Beyoncé’s Best Rap Moments

From “Apesh*t” to the “Savage” remix, here are 15 of Beyoncé's best moments as a rapper.

Beyonce's best rap moments

Image via Getty/Larry Busacca

Beyonce's best rap moments

Everyone knows Beyoncé is one of the best performers of our generation, but most fans know her as a singer. Over the years, though, Queen B has shown that she can more than hold her own as a rapper, too. If you somehow missed her bars on songs like “Apeshit” or “Diva,” Beyoncé just gave us another reminder of her skills as an MC on the remix of Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage,” rapping about Demon Time and OnlyFans accounts. So, now seems like a good time to run through her history behind the mic. Here are 15 times Beyoncé proved herself as a great rapper.

“Savage (Remix)” (2020)

View this video on YouTube

Album: N/A (remix)

Beyoncé’s contribution to Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage (Remix)” is her raunchiest rap verse yet. She delivers two memorable verses, stacking each with saucy adlibs and Instagram quotables like, “If you wanna see some real ass, baby, here’s your chance” and “Can’t argue with the lazy bitches, I just raise my price.” But the most memorable line here is easily Beyoncé’s extremely timely mention of Demon Time and OnlyFans:

“Hips tik tok when I dance

On that Demon Time, she might start an OnlyFans (OnlyFans)”

“Apesh*t” (2018)

View this video on YouTube

Album: The Carters

The Carters didn’t come to play on 2018’s “APESHIT.” On the trap-inspired track, we find a more rambunctious and less polished Bey ripping through rapid-fire verses, bragging about equity and declaring herself as a superior force in all regards. Beyonce’s fearlessness on “APESHIT” is palpable, making this one of her best rap moments to date:

“Gimme my check, put some respek on my check

Or pay me in equity (Pay me in equity)

Watch me reverse out of debt (Skrrt)

He got a bad bitch, bad bitch

We livin' lavish, lavish

I get expensive fabrics

I got expensive habits

He wanna go with me (Go with me)

He like to roll the weed (Roll the weed)

He wanna be with me (Be with me)

He wanna give me that vitamin D (D)

Ice ornaments, icy style tournaments (Woo)”

“Formation” (2016)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Lemonade

This is easily one of her best displays of mic prowess. She goes in hard out the gate with multiple syllable rhymes, double entendres, and spot-on delivery. Listen as she switches her style after the first few bars to elevate the track.

“Y'all haters corny with that Illuminati mess

Paparazzi, catch my fly and my cocky fresh

I'm so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin')

I'm so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces

My daddy Alabama, momma Louisiana

You mix that negro with that Creole, make a Texas bama”

“Diva” (2008)

View this video on YouTube

Album: I Am... Sasha Fierce

Even though Beyoncé sing-raps most of the verses, this is a rap track through and through. The chorus establishes its rap in both form and content:

“Na-na-na, diva is a female version of a hustla, of a hustla, of a, of a hustla”

Both the choppy chorus and the simple beat are built like “A Milli” by Lil Wayne (also produced by Bangladesh). Although she sings most of the rest of the way through, Beyoncé raps the first two lines to set the tone:

“Stop the track, let me state facts.

I told you, gimme a minute and I’ll be right back.”

“Feeling Myself” (2014)

View this video on YouTube

Album: The Pinkprint

Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé each appeared on each other’s albums in 2013 and 2014. But, while Beyoncé proves on her own track that she can rap next to Nicki (“It's that Yoncé, your Yoncé / In that lingerie, on that chardonnay / Scoring touchdowns on your runway / I'm Texas forever, like Bun B”) it’s on The Pinkprint that she throws down. And she does it in just two lines:

“Changed the game with that digital drop

Know where you was when that digital popped”

“That digital drop” is a reference to her self-titled album which she dropped online with no prior press or promo. Now that other huge artists like Kendrick Lamar, Wilco, and Drake have started doing no-promo releases, it’s now literally called “Pulling a Beyoncé.”

“Hold Up” (2016)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Lemonade

This is a mostly slow and sultry song. The minimalist beat is sparse, and Beyoncé raps quietly but confidently in the second verse leading into the chorus. Then suddenly, halfway through the bridge, we get a driving upbeat snare, two lines of aggressively delivered wordplay, and (in case it didn’t feel enough like straight-up rap) an airhorn. She raps, “I always keep the top tier, five star, backseat loving in the car/Like make that wood, like make that wood, Holly like a boulevard.” It’s not just that she can rap, she can change up her style to match a beat or take the song in a totally different direction just to capture a feeling or mess with you for a second. But that’s it. Then we’re back to R&B.

“Top Off” (2018)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Top Off Single

We’ve already established that B’s verse on this song is fire. She one-ups Jay Z’s Meek Mill line from earlier in the song, name drops a cultural cornerstone from Future’s own locale, and then rhymes “I might roll up” with “non-disclosure” and sticks the landing. In other words, B owns this track.

