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A Ranking Of Beyoncé’s ‘Dangerously In Love’ Tracklist

...our edges and music were never the same. 

Going it alone takes guts, especially when you’ve spent over half of your life as the frontwoman of a wildly successful group, selling millions of records and establishing a mountain of platinum hits. Riding solo means that the public’s criticism grows harsher and the expectations become preposterously higher, but Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter pulled off the transition seamlessly.

At the time, R&B trio Destiny’s Child, who started their musical career in 1990 as Girl’s Tyme, were on a hiatus. Michelle Williams’ Heart to Yours and Kelly Rowland’s Simply Deep were both released within six months of each other respectively. Beyoncé was riding high off the success of Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Fighting Temptations, as well as the smash hit “‘03 Bonnie & Clyde” with future hubby JAY-Z.

Meanwhile, the young starlet’s first solo project was quietly bubbling beneath the surface.

Behind the scenes, Beyoncé was patiently waiting for her turn to dazzle critics. The long-awaited Dangerously In Love had been postponed, which allowed the then 21-year-old more time to record additional tracks, including “Crazy In Love.” Determined to carve out her own destiny (pun intended), Beyoncé enlisted several well-known hitmakers, including Rich Harrison, Scott Storch, Missy Elliot and Bryce Wilson, to create the most anticipated album of 2003.

“I wanted to have an album that was timeless, and I wanted to have an album that everyone could relate to and would listen to as long as I’m alive and even after,” Beyoncé told MTV News. “Love is something that never goes out of style. It’s something everybody experiences, and if they are not in love, people usually want to feel that. So if you hear the album, it’s very romantic.”

Debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200, Dangerously in Love produced the hit singles, “Crazy In Love,” “Baby Boy,” “Me, Myself and I,” “Naughty Girl” and “Dangerously In Love.”

“After playing the songs for my record label, they told me I didn’t have one hit on my album,” Beyoncé shared during her 2009 performance at the Wynn Las Vegas. “I guess they were kind of right. I had five.”

But the accolades didn’t end there– Dangerously In Love went on to sell 11 million copies worldwide and racked up five Grammy Awards, including Best Contemporary R&B Album.

Dangerously In Love is a classic R&B album at its core, but ‘Yonce flirts with funk (“Naughty Girl”), reggae (“Baby Boy”) and hip-hop (“Hip-Hop Star”). Lyrically speaking, the 15-track LP showcases a very love-struck Beyoncé, which is likely the reason why it resonated with teens and forty-somethings alike. The singer-turned-savvy businesswoman set the music industry on fire with Beyoncé and Lemonade, but her reign officially began on June 23, 2003.

Delivering a sleek performance from start to finish, Dangerously In Love remains one of the most impressive solo debuts of all time because it not only solidified Beyoncé as a breakout star but an icon in the making who was worthy of our attention.

In celebration of Dangerously In Love’s 15th anniversary, VIBE ranked all 15 tracks to determine which song reigns supreme.

Check it out below.


14. “Daddy”

After taking listeners through the ups and downs of a romantic relationship, Beyoncé ends her solo debut with a sweet lesson about unconditional love. “Daddy” serves as a heartfelt ode to the megastar’s father Mathew Knowles, who managed her career from 1990 to 2011.

“I want my unborn son to be like my daddy/I want my husband to be like daddy,” she sings on the chorus, before reminiscing about the time she called Mathew crying because of her tattoo, which can be spotted toward the end of the “Naughty Girl” music video.

13. “The Closer I Get To You” feat. Luther Vandross

Beyoncé professes her love for old-school R&B in an alluring remake of Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s classic 1978 hit, “The Closer I Get To You.” The late Luther Vandross’ distinct vocals blend perfectly with Queen Bey’s mezzo-soprano voice, making the track extra special.

12. “Hip-Hop Star” feat. Big Boi and Sleepy Brown

Ms. B didn’t come to play in “Hip-Hop Star.” Featuring Big Boi and Sleepy Brown, the edgy, rock-infused track is one of the most underrated tunes of the 22-time Grammy winner’s entire discography. Ditching her good girl image, the former pageant queen coyly asks, “Do you want to get nasty?” before daring a curious onlooker to undress her.

