Single Review: Beyonce & Jay-Z “Crazy In Love”

Crazy In Love
Album: Dangerously In Love
Year: 2003

For “Crazy In Love,” Beyonce won a songwriting Grammy. But really, she didn’t write much of it. Rich Harrison, the producer, did a majority of the work. He thought of the sample (Chi-Lite’s “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)”), pitched it to Beyonce, who liked it. Then she said,”Now write the song. I’ll be back in two hours.” In the article, he is credited with writing the verses and hooks in two hours. Beyonce’s contribution: only the bridge, which he left for her to do.

The horns blast, giving the single a rousing introduction. Jay-Z adlibs in the background, saying he’s here and so is Beyonce. Then Beyonce asks, “are you ready?” and adlibs, “Uh-oh, I’m gonna, uh-oh I’m gonna.” The horns again blast, ending the introduction. In the first verse, Beyonce sings that she has fallen for a new guy and is struggling to tell him her feelings for him. However, she flirts heavily and hopes he notices. (“Touch on you more and more every time/when you leave, I’m beggin’ you not to go/call your name two, three times in a row/such a funny thing for me to try to explain/how I’m feeling and my pride is on the one to blame”).

In the chorus she’s absolutely crazy for him, as its drilled into the listener’s heads (“Got me lookin’ so crazy right now/your love ‘s got me lookin’ so crazy right now/got me lookin’ so crazy right now/got me lookin’ so crazy right now/your touch’s/got me lookin’ so crazy right now…”).

The “uh-oh’s” from the intro reappear again, transitioning the chorus to the second verse. In the second verse, her friends see a change in her and know something’s up with her and the new guy she’s been talking to. (“when I talk to my friends so quietly/’who he think he is’/look at what you’ve done to me.”) She dresses up but only if he’s going to be there and he gets her.

After the chorus, its Jay-Z’s turn. While the single has the choice beat of the year, his rap is too weak to support it. He raps that Beyonce has teamed up with Rocafella and while he is thin, his pockets are “fat like Tony Soprano.” He then gets stuck in the similes rut. For every simile, a pop culture figure is mentioned. (“Like Van Exel, I shake phonies man…Star like Ringo/war like a green berret”) and tries to work in the whole “crazy” theme in, but not with much success. (‘You’re crazy bring your whole set/Jay-Z in the range/crazy and deranged/they can’t figure him out/they’re like ‘hey is he insane?”) However, a glimmer of Jay-Z’s prowess shines through on the next lyric (“Yes sir I’m cut from a different cloth/my texture is the best fur, I’m chinchilla.”) The answer is clever as it turns the phrase on its head. The bridge is next, with Beyonce revealing that she is insecure about the developing relationship (“I’m not myself lately/I’m foolish, I don’t do this/I’ve been played myself/baby, I don’t care.”) Beyonce didn’t write much, however, she at least managed to keep with the theme. It flows well with the rest of the song and doesn’t contradict the verses.

“Crazy In Love” solidified Beyonce’s position as the “star” of Destiny’s Child and cemented the idea that the group was a stepping stone for her. Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams have gone on to minimal success and without being part of the group, they are irrelevant. Beyonce, however, does not need it and has outgrown that part of her career. She is staying with the group, though, and is on their new single released this year, “Lose My Breath.”


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