Drunk in Love

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"Drunk in Love"
Single by Beyoncé featuring Jay Z
from the album Beyoncé
Released December 17, 2013 (2013-12-17)
Recorded 2013; Jungle City Studios (New York City); Oven Studios (New York City)
Length 5:23
Beyoncé singles chronology
"Drunk in Love"
"Part II (On the Run)"
Jay-Z singles chronology
"Know Bout Me"
"Drunk in Love"
"The Devil Is a Lie"

"Drunk in Love" is a song recorded by American recording artist Beyoncé, featuring her husband American rapper Jay-Z. The duo along with Noel Fisher, Andre Eric Proctor, Rasool Diaz, Brian Soko, Timbaland, Jerome Harmon, and Boots composed the song for Beyoncé's self-titled fifth studio album Beyoncé (2013). Columbia Records released "Drunk in Love" as one of the two lead singles to urban contemporary radio stations in the United States on December 17, 2013.

Musically, "Drunk in Love" is dominated by trap beats in chunks and bass. Its lyrics depict female sexuality as Beyoncé adopts sensual and confident vocals. Jay-Z raps a verse on the song. Contemporary music critics wrote generally positive reviews for "Drunk in Love", many of whom called it a follow-up to Beyoncé's and Jay-Z's 2003 song "Crazy in Love". They also commended its appeal to urban radio and Beyoncé's as well as Jay-Z's vocals.

"Drunk in Love" peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number one on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Despite only being officially released in the US, it also managed to appear on some international charts; it reached the top ten in France, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, where it became Beyoncé's 17th top ten hit. The single's accompanying music video was directed by Hype Williams and shot in black-and-white in Golden Beach, Miami at a beach front manse. "Drunk in Love" was performed by Beyoncé and Jay-Z at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.

Conception and release[edit]

Jay-Z is credited as a co-writer and featured artist.

"Drunk in Love" was co-written by Beyoncé, Noel Fisher, Andre Eric Proctor, Rasool Diaz, Brian Soko, Timothy Mosley, Jerome Harmon and Jay-Z, who appears as the featuring artist on the track.[1] Production of the song was helmed by the Boots and Beyoncé as well as Noel Fisher under his production name Detail.[1] "Drunk in Love" was recorded at Jungle City Studios and at Oven Studios in New York City.[1] Elaborating on the conception of the song, Beyoncé said:

I kind of freestyled the verse, and Jay went in and he started flowing out his verse [...] we just kinda had a party. It was so great, because it wasn't about any ego, we weren't trying to make a hit record [...] we were just having fun...and I think you can hear that in the record.[2]

"Drunk in Love" was subsequently included on Beyoncé's self-titled fifth studio album Beyoncé (2013)[1] which was released on iTunes Store with no promotion having taken place beforehand.[3] Following the album's release, Billboard magazine reported that "Blow" would be released as the contemporary hit radio (CHR) single worldwide while "Drunk in Love" was reported to be sent to urban contemporary radios in the US exclusively.[3] However, the release of "Blow" was scrapped and "XO" impacted CHR, hot adult contemporary and rhythmic contemporary radio in the US on December 16, 2013.[4][5][6] "Drunk in Love" impacted urban contemporary radio stations on December 17, 2013,[7] serving as one of the two lead singles from Beyoncé.


A trap and R&B song, "Drunk in Love" features a heavy bass and explicit lyrics about love-making.

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Musically, the song consists of bass,[8] vague synthesizers, scintillating strings,[9] finger snaps[10] and a substantial amount of trap beats.[11] Written in the key of A major, the track contains a "moderately slow" metronome of approximately 70, while also following a chord progression of Fm—Bm—E—A. Beyoncé and Jay-Z's vocals range from F3 to Eb5.[12] Many contemporary critics viewed "Drunk in Love" as a sequel or an extension to Beyoncé's own 2003 collaboration with Jay-Z, "Crazy in Love".[13][14]

Keeping in with the most prominent theme of Beyoncé, "Drunk in Love" explores female sexuality.[15][16][17] Its lyrics express "unbridled lust"[18] and love-making with a wholly committed lover[15] As she sings about how much she likes sex with her partner,[19] Beyoncé uses several double entendres,[16][20] including the line, "grainin[g] on that wood", where she is supposedly referencing a surfboard.[15] The singer displays much attitude through her vocal inflections that were described as "sassy" by critics.[15][21] She also adopts an accent that causes the lyrics to become orally indistinguishable to the listener at times.[22] Her singing is further ornamented by Arabic-scale vocal arpeggios.[9]