11. “Dangerously In Love 2”

“Dangerously In Love” first appeared on Destiny’s Child’s Survivor album, but the melodramatic ballad acted as Beyoncé’s signature song during the early part of her career as a solo artist. Although Bey and Jay’s love story was still on the hush-hush, the five-minute track offers an unexpected glimpse into their flourishing relationship. Despite not being released as an official single, the title track was a moderate success, reaching No. 17 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

10. “That’s How You Like It”

What’s better than one Beyoncé and JAY-Z collaboration? Two. The power couple blessed fans with “Crazy In Love” and “That’s How You Like It.”

On the track, which interpolates DeBarge’s “I Like It,” the future Mrs. Carter spells out exactly what she loves about Young Hov: “I like the way you are/ The way you ain’t/ I like your honesty, integrity/ It levels me, so please don’t ever change.”

9. “Yes”

Taking influences from Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait Awhile,” Beyoncé’s not afraid to knock some sense into her man on the pro-abstinence anthem, “Yes.” The lyrics are sure to resonate with any woman who’s ever dealt with an impatient man, especially when Bey sings about showing an “ungrateful” lover to the door after saying she moves “too slow.”

Interestingly enough, the song’s inspiration actually stemmed from a fan encounter. “I can sign a million autographs and the first time I have to say, ‘Sorry, I'm gonna miss my plane,’ it’s like I never signed the other million,” Beyoncé explained. “That happens all the time with all different situations of life. That’s why I thought it was such a good concept.”

8. “Naughty Girl”

From interpolating Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby” to experimenting with Middle Eastern music, Beyoncé’s willingness to take risks has always been the key to her longevity. Co-produced by Scott Storch, “Naughty Girl” is a sizzling tale about a woman’s desire for an exhilarating rendezvous. Case in point: “I’m feelin’ kind of n-a-s-t-y/ I might just take you home with me.” The disco-laden club banger solidified the singer’s sex symbol status and is in many ways a precursor to 2013’s “Blow.”

7. “Signs”

“I was in love with a Sagittarius,” Beyoncé croons on the astrology-themed “Signs.” On the ultra smooth number, the singer oozes charisma, flexes her vocal range and manages to drop not-so-subtle hints about her then-boyfriend JAY-Z, who is coincidentally a Sagittarius. Horoscope lovers will rejoice as Bey, a Virgo, travels through all 12 signs in the name of love. Produced and co-written by Missy Elliot, “Signs” is fun and easygoing, but guaranteed to spark plenty of conversation, making it one of the most memorable tracks off the album.

6. “Be With You”

On “Be With You,” ‘Yoncé serves up sexiness on a plate. “I love the way you make me feel/ It slows down time/ Come in my bedroom and turn off the lights,” she purrs in the first verse.

Featuring interpolations of Bootsy Collins’ “I’d Rather Be With You” and The Brothers Johnson’s “Strawberry Letter 23,” as well as a sample from Tyrone Davis’ “Ain’t Nothing I Can Do,” the steamy track is foreplay disguised as an R&B slow jam. The superstar’s sultriness is captivating, making even the most scorned woman want to reconcile with her man between the sheets.

5. “Baby Boy” feat. Sean Paul

Bey and Sean Paul hypnotize in “Baby Boy,” which spent nine weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the diva’s second longest running No. 1 single. “Ah, oh, my baby’s fly, baby, oh/Yes, no, hurt me so good, baby, oh,” she softly groans over the mid-tempo record, which is sprinkled with doses of reggae, dancehall, and Arabian music. The notoriously private singer takes listeners on a rare trip through her fantasies, where “the music is the sun” and “the dance floor becomes the sea.” Now that’s paradise.

4. “Speechless”

The minute the slow burn of “Speechless” comes dripping through your speakers, it’s obvious you’re in for a treat, especially when that rambunctious guitar solo takes over. This fan favorite consists of Beyoncé at a loss for words (well, sort of) with tantalizing lyrics that’ll make you blush: “Only sweat between us/ Feeling you kissing and pleasing me/ I rub your back/ I kiss your neck.”

