"Crazy in Love" is a song recorded by American singer Beyoncé featuring American rapper Jay-Z from Beyoncé's debut solo studio album Dangerously in Love (2003). It was released as the album's lead single on May 18, 2003 through Columbia Records and Music World Entertainment. Both artists wrote and composed the song in collaboration with Rich Harrison and Eugene Record; the former also produced it with Beyoncé. Using samples from The Chi-Lites's 1970 song "Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)", "Crazy in Love" is a contemporary R&B and pop love song that incorporates elements of hip hop, soul, and 1970s-style funk music. Its lyrics describe a romantic obsession that causes the protagonist to act out of character.
"Crazy in Love" was a number-one hit in the United States and United Kingdom, and reached the top ten in various other countries worldwide. Music critics praised the hook, Jay-Z's contribution, and Beyoncé's assertive delivery of the lyrics. VH1 declared it the greatest song of the 2000s decade, while Rolling Stone ranked it at number 118 on their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time in 2010, and in 2018, declared the song, the greatest of the 21st century so far. At the 46th Annual Grammy Awards (2004), "Crazy in Love" won Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
The song's accompanying music video features Beyoncé in various dance sequences. It won three awards at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, and its director, Jake Nava, won the Music Video Production Association award for Best R&B Video in 2004. Since 2003, "Crazy in Love" has been a staple in Beyoncé's live performances and concert tours. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) recognized "Crazy in Love" as one of the most performed songs of 2004. Artists including David Byrne have covered the song, and it has been used in various television shows and other media.
Development and production
By July 2002, Beyoncé had already recorded several songs which would appear on Dangerously in Love. Columbia Records planned to release the album in October 2002; however, the release was postponed several times to capitalize on the success of American rapper Nelly's 2002 single "Dilemma," which features Beyoncé's former Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland. These delays allowed Beyoncé to record more songs for the album.
Before meeting Beyoncé, Rich Harrison had conceptualized the beat of the song. He had sampled the hook's instrumentation from the 1970 song "Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)," which had originally been written and composed by Eugene Record, frontman of the Chicago-based vocal group The Chi-Lites. When Harrison first played the beat to his friends, they could not "dig it," and this made him realize that he had conceived something special, which people would appreciate better after hearing the whole record. Thus Harrison decided not to market the selection, and instead, he waited for the right artist to record it: "I had it in the chamber, I had not really shopped it much, because sometimes you do not want to come out of the bag before it's right. People do not really get it and you will leave them with a foul taste in their mouth."
Harrison was pleasantly surprised when he got a call from Beyoncé, who was working on one of the most anticipated albums of the year. However, things did not turn up according to his plans the following day, as he was late and was still suffering the effects of a hangover. When Harrison played the sample to Beyoncé in the studio, the singer initially had doubts about the "sound so full of blaring fanfare;" it seemed too retro and according to her, no one used horn riffs in the 21st century. Nevertheless, Beyoncé became friendlier to the sample, much to Harrison's delight, and gave him two hours to write and compose the song while she went out.
Harrison confessed that it was not easy for him to come up with the lyrics to "Crazy in Love" in that length of time. But two hours later, he had written the verses, and the hook, in spite of being hung over. Harrison had also made provision for a backing track; he played all the instruments on the track. The bridge was written by Beyoncé, who was inspired by looking at herself in the mirror; as she was not wearing matching clothes and her hair was untidy, she kept saying, "I'm looking so crazy right now." Harrison sang back to her and said, "That's the hook." It also inspired the title of the song. After that Beyoncé had filled up the middle eight, she came up with the catchphrase – "Uh-oh, uh-oh, you know" – alongside Harrison.
American rapper Jay-Z became involved late in the song's production. Around 3 a.m., he came to the studio and recorded a rap verse, which he improvised in about ten minutes. The recording of "Crazy in Love" took place nearly three months following the meeting of Beyoncé with Harrison.
Track descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. Feel free to contribute!
All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.