Beyoncé’s most overlooked features

Mrs Carter jumped on BOOTS’ surprise new track this week – what are her most unlikely other collabs?

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When Yoncé jumps on a track, you know she makes it count. From classic collabs with her hubs Jay Z (“’03 Bonnie and Clyde") to hopping in the Pussy Wagon with Lady Gaga for “Telephone,” Bey always brings her A-game with every guest appearance she makes. But what about all of those features we’ve missed? Surely any resident of the Bey Hive is bound to miss a song or two. Well, fear not, Dazed has got you covered. We have some Beyoncé features that have slipped under the radar – and we’ve topped it off with her brand new collaboration with BOOTS titled “Dreams.” Everyday is B-Day.

BOOTS – “Dreams” (feat Beyoncé)

Roc Nation signee BOOTS grabbed King Bey for his ultra smooth new single “Dreams,” that premiered this week. The song is equal parts synthy as it is sensual, as BOOTS coos “I’ve been dreaming of you”, paving the way for Beyoncé to arrive on the clean up. Bey brings the heat, the moans, and the signature vocal stretches. After BOOTS assisted on Beyoncé’s colossal 2013 closeout album BEYONCÉ, it was only right that she return the favour with this new slick cut. Add it to the catalogue of another classic Bey feature.

The-Dream – “Turnt” (feat Beyoncé and 2 Chainz)

Yes, this song happened. It’s hard to even fathom it came out last year, but in all fairness Beyoncé was so damn busy in 2013 that who had time to hear this track? Still, having her open The-Dream’s IV Play cut “Turnt” with, “People think I’m crazy, but I love you ‘cause you crazy too,” gave an automatic True Romance tilt to the song. Nothing like love in insanity, and Beyoncé gets turnt up on the track in the name of amore. Plus, she owed The-Dream this feature since he’s penned so many of her hits ("Single Ladies", "Run The World (Girls)"). Too bad the one she gave him became the hidden treasure.

Mary J. Blige – “Love A Woman” (feat Beyoncé)

It’s funny, but have you ever really wondered if Mary J. Blige and Beyoncé were friends? They’re never seen hanging around each other, and they’ve never worked together, right? Wrong. Mary J. grabbed Mrs. Carter for a track a few years back called “Love A Woman, taken from her 2011 album My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1). It was a typical Mary ballad – you know, a sonic Oprah session – where the two paired full-bodied vocals over an inspirational beat. While the song was quintessential Mary, it testified that Bey can adapt to any environment and move fluidly from badass diva tracks to musical girl talk.

Missy Elliot, Beyoncé, MC Lyte & Free – “Fighting Temptation”

This song is weird for a number of reasons, but it exists so let’s discuss it. One, Jay Z was rumored to have dated female rapper Free, so having her on the track is a massive eyebrow raise. Two, the song is part of the film Bey starred in called The Fighting Temptations (where she plays an unwed mother, oops) rooted in religion. While the song loosely addresses “how-to” fight temptation, the track is a little risqué, as the ladies muse on all of their sins over a quirky beat. This collaboration would never happen in 2014, so it can be enjoyed as a Throwback Thursday for all of eternity.

Amil – “I Got That” (feat Beyoncé)

Fourteen years ago, Beyoncé did Amil the favor of her life and jumped on her song “I Got That.” Amil-Lion was still trying to promote herself as the leader of Jay Z's never-happened female trio Major Coinz, while Beyoncé was simultaneously playing musical chairs with the Destiny’s Child lineup. This track is very telling. Hearing Bey on this hook sounding exactly like a DC song, makes us all realize that she was truly the mastermind of that group. Plus, it shows that if she had a little more ingenuity, Amil could have had a long successful career being the female rap guest feature. C’est la vie.

Jay Z – “Part II (On The Run)” (feat Beyoncé)

In 2003, we all fell in love with the pairing of Jay and Bey as the new school Bonnie and Clyde. The track “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” off Beyoncé’s Dangerously In Love remains a piece of hip-hop history, with its Tupac interpolation and lyrics on being a ride or die chick for your gangsta man. Last year though, Jay Z included a “Part II” of that track on Magna Carta, Holy Grail. The song was breezy and gentle. A little less aggressive than the dating days of the Carters and more like a subtle acceptance that their life together would never be categorically normal. Who wants that perfect love story anyway? Cliché. Cliché. Cliché. Cliché.

 

Alejandro Fernandez – “Amor Gitano” (feat Beyoncé)

Beyoncé speaks three languages: English, Fabulous, and Spanish. Who knew? Mexican artist Alejandro Fernandez got Beysus for his track “Amor Gitano” (or “Gypsy Love”). The song oozes with romantic undertones about wild love. That translates well into any language, since it sounds like that’s exactly what Bey is about most days of the week. She can clearly get her point across in any language. But if you don’t know what she’s saying in Spanish, there’s always Google Translate. 

Missy Elliott – “Crazy Feelings” (feat Beyoncé)

There were a lot of amazing collaborations on Missy Elliott’s 1999 offering Da Real World. She had the late Aaliyah, Lil’ Kim, Big Boi, Redman, and even Juvenile. A young Beyoncé also featured on the album, on a cut called “Crazy Feelings.” The song had a sort-of chopped and screwed beat, where Missy and Beyoncé both reminisce on ill-fated love. Little did Bey know those days would be over a few years later when she’d marry Shawn Carter.

Solange – “Naïve” (feat Beyoncé and Da Brat)

Back in 2003, Solange was already about her career, when she dropped this track “Naïve.” The song is a stark contrast to what we’ve now come to know and love from Solange. In fact, this song sounds like a Destiny’s Child cutting room floor track. Regardless of how the song happened, it did, and it’s pretty good. Beyoncé gives her sis some room to shine on the Solo Star cut. Then Da Brat chimes in with her high sped flow, breaking up the smoothness of the song nicely. The sisters did their thing on this one.

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