The diva’s passionate wails (skip to 5:15) are guaranteed to send chills up and down your spine.

3. “Me, Myself and I”

Female empowerment has always been at the forefront of Beyoncé’s music, but “Me, Myself and I” is one of her most relatable songs to date. The timeless tune echoes Mary J. Blige’s “Not Gon’ Cry” with a slightly more modern sound, but the lesson is loud and clear: You can’t keep a good woman down. Bey’s testimony on “Me, Myself and I” serves as a stark contrast from Dangerously In Love’s otherwise romantic feels, but hearing the Queen chuck deuces to a trifling dude over a slinky groove is priceless.

2. “Beyoncé Interlude/Gift From Virgo”

Buried 14 tracks deep, listening to “Gift From Virgo” almost feels like an invasion of Beyoncé’s privacy as the singer’s sultry vocals glide over borrowed elements from Shuggie Otis’ “Rainy Day.”

At times, Bey’s deeply personal lyrics i.e. “I love everything about you from your old school tennis shoes” could be mistaken for a diary entry, making it one of the album’s most sophisticated offerings. “Gift From Virgo” taps into the entertainer’s artistry, which sometimes gets overlooked, but real fans know the magic that lies within this hidden gem.

1. “Crazy In Love”

There are certain songs that set a precedent of unwavering success in a young artist's career. “Crazy In Love” is one of those songs. Accompanied by JAY-Z, Dangerously In Love’s electrifying lead single blatantly propelled the Houston native into full-fledged superstardom and prepared her for world domination.

During the summer of ‘03, “Crazy In Love” skyrocketed to the top of the charts and stayed there for eight consecutive weeks. The catchy hook (sampled from The Chi-Lites’ “Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)”) almost didn’t happen per Rich Harrison, who co-wrote “Crazy In Love.”

“From [Beyoncé’s] face, she was kind of like, ‘I don’t know, but I’mma ride with you anyway,’” Harrison told MTV News. “I knew I was going to have to sell it a bit because when it comes on it doesn’t sound like anything that was being done at the time.”

Fifteen years later, the world is still recovering from “Crazy In Love." In all fairness Bey warned us, asking “You ready?” before snatching our edges indefinitely.

Princess Gabbara is a multimedia journalist and storyteller. She’s a former reporter for the Lansing State Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, who has written for outlets such as Shondaland, Bustle, The Boombox, Ebony magazine,, Essence, Sesi, and Greatist. Follow her on Twitter/Instagram: @PrincessGabbara.

READ: 10 Beyoncé ‘Dangerously in Love’ Fashion Moments

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CIRCA 1980: Photo of Bill Withers
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Bill Withers' Greatest Hits: Remixed, Sampled And Covered

The recent loss of legends in jazz, soul and classical music have saddened the music industry and reminded us of their touching gifts to music. The passing of Manu Dibango, Krzysztof Penderecki, Ellis Marsalis Jr., Bucky Pizzarelli and Alan Merrill brought endless tributes from peers and fans with the recent loss of soul singer-songwriter Bill Withers doing the same.

With a mirage of hits, the iconic songwriter left his mark on music with the release of his debut album Just As I Am in 1971. "Ain't No Sunshine" put a spotlight on his songwriting while 1977's "Lovely Day" reminded the industry of his signature vocals. Withers released eight studio albums, one live album and garnered three Grammys for his powerful songs that gave hope and love to fans to this day.

Hip-hop and R&B have gained the most from Withers as his music went on to inspire records like "No Diggity" by BLACKStreet, "Roses" by Kanye West and other songs from UGK, Dr. Dre, Jill Scott and more.

Take a look at some of Withers' finest tunes covered, remixed and sampled below.