“Top off the coupe and it look like Freaknik

In the hood, hollerin', "Free Meek"

Two deep, it's just me and JAY

Just posted in them courtside seats

Woo! I'm like "hol' up"

Woo! I might roll up

If they're tryna party with the queen

They gon' have to sign a non-disclosure, ayy”

“Kitty Kat” (2007)

View this video on YouTube

Album: B'Day

This track is produced by The Neptunes, so it’s not too surprising that when Beyoncé sneaks in a few bars of whispery swagger toward the end of the song, her rap style similar to Pharrell's iconic flow in “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” Here she raps:

“Got diamonds on my neck

Got diamonds on my records

Since 16 I was coming down riding Lexus

How you gon neglect this? You is just a hot mess”

“7/11” (2014)

View this video on YouTube


This is the first track on Volume 2 of Beyoncé’s 2013 self-titled album, a short collection of bonus tracks released after the surprise blockbuster album. At the end of the track, when the Auto-Tune is turned off, we get this raw rap swagger:

“Sweatin' on my blow out

Sweatin' on my dress

This trick about to go off

Mad 'cause I'm so fresh”

“Partition” (2013)

View this video on YouTube


Beyoncé named the album after herself (Beyoncé) but on this song she calls herself Yoncé. She took up the name again when she rapped alongside Nicki Minaj on the “Flawless Remix”. So, maybe before B, Yoncé was her rap name? (Be)yoncé raps most of the way through this song. The highlight is her laid back flow in second verse:

“Drop the bass, mane, the bass get lower

Radio say speed it up I just go slower

High like treble, pumping on them mids

Ya man ain't never seen a booty like this

And why you think ya keep my name rolling off your tongue

Cause when you want a smash, I'll just write another one

I sneezed on the beat and the beat got sicker

Yoncé all on his mouth like liquor”


“Video Phone” (2008)

View this video on YouTube

Album: I Am... Sasha Fierce

Songs about technology that seems cutting edge at the time don’t typically hold up well as the tech ages. It’s a shame this song isn’t an exception because, otherwise, it’s great. Beyoncé sings more than raps, but the way she delivers rhymes in the last verse can’t be overlooked. Great rappers can make words rhyme that shouldn’t. And Beyoncé makes it feel easy when she rhymes “them hot ones” with “New Orleans.” Damn.

“You know them G's they be hollerin'

'Specially them hot ones

Brooklyn, Atlanta, Houston to New Orleans

When they see me they be like, "Yo, B, let me call you!"

You breakin' my focus, boy you cute and you ballin'”

“If Looks Could Kill” (2001)

View this video on YouTube

Album: Carmen: A Hip Hopera

Carmen: A Hip Hopera was a TV-movie musical made for MTV. Unsurprisingly, the lyrical content is corny. But Beyoncé does her best to hold it down and make the sometimes clunky rhymes sound tight. YOU try being sexy while rhyming faucet and porpoise! B (barely) pulls it off:

“Sweetness flowing like a faucet, body bangin' no corset

Brother's wanna toss it but they lost cause my game made ‘em forfeit

Slicker than a porpoise and thicker than a horse's”

“Haunted” (2013)

View this video on YouTube


“Haunted” is broken into two parts. The first half got its own video, called “Ghost” and that’s where we get an unconventional Beyoncé flow that doesn’t show up anywhere else in her catalogue. Her cadence sounds like Saul Williams, the rapper, actor, and slam poet who has worked with Rick Rubin and Trent Reznor. The song is written by Beyoncé and BOOTS, who has his own connections to alternative hip hop as a consistent collaborator with Run the Jewels. The lyrical highlight is this:

“Cat-calls on cat-walks, man these women getting solemn

I could sing a song for a Solomon or Salamander"

“Upgrade U” (2006)

View this video on YouTube

Album: B’Day

“Upgrade U” is one of Beyoncé’s rap moments that could slip through the cracks if you’re not paying attention. While most of the track is dedicated to Bey’s powerful vocals, she throws in a rap-like verse on the outro for an added bonus. With a macho and cocky aura, Bey raps about the luxury items she’s purchased that have changed her man’s life:

“Audemars Piguet watch, dimples in ya necktie

Hermes briefcase, Cartier tie clips

Silk-lined blazers, diamond creamed facials

VVS cuff links, six-star pent suites

Partna, let me, upgrade ya, grade ya

Partna, partna, let me, upgrade ya, grade ya

Let me, let me, let me, upgrade ya, grade ya

Partna, partna, partna, let me upgrade ya (Huh!)”


“Flawless (Remix)” (2014)

View this video on YouTube

Album: N/A (remix)

Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj make an unstoppable team. On the remix of “Flawless,” she switches things up with a dizzying rap verse that touches on certain headlines in the news: particularly, that infamous fight between her sister Solange and JAY-Z in the elevator at the Met Gala. It’s clear that Beyoncé is always paying attention and just picking the right moment to respond:

“Of course sometimes shit go down

When it's a billion dollars on an elevator

Of course sometimes shit go down

When it's a billion dollars on an elevator

Ha-ha! God damn, God damn, God damn!!!”


Latest in Music