Beyoncé ft Jay-Z - Crazy In Love.
Best of 2003: You all know this one, but I can’t let 2003 go by without mentioning it.
Beyoncé is 21 years old and about to conquer the world, setting aside Destiny’s Child and taking centre stage on her own. Her superstar boyfriend shows up to help her out, but by the time he arrives she’s already stopping traffic and showing us what she can do: for example, her impressive ability to go from confident strut to sitting cross-legged on the floor within a split second at 0.30.
But first, a quick nod to her old life: between 1.06 and 1.40 she’s hanging out as one of the girls, relaxed in a baseball cap, trackie bottoms and messy hair, popping bubblegum in a street alley without a care in the world.
Then presumably on request of his missus, Jay-Z sets fire to his car with a version of Beyoncé inside - the helpless, weak, ordinary Beyoncé of old (who needed a group to support her) is up in flames! Long live the new, fur-clad phoenix Beyoncé! But despite his loving gesture, B barely looks at J and even reprimands him with a flick of her stole. She doesn’t need him either, and even neutralises his actions by kicking open a fire hydrant.
(Btw I’m utterly fascinated by Beyoncé’s and Jay-Z’s relationship - especially the version we see in their collaborations. I’ll collect my thoughts and write more about this at some point.)
By now the transition is complete: between 3.00 and 3.56 Beyoncé is a high-fashion catwalk diva in a harsh industrial setting, fiercely asserting her power and dominance over the other dancers - paler imitations. Even her dance moves are more precise than before - the girl that was wiggling her bum with her mates a few minutes ago is now just a pile of ashes. “I’m not myself… baby I DON’T CARE!” The new Queen B is here to stay, and I’m still in awe of her every time I watch this.