8. “Lovely Day” | Menagerie (1977)

Sampled On: T.W.D.Y., “Player’s Holiday” | Derty Werk (1999) LunchMoneyLewis - “It's Gonna Be A Lovely Day” feat. Aminè | Pets 2 Soundtrack (2019) Swizz Beatz - “Take A Picture” |One Man Band (2007)

Standout: T.W.D.Y., “Player’s Holiday” | Derty Werk (1999)

Short for "The Whole Damn Yay," the group used Withers' sample while throwing a splash of The Bay's laid back flavor. With cameos from future legends like E-40 and Ray Luv, the single already embodied the best of R&B and hip-hop with guest verses from Too Short, Mac Mall and Otis & Shug. The mimosas and yacht are also a great touch.

Covered By: Jill Scott, The Original Jill Scott from the Vault Vol. 1 (2011) Alt-J, This Is All Yours (2014) Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio 2 (2013) Kirk Franklin, The Nu Nation Project (1998)

Standout: Kirk Franklin, The Nu Nation Project (1998)

Who was going to beat a chorus singing to the lordt? Franklin's take on the classic gives us stirring gospel and appreciation for Withers and God. There are plenty of covers that have lifted the same vocals as Withers, but the ones listed have put their unique spin on the track.

7. “Ain't No Sunshine” | Just As I Am (1971)

Sampled On: DMX - “No Sunshine” | Exit Wounds Soundtrack (2001) Lil B - “Up And Down” | Based Jam (2012) 2Pac- "Soulja's Story" |  2Pacalypse Now (1991)

Standout: DMX - “No Sunshine” | Exit Wounds Soundtrack (2001)

"No Sunshine" served as the only single from DMX's film alongside Steven Seagal, which gave everyone the perfect backdrop to the movie and X's intricate storytelling. Both the original and flipped version points out the dark elements of our lives. Withers penned the song after watching the film 1962 movie Days of Wine and Roses, he pondered over the toxicity in his life. "Sometimes you miss things that weren't particularly good for you," he said in 2004 to SongFacts. "It's just something that crossed my mind from watching that movie, and probably something else that happened in my life that I'm not aware of."

Covered By: Soul For Real | Candy Rain (1994) Michael Jackson | Got to Be There (1972) The Boris Gardiner Happening | Is What's Happening (1973) The Temptations | Solid Rock (1972)

Standout: Michael Jackson | Got to Be There (1972)

At 14, the future King of Pop gave a riveting cover of Withers' hit for his debut album, Got To Be There. From his vocal control throughout the track to the instrumentation, his cover takes the song to another level of heartbreak.

6. "Grandma's Hands” | Just As I Am (1971)

Sampled On: BLACKstreet - “No Diggity” feat. Dr. Dre and Queen Pen | Another Level (1996) Big K.R.I.T. - “I Gotta Stay” | K.R.I.T. Wuz Here (2010) Brother Ali - “Waheedah's Hands” | Champion (2004)

Standout: BLACKstreet - “No Diggity” feat. Dr. Dre and Queen Pen | Another Level (1996)

R&B heads are well aware of BLACKstreet's neverending ballads and the genius of Teddy Riley. But the pivot of their sound for their sophomore album Another Level was due to Withers and the William “Stylez” Stewart. Speaking to Fact Mag in 2017, the creator of New Jack Swing gave credit to Stylez for bringing him the sample of "Grandma's Hands."

“If he hadn’t played that sample for me, there would never be a ‘No Diggity’ And if he didn’t write it according to the melody I gave him so it would sound that way because I wanted it to sound funky,” he said. “I wanted it to be appealing to everyone, but mostly to women. I wanted every woman to feel like they were the ‘No Diggity’ girl and that song was about them and it came across. And now, still, today, that song plays and people are on that dancefloor.”

Covered By: Gil Scott-Heron, Reflections (1981) Merry Clayton, Merry Clayton (1971) Barbra Streisand, Butterfly (1974)

Standout: Gil Scott-Heron, Reflections (1981)

Gil Scott-Heron's version of the soul classic reminded us of his versatile talents. From spoken word to his vocal abilities, the Godfather of rap music always came through with his own sound and style. Reflections was one of four albums the late artist dropped in the 80s with critics looking to it as one of his finest projects. Other cuts from the album included "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" and "B Love."

