Jay-Z has always been pretty picky when it comes to collaborations. That’s because since he first emerged on the scene two decades ago, he knew his value right off the bat. Hov is never an accessory, he’s always the complete outfit — the main event, if you will. That’s why when an artist is lucky enough to score a Jay-Z feature, it’s kind of a big deal. Look at J. Cole, who dropped his first album Cole World: The Sideline Story two years ago: All everyone wanted to know was “will Jay-Z be featured?” In fact, that’s a question most people ask when approaching any album these days.
Let’s be real here though: Jay-Z hops on a fellow bro’s track much faster than a girl’s. Sure, he has some favorite ladies to collaborate with (shout out to King Bey), but, really, spotting Jay-Z on a diva’s track is super rare. When he does show up for the occasion, that makes its value go way up, thereby providing some career-changing results once the song releases. We’ve found five instances where a Jay-Z verse on a female track has helped the artist and/or song. From collaborations with his own wife Beyonce to the legendary Sade, Jay-Z changes lives. Check out a few of the ladies he’s worked with.
Beyonce featuring Jay-Z, “Crazy In Love” (2003)
Jay-Z and Beyonce have collaborated a number of times on a variety of tracks, including the 2003 anthem “Bonnie & Clyde,” where Jay interpolated Tupac Shakur’s ode to his gun (“Me & My Girlfriend”) and flipped the script to make it a love song. That same year Bey released “Crazy In Love,” and something happened. Sure, with “Bonnie & Clyde” we saw that gangster and his ride-or-die chick moment where people were still speculating if Hov and Bey were an item. “Crazy In Love” broke down Jay-Z’s rugged exterior, as he dedicates his entire verse to wooing Beyonce as she woos right back. Bey arguably brought out the best in Jay, but he helped her, too, by unleashing a sexy side of her (check the visuals for the rump shaking), while simultaneously finding a channel for her romanticisms. She finally had a muse in her love songs, and it was Shawn Corey Carter. Awwwww.