Queen Beyonce is definitely riding on top of the music industry as one the most beloved pop divas on the planet today. If you saw the hilarious “Beygency” clip on SNL recently, then you really understand just how much influence she has. But it all didn’t happen overnight and she definitely didn’t do it all alone. Below are 10 rappers who have featured on her music and added their flavour to the unstoppable Beyonce music machine.
Of course, when you are talking about the different rappers that have featured on Beyonce songs, her hubby Jay-Z has to come first. It actually becomes quite the argument to figure out which one is the best collaboration by this talented pair. From songs like “Bonnie and Clyde” and “Déjà vu” to absolute fan favorites like “Crazy in Love” and “Upgrade You,” there are so many great Jay and Bey songs to choose from. We haven’t even mentioned the mega-hit from the latest surprise album that Queen Bee dropped last year, “Drunk In Love.” Perhaps it’s this same chemistry that fuels their marriage that allows them to create magic both on and off the stage.
When Beyonce dropped her sneak attack album on Dec 13th of 2013, she effectively sent all her millions of fans into a complete tizzy. One of the hit songs and videos released that momentous week was a track with the superstar Canadian rapper Drake. The song was called “Mine” and it was produced and written by longtime Drake producer Noah “40” Shebib. The track was a pleasing, tempo-switching collaboration of the two mega-stars with Drake delivering his classic R&B singing style and stellar rap skills. It would be nice to hear more collaborations from these two in the future.
For this collaboration, we have to dip back almost a decade to 2004 when Beyonce put out an album named Destiny Fulfilled with their popular girl group Destiny’s Child. The song was called “Soldier” and it was produced by Rich Harrison and co-written with Atlanta songwriter Sean Garrett. It was the second single from their album and a huge chart-topper in Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Ireland, Italy and the United States. Also, it’s important to note that southern top-selling rapper T.I. was also featured on the song.
This collaboration actually makes a lot of sense, because North Carolina rapper J.Cole is signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label. The name of the song was “Party” and it was one of the singles on the extremely successful “4” album released by Beyoncé in 2011. The song was produced by Kanye West, and it actually had a couple of different versions. The album version featured vocals by the super-talented Andre 3000 from Outkast – the cameo by the Atlanta rapper was greatly lauded. However when the video was released, the Andre verse was replaced by an equally praised contribution by J.Cole.
Released in 2006, the song “Check On It” was originally supposed to be on the Pink Panther movie soundtrack, but it ended up not making the finally cut. The song however resurfaced later on a Destiny’s Child compilation album. The track was a raucous, fast-paced R&B song that was produced by certified hit maker Swizz Beatz and written by Atlanta wordsmith Sean Garrett. The featured rappers on the song both hailed from Beyoncé’s home town of Houston – namely Bun B and the renowned Texas boss, Slim Thug.
Kanye West and Jay-Z are like Batman and Robin in the rap world. So it only makes sense that Jay-Z’s wife Beyoncé would collaborate with the talented Chicago rapper and producer in the studio. One of the most recent unions for the two was the remix for the chart-scorching “Drunk In Love” song on her latest album (the original featured Jay-Z). The fans really loved this one because after Kanye’s latest Yeezus album, most listeners thought he had gone way too left-field with his sound. The same trio (Jay, Bey and Kanye) also came together for the song “Lift Off” on the critically acclaimed Watch the Throne album.
In 2003, Beyonce played the lead role in a movie called The Fighting Temptations. The single was called “Summer Time” and it was released with perfect timing. It became a solid radio hit and served as a nice lead into Beyoncé’s debut solo album Dangerously In Love. The track was produced by Puff Daddy and Mario Winans and it featured a verse from one of the best rappers of the Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah. Funnily enough, at that point in time, her husband to be, Jay-Z was the head executive at Def Jam records – the label that Ghostface was signed to.
In March of 2013, Beyonce hit her fans with a surprise track called “Bow Down/I Been On.” The vocals were laid over a southern trap-style beat created by Grammy-award winning producer, Hit-Boy. The song was meant to pay homage to her hometown of Houston. It actually created a little bit of controversy because R&B diva Keyshia Cole believed the song was disrespectful to her. To capitalize on the popularity of the song, a rap remix was put out and it featured a host of established Houston rappers including Lil Keke, Bun B and the elder Hip-Hop statesman Scarface.
For last year’s Leonardo DiCaprio helmed flick, The Great Gatsby, the director Baz Luhrmann decided to hire Jay-Z to be the soundtrack’s executive producer. The resulting product was both praised and panned by critics. It did feature an eclectic group of musical artists including Florence + The Machine, Emile Sande, The xx, Gotye and Jack White. The song also featured a cover of the Amy Winehouse “Back to Black,” which featured the esoteric Outkast rapper and the one and only Queen Beyonce.
The Fighting Temptations movie came out in 2003, and it was an amalgam of a musical, comedy and drama. The cast included Angie Stone, Cuba Gooding Jr., Mike Epps, Montell Jordan and of course Beyonce Knowles. The soundtrack was overseen by legendary production duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and the title track featured a Beyonce collaboration track with female rappers Missy Elliott, MC Lyte and Free.
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