5. "Use Me" | Still Bill (1972)

Sampled On: Kendrick Lamar - “Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst"  | Good kid, Maad City (2012) J. Cole- "Dollar And A Dream II" | The Warm-Up (2009) Leela James - “So Good" | Fall For You (2014) UGK - "Use Me Up" | The Southern Way (1992)

Standout: Kendrick Lamar - “Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst"  | Good kid, Maad City (2012)

Lamar's take on "Use Me" blended right into the themes of his debut album, Good kid, Maad City allowing the artist to create another world on the project. To make things even better, Lamar also sampled Al Green's "I'm Glad You're Mine" for the track.

Covered By: Grace Jones, Indigo Nights, Live (2008) Mick Jagger feat. Lenny Kravitz, Wandering Spirit  (2004) Issac Hayes, Dr. Dolittle Soundtrack (1998)

Standout: Mick Jagger feat. Lenny Kravitz, Wandering Spirit (2004)

On his third solo album, Jagger linked with Rick Rubin to test his creative energy, allowing him to work with Lenny Kravitz on their version of "Use Me." Colliding worlds was one thing but to hear Kravitz's vocals come in on the bridge, set the track apart from the rest.

4. “Kissing My Love” | Still Bill (1972)

Sampled On: J. Cole - “The Cut Off" featuring kiLL Edward  | KOD (2018) Dr. Dre - "Let Me Ride" featuring Snoop Dogg, RC and Jewell | The Chronic (1992) Masta Ace- "Movin On" | Take A Look Around (1990) Master P- "Bastard Child" | The Ghettos Tryin To Kill Me! | 1994

Standout: Dr. Dre - "Let Me Ride" featuring Snoop Dogg, RC and Jewell | The Chronic (1992)

"Kissing My Love" is one of most sampled from Withers catalog, thanks to its feverish drums. It's also why it fits into Dr. Dre's single and the G-funk era.

3. Grover Washington's “Just The Two of Us” featuring Bill Withers | Winelight (1981)

Sampled/Covered On:  Will Smith - “Just The Two of Us” | Big Willie Style (1997) Eminem- "Just The Two of Us" | Slim Shady EP (1997) Keri Hilson- "Pretty Girl Rock" | No Boys Allowed (2010)

Standout: Will Smith - “Just The Two of Us” | Big Willie Style (1997)

Touching and soulful, Smith's dedication to his eldest son Trey is just too cute for words.

2. “Let It Be” | Just As I Am  (1967)

The Original: The Beatles - “Let It Be” | Let It Be (1968)

"Let It Be" is a pretty special record. Aretha Franklin recorded a version a year before the release of The Beatles' version and Withers gave his take on the record in the 70s. Slightly faster, his upbeat take on "Let It Be" just hits different.

1. “Rosie” | Menagerie Re-Issue (1977)

Sampled On: Kanye West - “Roses” |  Late Registration (2005)

As the somber part of Late Registration, "Roses" brings us into Kanye's world where he contemplates the mortality of a loved one. It's a sentimental take on the sample and one of the artist's most underrated songs. It's also a hidden gem for Withers as it isn't featured on Menagerie's LP. It was added as a bonus track on

Enjoy the jams in playlist form below.

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Remain Calm: 5 Ways To Curve Negative Effects Of Coronavirus Isolation

Self-isolation during the coronavirus outbreak seems to be best practice in keeping our families and peers safe but it's also a shift in our normal social behavior. As millions of families around the country get adjusted to self-isolation, the state of our mental health and how our bodies react to the practice are changing by the day, especially lower-income and marginalized groups.

Speaking with Wired, John Vincent, a clinical psychologist at the University of Houston, shared how apathetic behavior can rise to the forefront, making space for anxiety and depression.

“People start getting lethargic when they don’t have positive inputs into their small worlds,” Vincent says. “We can expect depression to kick in, and depression and anxiety are kissing cousins.”

But the biggest reason behind the uneasiness isn't the self-isolation but just how long it will last. Details of COVID-19 are changing by the day with the most cases now coming out of New York. Yet, there's still little to no information on what happens next.

