The Carters Top 5

“What’s better than one billionaire? Two”, rhymes Beyoncé Knowles-Carter on the single Family Feud, from her and husband Jay Z’s debut album, Everything Is Love

After starving the Beyhive for more than half a decade, her much anticipated seventh studio album, Renaissance, has finally arrived. Queen B has already broken the internet twice since the announcement — when she released her Break My Soul single in June and then again this month when she released the artwork for the album.

Beyoncé and Jay Z have been together for more than two decades, built a billionaire empire together and have become the poster couple for #BlackExcellence and #BlackLove. They met when Beyoncé was 18 years old and a member of Destiny’s Child. The couple married secretly in 2008 and they have three children, Blue Ivy and twins Rumi and Sir. The duo has had two world tours with On The Run, and even graced our shores for Global Citizen in 2018.

Here are our top five songs by The Carters

  1. Crazy In Love

Using samples from the Chi-lites 1970 song, You Are My Woman, Crazy In Love is a combination of Pop, hip-hop and R&B with elements of soul. Featuring a rap verse and ad-libs by Jay Z, Crazy In Love was Beyoncé’s official debut single and lead single released on 14 May 2003. The song was a number one hit in the United States and United Kingdom, and reached the top 10 in many countries worldwide.

The song — her debut as a solo artist — won three awards at the 2003 MTV Video music awards. The music video has more than 620 million views on YouTube and is regarded as Beyoncé’s most performed song. 

  1. Drunk In Love

The duo composed the song along with credited production and writing by superproducer Timbaland. Released as one of the two lead singles from the self-titled album Beyoncé on 17 December 2013, Drunk In Love peaked at number two on the US Billboard hot 100 chart, spending eight weeks in the top 10. It also won Best R&B song and Best R&B Performance at the 57th Grammy awards.

The song’s music video was shot in black and white at Golden Beach in Florida and won Best Collaboration and was nominated for video of the year at the 2014 MTV video music awards

  1. Apeshit

Composed alongside fellow artist and friend, Pharrell Williams, Apeshit was the leading single for their first joint studio album, Everything is Love

You can tell Jigga’s hip-hop influence has rubbed off on Queen B as she raps: 

“Bought him a jet

Shut down Collette

Phillippe Patek

Get off my dick” 

Apeshit also features ad-libs from two members of the trap group Migos, Quavo and Offset, who are also credited as co-writers. A music video was shot at the Louvre in Paris, something that had never happened before or since. 

  1. Bonnie and Clyde

Jay Z gave us on of the most icon lines in hope with this ride or die anthem:

“She do anything necessary for him

And I do anything necessary for her

So don’t let the necessary occur. Yep!” 

Originally composed by Jay Z, Kanye West and Prince Nelson, Bonnie and Clyde samples Tupac Shakur’s 1996 Me and My Girlfriend, paraphrasing its chorus. Released in 2002, at the start of their relationship, the usually private couple used the song as a way to let us know they were in love. The single reached number four on the Billboard hot 100, becoming Jay-Z’s second top 10 single and Beyoncé’s first as a solo artist. 

The accompanying music video features Jay-Z and Beyoncé playing a modern-day version of the 1920s bank robbers Bonnie and  Clyde. The couple later included it on the set list of their concert performances and tours, most notably on their co-headlining On the Run and On the Run: Part II tours. The visuals for the second tour included a short film where the couple included videos of their twins for the first time. 

  1. Part II (On the Run)

“Who wants that perfect love story any, anyway,

Cliche, cliche, cliche, cliche” 

Opens Beyoncé on the Timbaland and J-Roc produced track on Jay Z’s twelfth album, Magna Carta Holy Grail. The Beyhive regards Part II (On the Run) as a sequel to 2002’s Bonnie and Clyde, as the couple get candid about their relationship woes and wins, from infidelity, the elevator fight with Beyoncé’s sister, Solange to Jay Z becoming a billionaire. It’s a hip-hop song that shows the couple’s vulnerability while stamping their presence as two of the greatest musicians of our time. It’s Jigga’s love and respect for his wife that makes this one of the couple’s best collaborations. As he says: 

“My past ain’t pretty, my lady is, my Mercedes is. 

My baby mama harder than a lot of you n*ggas

Keep it 100, hit the lottery n*ggas”

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Mandisa Ndlovu
Mandisa Ndlovu is an intern at the Mail & Guardian

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