According to Metacritic, Beauty and the Beat received an average score of 85/100 based on 18 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
Peter Macia of Pitchfork Media felt that "[the] gravity of Edan's lyrics and voice on Beauty and the Beat is perhaps its most surprising element" and that "[Edan has] gone from a brainiac prankster to the Borges of rap." Nick Follett of XLR8R called it "one of the best and most original records to come out this decade." Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club said, "the album's brevity is just another old-fashioned value from a rapper-producer-visionary who doesn't need a whole lot of space to make a big statement."