“Open, transparent, consistent communication is the most important thing governments and organizations can do: Make sure people understand why they are being quarantined first and foremost, how long it is expected to last,” Samantha Brooks of King’s College London told the outlet. “A huge factor in the negative psychological impact seems to be confusion about what's going on, not having clear guidelines, or getting different messages from different organizations.”

Uncertainty hitting low income and marginalized groups is also a problem within itself. As virtual parties and celebrities opening up on social media happen on a daily, there are people who might not access fun distractions on the web.

“Some people have posited technology as a means of connecting people, but lower-income groups might not even have FaceTime or Skype or minutes on their phone,” Thomas Cudjoe, a geriatrician researching the intersection of social connections and aging at Johns Hopkins University says. “People take that for granted, using their devices can be a strain on people’s incomes.”

To make self-isolation less than a bore or a daunting task, experts suggest creating a schedule to dictate control in your home.

1. Work It Out

Gyms are closed, but your home can be transformed into a personal training center. Use heavy bags for weights and if you can, create a playlist of workouts on YouTube. For those who have memberships for Blink or Peloton, the platforms have streamed their workouts on apps.

2. Mindful Meditation

Meditation isn't about dumping your thoughts, it's about staying aware and mindful. AQUA has developed online that leverages the power of "Mindful Meditation and Mobility Movements" for flexibility and fluidity in the body. Classes are free of charge but feel free to donate.

3. Take It Back To High School

Give your friends a call or indulge in a FaceTime party. Feel free to use the Wifi in your home to reduce the amount of data used on your phone. Lala Anthony held a too-cute FT birthday party for writer Kiyonna Anthony with a 70s theme. You can also find creative ways to hop on the phone with friends and family instead of constantly chatting about 'rona.


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We made the best out of our quarantine situation🎉‼️FACETIME 70s Party💃🏽🎉HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY NIECE @kiyonnathewriter ❤️❤️💃🏽💃🏽SHOUT OUT TO ALL MY ARIES ♈️ MAKE THE BEST OF IT!!!😘

A post shared by ℒᎯ ℒᎯ (@lala) on Mar 23, 2020 at 7:14pm PDT

4. Start A Journal

Journals just aren't for kids. The practice not only gives you something to do, but it fuels creativity and a new level of self-awareness. Former First Lady Michelle Obama recently developed Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice, with over 150 inspiring questions and quotes that connect to key themes in her memoir. The journal will also help bring readers to terms with the importance of family and personal reflections as well as the goals they'd like to make a reality.

5. Have a Dance Party or Enjoy Lo-Fi Beats To Quarantine To

If you don't have data or battery power to watch a virtual DJ party, make your own. If you have to pull out your record player, do it! You can also hop on your favorite streaming service and create a playlist all your own.

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From Teen Sensation To Vocal Bible: Brandy's 15 Best Songs

September 27, 2019 marked the 25th anniversary of the multiplatinum self-titled debut album by one of R&B’s greatest voices, Brandy Rayana Norwood, or simply Brandy. She was already well on her way to stardom prior to her debut as a background vocalist for Immature and one of the stars of the short-lived ABC series, Thea. However, it was the album Brandy that set her on the path to tremendous success.

Since officially bursting onto the scene in 1994 sporting her well-known braided crown of glory, she has been a force to be reckoned with. She was handpicked by her idol, the late Whitney Houston, to portray the role of the first Black Cinderella in the 1997 film Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella. Her show Moesha was one of the longest-running black sitcoms. Brandy was also a CoverGirl in 1999 and became a friend of Barbie that same year when Mattel released the Brandy Doll. In music, she’s released six studio albums, sold more than 40 million records worldwide, headlined three world tours, and won more than 30 awards including seven Billboard Music Awards, a Grammy and the Soul Train Lady of Soul Award. Brandy deserves her flowers.

Let’s check out the top 15 songs that helped solidify Brandy as your favorite singer’s favorite singer (just ask Solange) and earned her the title of the “Vocal Bible.”

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