Beyonce Madness: Collaborations Bracket

ladybeyHere is the final bracket of polls for the first round of Beyoncé Madness, where we will finally compare those classic Bey collaborations with other artists.  You might notice a few patterns… Hov, for instance, makes more than a couple appearances.  Others are with similar R&B vocalists, others are with rappers, and still a few others with people who make very little sense at all.  This category includes some of her most successful singles of all time, so be prepared to make some difficult decisions.

1. Baby Boy ft. Sean Paul vs. Back to Black ft. Andre 3000

Bey’s second single with Sean Paul from Dangerously in Love spent 9 weeks at #1 in 2003, giving it the top seed in this collab bracket.  Baby Boy is Beyoncé’s most reggae-esque single ever, and goes up against a kind of weird, haunting cover of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, which was recorded for The Great Gatsby Soundtrack.

8. Until the End of Time (with Justin Timberlake) vs. 9. Upgrade U ft. Jay-Z

The very Prince-esque Until the End of Time is originally from JT’s 2006 FutureSex/LoveSounds, but when it was released as a single, it got an upgrade with Bey’s vocals.  That same year, Beyoncé released Upgrade U which is about a continuing education program.  Ha, just jokes.  But watching the video does count for credit.  You can learn about Jay-Z by watching Bey impersonate him.

 5. Telephone (with Lady Gaga) vs. 12. Videophone ft. Lady Gaga

Basically only one Lady Gaga song is allowed to last on this blog, so choose wisely.  In the 5th spot we have Telephone, which appears on Gaga’s The Fame Monster, and was probably the most widely watched (and talked about) music video in 2010.  Gaga featuring Bey goes up against Bey featuring Gaga in Videophone, a song with rather similar themes, but a video with far fewer Quentin Tarantino references.

4. ’03 Bonnie & Clyde (with Jay-Z) vs. 13. Love in this Club Part II (with Usher)

’03 Bonnie & Clyde is officially our favourite power couple’s first collaboration, originally from Jay-Z’s Blueprint 2.  Really, it had me at the Tupac sample.  Love on the run goes up against Love in this Club’s remix, which is an Usher track that gets slowed down and improved with a Beyoncé feature.  Also Lil’ Wayne makes an appearance.  Is it a surprise to anyone else how much Lil’ Wayne has worked with Bey?

3. Check On It ft. Slim Thug vs. 14. Put It In A Love Song (with Alicia Keys)

I don’t really know who Slim Thug is, but Check on it is still a pretty fun track, initially recorded for the Pink Panther Soundtrack.  Hence all the pink in the video.  It’s up against Put It In a Love Song from Alicia Keys’ The Element of Freedom, which is one of the most ridiculous and fun songs from either of the two singers.  And really, this match-up could describe a natural progression, from checking on it to texting on your cell phone.

6. Beautiful Liar ft. Shakira vs. 11. Lift Off with Kanye West & Jay Z

Visually, I understand the pairing of these lovely, well-hipped women.  But vocally, Beautiful Liar certainly has two distinct voices and won’t be confused with a well-blended girl group.  Lift Off is a rap/sung collaboration that comes from Watch the Throne.  There really is no good excuse for why this has no official video, but unfortunately the link below is fan-made.

7. Deja Vu ft. Jay-Z vs. 10. Party ft. Andre 3000 and Kanye West

Deja Vu is a song I completely forgot that I love, but when I heard it, I had an eerily familiar feeling… and it goes up against the one collaboration Bey included on 4: Party, which is basically a late-August-party-at-dusk in the form of a song.  This is also the song that brought “swagoo” into our vocabulary.  The video also features a verse by J. Cole, but I don’t think it’ll make or break the song.

2. Crazy in Love ft. Jay-Z vs. I Got That (with Amil) 

Crazy in Love is possibly the only song that can mention a pager and not feel aged.  It represents Beyoncé’s very first solo #1 single in the States, and is one of Rolling Stone’s favourite 200 songs of all time.  It goes up against the less popular but still hopping track by Amil, I Got That, in which Bey was featured before she had done anything else apart from Destiny’s Child.  It’s definitely underrated, and addresses one of Beyoncé’s favourite themes: being a self-sufficient woman.

So there you have it!  Stay tuned for the second round of voting, and get ready for some even tougher choices as we narrow down the Queen’s best singles to the final four, and finally, the OnRecords champion of 2014 Beyoncé Madness!

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