DISCOGRAPHY AUTOPSY: HOW BEYONCÉ BECAME BEYONCÉ

DISCOGRAPHY AUTOPSY: HOW BEYONCÉ BECAME BEYONCÉ

by CULTED
6 min
Parkwood Entertainment / Beyoncé ©

There’s no denying Beyoncé is a superstar. From her early beginnings in Destiny’s Child which defined late 90s and early 00s pop RnB with hits like Bootylicious and Say My Name, to her latest RENAISSANCE World Tour for her latest album, which has seen fans dipping into their savings just to get the chance to see her live, Beyoncé’s title of “Queen B” is there for a reason. 

Obviously picking 5 songs to represent the 29-time Grammy Award winning artist is a practically impossible task, with her discography spanning over 7 studio albums – and that’s not counting her EPs and singles. Honourable mentions include her iconic pop sound from “I AM… SASHA FIERCE” and “Dangerously In Love” early on in her career that still gets added onto any early 00s playlist, and her “The Lion King: The Gift” album put out for Disney’s live action remake of its classic film which saw Beyoncé dive into her artistry like never before. Keep reading to find out more about 5 of Beyoncé’s most career-defining hits.

CRAZY IN LOVE

Blast Crazy In Love at a party or in a club and the whole place will be jumping. While being a part of Destiny’s Child was proving to be highly successful for the Houston-born artist, Crazy In Love was the first top-charting solo single she had put out, giving her a taste of the global super-stardom she would once reach. Bursting in energy from the get-go, everything about this song just works – from the Chi Lites sample to then-boyfriend Jay Z’s rap which was allegedly written in 10 minutes. Still one of her best songs to perform on stage, Crazy In Love was not a bad way to kickstart Beyoncé’s solo career, considering it is one of the most iconic pop songs of the 21st century.

IF I WERE A BOY

Most people would categorise Beyoncé as a pop and RnB singer, but If I Were A Boy is a beautifully-crafted ballad that showcases the singer’s powerful vocals, backed by a slow guitar strum. In this song, Beyoncé not only adds in subtle details of a failed relationship for a lack of compassion, but also reverses gender roles, exposing what we now refer to as male privilege. Less of a liberal political message and more of a song made out of pure frustration, this passionate number is one that resonates with female members of the Beehive who wish their male partners, or men in general, could understand what it’s like to walk in their shoes.

7/11

With 7/11, Beyoncé proved to be the blueprint to loungewear before the pandemic was even a thing. We all know the singer can show up and show out, often donned in custom designer, but her true power is revealed when lounging in sweatpants and a “Kale” sweater – watch the increase in kale sales post music video release – in a Los Angeles hotel room with her friends, and the effect is still enticing. Striving from her usual high quality production, 7/11 was recreated and parodied countless of times for its “attainable” quality, one we had not seen or expected to see in this point of Beyoncé’s career.

HOLD UP
Picture this: it’s 2014 and the post-Met Gala elevator incident video of faithful sister Solange Knowles attacking Jay Z surfaces on the internet, as well as the pop culture iconic image in which the family is seen stepping out of the Met, Jay Z with his hand on his face and Beyoncé half smirking. Cracks in the seemingly it couple’s relationship started to show, but nothing was ever confirmed, just heavily implied. Then, 2 years later, Beyoncé drops “Lemonade”. 

With the whole internet on a witch hunt to find who “Becky with the good hair” is, Bey’s class-act album was a revenge ploy successfully launched. Hold Up specifically had us all rooting for her to act bat sh*t “crazy” – rather than “being walked all over” – which was only amplified in the music video with the highly-referenced Roberto Cavalli yellow dress on show while she smashed car windows.

PURE HONEY

With the first half being a call out to vogue on the dancefloor with the lyrics “Get yo money, money, c*nty, hunty”, Beyoncé proves that even as a 3-time mum and 41 year old, she still gets down with the club kids. As the Renaissance singer has proved many times before, merging 2 or 3 songs together into 1 just sounds so much better, which is exactly what she did for Pure Honey. The later part of the song sees Beyoncé offer us a blend of a funky and sultry sound with all sorts of sexual innuendos that just sees the artist let go and fun, just like us listening to it.

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