Collaborations are nothing new in the music industry. Nearly every new album release features two artists working together on a single that will make you feel all the feelings.
And, since June is Black Music Month, we’re shining a light on music collabs that we always have on repeat. Here are some of the dopest #BlackGirlMagic music collaborations that are worth revisiting.
“The Boy Is Mine” (1998) – Brandy & Monica
Inspired by an episode of The Jerry Springer Show and Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s iconic 1982 duet, “The Girl Is Mine,” Brandy and Monica joined forces to create a modern classic with “The Boy Is Mine.” In this international hit, Brandy and Monica dispute over a two-timing loser, climbing the charts and staying there for 15 weeks straight during the summer of 1998.
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“Feeling Myself” (2014) – Beyoncé & Nicki Minaj
Dripping in unapologetic cockiness, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé go hard on “Feeling Myself” from The Pinkprint album. Backed by a dope West Coast synth, Onika didn’t come to play with punchlines like, “Feelin’ myself, back off/’Cause I’m feelin’ myself, jack off/He be thinking about me when he whacks off/Wax on? Wax off,” while Baddie Bey boasts, “Changed the game with that digital drop.”
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“Whatta Man” (1993) – Salt-N-Pepa & En Vogue
"Whatta Man" was refreshing at the time—and still is—because it’s a salute to all the good men out here in these streets. Salt-N-Pepa and En Vogue were enjoying the success of multi-platinum albums (i.e. Very Necessary and Funky Divas) when they dropped one of the era’s most memorable bops.
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“Consideration” (2016) – Rihanna & SZA
From the second that throbbing bassline starts flowing through your speakers, you know it’s going to be lit. “Consideration” is a brilliant moment from Rihanna’s Anti album that compliments both Rih and SZA’s unique voices. Warning: Singing along to the lyrics, “Let me cover your sh*t in glitter/I can make it gold, gold” might unleash your inner badass.
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“Not Tonight” remix (1997) – Lil Kim, Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot, Left Eye, Da Brat & Angie Martinez
Built around a sample of Kool and The Gang’s popular disco hit, “Ladies Night,” the remix to Lil Kim’s “Not Tonight” was a game changer because it was a feminist anthem with a huge dose of #BlackGirlMagic sprinkled throughout. And the music video has the word “iconic” written all over it because it showed female rappers celebrating each other in what appeared to be an insanely fun girls’ night out.
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“Gangsta Lovin’” (2002) – Eve & Alicia Keys
Does anybody else pretend like they're sipping champagne on a yacht while listening to "Gangsta Lovin'" by Eve and Alicia Keys? Everything about this track is so chill, and it hasn’t aged a bit since its 2002 release.
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“***Flawless” (remix) 2014 – Beyoncé & Nicki Minaj
Remember when Beyoncé dropped the surprise “***Flawless” remix and snatched all our edges? Halfway through the song, Queen Bey reminds the world that she’s “Texas forever like Bun B” and declares the following: “I wake up looking this good/And I wouldn’t change it if I could.” Showing no mercy for our souls, Nicki slays her verse and declares that “winning” is her protocol before dropping the mic with, “This that, ‘Yeah ni**a, eat the cookie’ face.” Dang, Onika!
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“Here We Go” (2005) – Trina & Kelly Rowland
Can you imagine how many ladies relished throwing away their ex’s belongings while blasting Trina and Kelly Rowland’s “Here We Go”? In this classic ’05 tearjerker, Trina chucks deuces to her man after discovering his infidelity. And don’t pretend like you weren’t in your feelings whenever this jam came on the radio.
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“You Want This” (1993) – Janet Jackson & MC Lyte
Janet Jackson's "You Want This" from the iconic janet. album was already fire, but MC Lyte took it to another level. In "You Want This,” Janet calls the shots to a potential lover as she coos, "Not anyone I'll just let in my heart/You have to be hungry for me." Yaass, Ms. Janet!
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“Count On Me” (1995) – Whitney Houston & CeCe Winans
Waiting to Exhale struck a chord with Black women because it touched on our pain while paying homage to sisterhood. But it’s also remembered for its stellar soundtrack, which generated five top 10 hits, including “Count On Me.” The way Whitney emotes the lyric, “I know sometimes it seems as if it’s never gonna end” will pierce your soul every single time.
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“Missing You” (1996) – Tamia, Brandy, Chaka Khan & Gladys Knight
If Frankie, Stoney, Cleo and T.T. from Set It Off don’t immediately come to mind when listening to “Missing You,” your Black card needs to be revoked ASAP. But on a more serious note, grab some tissues the minute the credits start rolling because you will ugly cry while listening to this song.
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“Ladies First” (1989) – Queen Latifah & Monie Love
Hip-hop was slowly becoming more mainstream in the late ‘80s, but female MCs were still far and few in between. That is, until Queen Latifah came out swinging with “Ladies First” off her debut album, All Hail the Queen. Coupled with Monie Love, the pair made a bold statement that couldn’t be ignored.
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“Oops (Oh My)” (2002) – Tweet & Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot
Tweet playfully boasts about enjoying the pleasures of masturbation in the unforgettable techno/reggae hybrid, “Oops (Oh My),” with production notes from Timbaland. Featuring Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot, the lyrics left little to the imagination (i.e. “I was feelin’ so good I had to touch myself”), and the beat was hypnotic and catchy as hell. TBH, we still haven’t heard anything like it since.
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“When You Believe” (1998) – Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey
When Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston blessed us with a collaboration on The Prince of Egypt’s soundtrack, the magical duet came as a surprise, rumors had circulated for years that the divas were rivals. “When You Believe” reached No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it earned an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999. The song’s inspirational message is enough to send chills down your spine.
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