ivy on Jan. 7, 2012, and twins Rumi and Sir Carter on June 13, 2017. They've also managed to build a commercial empire that is collectively worth more than a billion dollars.
In celebration of their chemistry on and off wax, we take a trip down memory lane and rank all of Jay-Z and Beyonce's collaborations, from worst to first.
"That's How You Like It" is a rather lifeless mid-tempo selection from Beyonce's debut album, Dangerously in Love. Produced by D-Roy, Mr. B and Beyonce herself, the replay value of "That's How You Like It" pales in comparison to other duets by Hov and Bey, making it a rare miss from music's royal couple.
Beyonce joins Jay-Z and Kanye West on "Lift Off," a should-be epic collaboration intended to add even more star power to the duo's 2012 collaborative album, Watch The Thone. However, despite the trio enlisting a who's who of songwriters and producers to help compose the track, "Lift Off" leaves much to be desired and stands as one of the more underwhelming Bey-Z collaborations.
(Listen to "Lift Off" on Tidal.)
The Carters threw fans a curve-ball by teaming up with DJ Khaled and Future for "Top Off," a boisterous number that finds Hov rapping as well as he has in years. Beyonce lays down a few unexpected bars of her own, a track she produced alongside Joe Zarillo and DJ Khaled. Released as a single in support of Khaled's 2018 album, Father of Asahd, "Top Off" peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 and captures the usually regal couple letting their guard down and getting their turn-up on.
Jay-Z and Beyonce typically keep their collaborations in-house, however, the couple would make an exception with "Shining," their contribution to DJ Khaled's 2017 album, Grateful. The first single to be released in anticipation of the album, "Shining" was unveiled after the 2017 Grammy Awards and immediately caused a stir, with many fans hailing it as their hottest duet in quite some time and yet another sign of Hov's return to form as a lyricist.
Although Jay-Z's return from a brief retirement with 2006's Kingdom Come album caused a big stir, ultimately many fans were left disappointed by the album. As a result, Kingdom's Jay-Z / Beyonce collaboration is often overlooked. However, "Hollywood," produced by Ne-Yo and Reggie "Syience" Perry, has aged surprisingly well and gets our nod of approval more than a decade later.
Producers J-Roc & Timbaland provide the backdrop to "Part II (On The Run)," Jay-Z and Beyonce's sequel to their first ever collaboration, "'03 Bonnie & Clyde." Released in 2013 as part of his Magna Carta Holy Grail album, "Part II (On The Run)" falls a bit short of its predecessor due to relatively pedestrian lyrics by Hov, but Beyonce's performance alone makes this collaboration worth a spin.
In 2002, Jay-Z and Beyonce fueled speculation about their then-rumored romance by teaming up for the song "'03 Bonnie & Clyde," from Hov's seventh studio album, The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse. Produced by Kanye West and built around a sample and interpolation of Tupac Shakur's 1996 song "Me and My Girlfriend," "'03 Bonnie & Clyde" was a monstrous hit, peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Jay-Z's second Top 10 single and Beyoncé's first as a solo artist.
JAY-Z's 4:44 was one of the most celebrated album releases in years, with a list of standout tracks that reminded fans of his greatness, one of them being the Beyonce-assisted single "Family Feud." While Jay-Z does most of the heavy lifting on this outing, Beyonce's glorious vocals on the hook and throughout the song are simply breathtaking. Matched with her husband's stellar bars and No I.D.'s grand production, she makes "Family Feud" a classic duet in the pair's catalog.
Beyonce kept dance-floors scorching in 2006 with "Deja Vu," the Rodney Jerkins-produced lead single from the singer's long-awaited sophomore album, B'Day. Boasting a pair of verses from Jay-Z, "Deja Vu" peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is considered among the hottest instances of Hov and Bey colliding on a track to date.
Soon after the release of Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail album, which included "Part II (On The Run)," Beyonce followed suit with her own blockbuster self-titled album. Very logically considered by many to be a follow-up to "Crazy in Love," "Drunk in Love" would attain similar commercial success and accolades, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and winning awards for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance at the 57th Grammy Awards.
Beyonce made a big statement with her 2003 single "Crazy in Love," one of her first solo releases following her departure from Destiny's Child. Featuring a guest spot from Jay-Z, "Crazy in Love" found the future lovebirds fully in-sync, with the Rich Harrison-produced smash becoming Beyonce's first No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 as a solo artist and netting her Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2004.
Beyonce and Jay-Z have unleashed more commercially successful singles, but the dynamic duo's most electric collaboration is "Upgrade U," a standout track from B'Day that plays to each artists' strengths. Produced by Cameron Wallace, Beyoncé and Swizz Beatz, "Upgrade U" arrived at a time when Beyonce was embracing a grittier and edgier image, making it essential in her rise from teen idol to a full-blown bombshell and sex symbol. "Upgrade U" also finds Jay-Z rising to the occasion with arguably the most impressive stanza he's dropped out of all of his guest verses alongside his wife, anchoring the track – and their overall best duet – in grand fashion.