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 13 records and one full-length collaborative album (2018's Everything is Love) 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.
Loyalty and circles of trust are the topics of conversation on "Friends," a subdued salvo from Jay-Z and Beyonce's 2018 Everything Is Love album that finds the pair doing their bidding over production by Jahaan Sweet & Boi-1da. Comprised of 808 drums and synths, "Friends" has also been speculated as being inspired by Jay-Z's public falling-out with Kanye West, but is ultimately one of the more uninspired tracks from The Carters' blockbuster album.
"I can do anything," Pharrell chants on "Nice," a triumphant number that finds the double-threat joining Jay-Z and Beyonce for a little bit of turn-up. Contributing a hypnotic track and ad-libs, the Neptune wiz rides shotgun while Hov and Bey talk heavy, with the latter sending shots at rival streaming services and those waiting for her and her family's demise, shrouding "Nice" in an air of confident defiance.
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.)
JAY-Z and Beyonce celebrate life and legacy on "LoveHappy," the closing selection on Everything Is Love and one that finds the pair admitting the faults in their marriage while reaffirming their commitment to one another. From talks of gifting their offspring with custom clothes and vintage designer frames, to picturing themselves living the high-life and enjoying each others company amongst friends and family, "LoveHappy" is not only a great song, but a testament to The Carters' enduring love.
Producer Dernst "D'Mile" Emile II crafts a grand backdrop on "Boss," a mellow inclusion on Everything Is Love that captures the Carters basking in their respective positions of power. Chiding wanna-be bosses over measured percussion and epic horns, the Brooklyn hustler and the Texas diva flex on the competition in grand fashion on "Boss," a deep cut and fan-favorite from their joint-album that is likely to stand the test of time.
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.
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.
Beyonce and Jay-Z flaunt their status as international icons on "Heard About Us," a plush offering from Everything Is Love on which Beyonce takes center stage with an opening stanza that ranges from aggressive to ostentatious. Jay-Z lends a verse of his own to the proceedings, but mostly opts to stay in the background while Beyonce takes the initiative vocally on this Jahaan Sweet, Vinylz, !llmind and Boi-1da produced standout.
The happy couple toasts to the high-life on "Salud!," an infectious track that continues their trend of blockbuster duets. Released as a promotional single in tandem with their collaborative album, Everything Is Love, "Salud!" includes additional vocals by Dre of Cool & Dre on the hool, but Jay-Z and Beyonce shine the brightest on this smoothed-out banger.
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.
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.
Jay-Z documents his courtship of Beyonce on "713," a standout cut from Everything Is Love that finds Hov rhyming over a pair of Hiatus Kaiyote samples, courtesy of producers Cool & Dre. A nod to Beyonce's hometown of Houston, "713" is powered in part by an interpolation of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's 1999 hit "Still D.R.E." and is one of the stronger compositions on their the couple's collaborative project.
Beyonce shows that her husband isn't the only artist in the Carter household capable of bodying a track lyrically with her performance on "Ape Shit," the Pharrell-produced lead single from Everything Is Love. Although Jay-Z delivers a standout stanza that ranks among his most riveting in recent memory, Beyonce takes center stage on this outing, as the Carters serve up a certified party-starter with this charged-up selection.
"I'm good on every MLK Boulevard," JAY-Z boasts on "Black Effect," a soulful number produced by Cool & Dre that is as hard a track as anything him and Beyonce have delivered to date. Produced by Cool & Dre, who utilize a sample of "Broken Strings" by Flower Travellin' Band for this layered backdrop, "Black Effect" is one of the most refined offerings from Everything Is Love, and a song from music's biggest power couple that should only get finer with time.
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.
"Let's make love in the summertime, yeah/On the sands, beach sands, make plans to be in each other's arms," Beyonce croons over tumbling kicks and snares on "Summer," the dazzling opening selection from Everything Is Love. Produced by Cool & Dre, Beyonce leads the charge vocally, with Hov swooping in with a quote-worthy stanza of his own, resulting in "Summer" being a sultry addition to the couple's extensive list of pairings.
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.