The rapper Beyoncé called the “best ever”

Old School Archives

The rapper Beyoncé called the "best ever"

Beyoncé is one of the biggest pop stars in the world and is known for being one of the best entertainers of her generation. Rising to prominence in the early 1990s as part of the girl group Destiny’s Child, the group would go through various line-ups before they finally found commercial success as a trio.

Since her 2003 debut album, Dangerously In Love, Beyoncé has reached unbelievable heights and has become one of the best-selling pop stars of her generation, receiving all sorts of accolades. As of 2022, Beyoncé has released seven studio albums, five live albums, three compilation albums, five EPs and one soundtrack album.

As an R’n’B artist, Beyoncé has always been hip-hop adjacent. However, since her marriage to Jay-Z in 2008, she has been a permanent part of the culture and has wielded her power by featuring on tracks with various MCs, including the likes of Nicki Minaj, DJ Khaled and Megan Thee Stallion.

Bey has collaborated with her husband, Jay-Z, the most frequently. However, the vocalist has always had a love for hip-hop and in a 2009 interview with Ken Bruce for the BBC segment ‘Tracks Of My Years,’ Beyoncé listed the songs she considers the closest to her heart.

While speaking about her love of soul music, Beyoncé explained to Bruce, “I grew up in Houston, Texas, and my mother owned a hair salon. And they always listened to really smooth music, and I will never forget my childhood – I had my share of Anita Baker. She has the smoothest voice, and her tone is so beautiful.”

She continued, “It doesn’t matter what lyrics or what melody [she’s singing], it’s just to hear her sing ‘ooh’, ‘aah’, or anything – it’s just so beautiful and soothing. I love how this song makes me feel, and Anita Baker is one of my inspirations. I’ve met her quite a few times, and she’s one of the legends that is so sweet and embraces young talent. She is one of my heroes.”

However, unexpectedly, the Texas native turned to hip-hop, heaping praise upon Lauryn Hill and her track ‘Ex Factor’, professing, “Lauryn Hill is one of the best hip-hop rappers ever, not to even mention her vocal ability as a singer and a songwriter. This was another album where it was hard to pick the song I love the most. But I admire her so much.

She finalised, “She is just raw, and her soul shines through when she sings. This song is so passionate; it’s a little sad but infectious, I could listen to it over and over again.” You can listen to ‘Ex Factor’ in the video below.