Throwback Thursday is your weekly concentrated dose of nostalgia, where we round up the bests and worsts of all things 90s (and the early 2000s.) This week: The best of Beyoncé.
You know what they say: a new year, a new album. So whom am I talking about this week? Only the incomparably talented diva—which we all know is a female version of a hustler—Beyoncé. Before Queen B was blowing out the Superbowl with her fierceness or teaching all of us free-agents how to rock being a single lady (even in a unitard) she was just another one of destiny’s children. While today she is a powerful icon in many communities, Bey had to get her start somewhere, and lucky for me she got it in the 90s and early 00s. So, without further ado, I present to you, my fair and fabulous readers, the best early works of the esteemed Beyoncé Knowles.
Say My Name
This song is, of course, all about girl power. And it really established Destiny’s Child as a TLC-esque R&B girl band. In the music video, Beyoncé proves that some people actually can pull off a monochromatic outfit, so long as that outfit is bright orange. But, serious question: Can someone please explain to me how they made that video? Are the floors sliding or are the couches moving? Is it technical or is it digitized or is it pure Beyoncé fierceness-magic?! I have been asking these questions for fourteen years now. It’s time I got some answers.
Internet, can you handle this? Merriam-Webster Dictionary, can you handle this? No seriously, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, can you handle this? Because, I am prepared to write a strongly worded letter in defense of adding “bootylicious” to the dictionary. And I do not think you are ready for this jelly. Or jam. Or preserves. What I love about the video for this song is (on top of the monochromatic wardrobes, again), the sampling from Michael Jackson’s choreography. Beyoncé and her girls pay homage to the king of pop with their bootylicious dance moves.
This is the song that had everyone asking one question: Who, in their right mind would ever break up (or cheat on) Beyoncé? He must not know ‘bout her, he must not know ‘bout her. Anyways, all I have to say about this song is, sing it, sister! Preach! Also, who knew that the lyrics, “To the left, to the left” would become such a major catchphrase? Or maybe I’m the only one that can’t give directions without singing it…
Check On It
Beyoncé has been in a few movies. Of course everyone remembers her from Dreamgirls. There was also the quality piece of American cinema, Obsessed, where she kicks total ass. But very few people may recall her role in the Steve Martin rendition of The Pink Panther. The video for this song is basically one giant Pink Panther product placement ad. She’s dancing in what is essentially a giant pink bow and is surrounded by pink satin pretty much the entire time. That being said, never in my life have I wanted to own a pair of hot pink leather boots so much as when I saw Beyoncé wearing them in the Check On It video.
Crazy In Love
Of course, this is by far the best of Beyoncé in any era, and has been ranked one of the best songs not only of the early 00s but also one of the best songs in existence. Beyoncé gets bootylicious with her dancing, shaking it while singing about how love is making her do crazy things. The song features Jay-Z, Beyoncé’s then-boyfriend and now-husband. In the video, he lights a fire (by torching his expensive fancy car) and she puts it out (by kicking open a fire hydrant)—they compliment each other well. They are, obviously, one of pop cultures most influential and powerful couples. Suffice it to say, whether she is rocking the Single Ladies unitard or getting bootylicious with her girls from Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé is one of the greatest things to come from the 90s.
What’s your favorite Beyoncé song?