On the bridge, Beyoncé sings about having drunken sex in the kitchen: "We woke up in the kitchen saying / How the hell did this shit happen / Oh baby, drunk in love, we be all night / Last thing I remember is our beautiful bodies grinding off in that club".[20][22] The second verse of the song is half-rapped by Beyoncé.[15] Jay-Z later appears to provide his rapped verse as he compares his relationship with Beyoncé to that of Ike and Tina Turner.[23] He even forgoes any subtlety as he raps, "... slick your panties to the side, I ain’t got time to take your drawers off ... your breasteses is my breakfast".[15][16] Similar to Beyoncé, Jay-Z sings about how he cannot keep his fingers off her and the places they have had sex in their house.[24]

Critical reception[edit]

Contemporary music critics generally enjoyed the collaboration of Beyoncé and Jay-Z on "Drunk in Love" and praised its catchiness. Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times wrote that Beyoncé "trades terrifically raunchy come-ons with Jay Z [on 'Drunk in Love']; it's like an NC-17 sequel to their 2003 smash 'Crazy in Love'".[25] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone chose the "sex song" as the album's best one, commenting that it is a "superb duet with Jay Z".[24] Andrew Hampp of Billboard called the tack a "potential smash" as he praised its appeal to R&B radios and its "infectious, wailing of 'loooove' on the chorus". He also commended Beyoncé's and Jay-Z's rapped verses.[15]

Similarly, Nick Catucci of Entertainment Weekly termed Beyoncé's rap as "truculent" and noted that "Drunk in Love" is one of the few songs of the album that displays scale-busting.[8] Kitty Empire of The Observer wrote that "Drunk in Love" finds Beyoncé "rapping lasciviously and making eyes at her husband. It's about 100 times better than that description allows for."[26] Chris Kelly of FACT magazine dubbed the song as the "requisite duet with Jay Z (whose Ike Turner-referencing verse caps off a year of cringeworthy efforts)".[27] Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune described the track as a "frisky reverie".[23] Likewise, Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club wrote:

The D’Angelo-indebted grind session 'Rocket' and frisky 'Drunk In Love' are similarly sexy, but they’re not sexy like a glamour shot or a steamy video. They’re sexy like an overeager, pre-shower quickie, or a hushed morning make-out session before the baby wakes up. These are the most unapologetically raunchy songs she’s ever sung, and in many ways also the most romantic.[28]

Philip Matusavage of musicOMH essentially noted that though "Drunk in Love" does not have a chorus, it absolutely manages to be "thrilling", further writing that it is "packed with ideas and touches" which listeners would understand after repeated listens.[29] Philip Cosores of Paste highlighted that the track was highly evocative but found its lyrics to be "half-baked at best".[21] A more mixed to negative review came from Ryan Dennehy of AbsolutePunk who wrote that "unconditional love has to be reciprocated to explain Jay Z's odious verse on 'Drunk in Love'".[30] "Drunk in Love" is nominated for the Top R&B Song accolade at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards,[31] Best Female Video and Best R&B Video at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards Japan.[32]

Chart performance[edit]

For the week ending December 21, 2013, "Drunk in Love" debuted at number 25 on the South Korea Gaon International Chart with digital sales of 5,608 copies.[33] In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at number 57 on the UK Singles Chart and number six on the UK R&B Chart for the issue dated December 28, 2013[34][35] and peaked at numbers three and nine respectively in February 2014; the latter marking Beyoncé's 17th top ten single in the UK as a solo artist.[36][37][38] On the New Zealand Singles Chart, "Drunk in Love" debuted at number 40 on January 13, 2014, and peaked at number seven on February 10, 2014, becoming Beyoncé's 16th top ten single in New Zealand.[39]

In the US, "Drunk in Love" debuted at number 48 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart dated December 28, 2013. It was also the greatest gainer, with a 3.4 million audience impression across 46 reporters.[40] For the week ending January 4, 2014, the song soared to number 9 on the airplay chart[41] and went on to debut at number 2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[42] Being attributed the greatest airplay gainer for the third consecutive week, the single moved to number 6 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.[43] "Drunk in Love" topped the chart for the week ending February 1, 2014, becoming Beyoncé's sixth number-one song on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.[44] It spent eight consecutive weeks atop the chart.[45] "Drunk in Love" also became Beyoncé's seventh number-one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and eighth number-one on the Rhythmic Songs chart.[46][47]

On the Billboard Hot 100, "Drunk in Love" debuted at number 12 for the week ending January 4, 2014 and equaled the performance of Knowles' 2006 single, "Ring the Alarm", for her highest debut position on the chart.[42] Following the couple's performance of the single at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, "Drunk in Love" climbed to a new peak of number two, becoming Beyoncé's first top ten hit since "Telephone" (2010) and her highest charting song since "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (2008).[46] It also became the singer's 15th top ten Hot 100 single as a solo artist, and tied her with Connie Francis and Olivia Newton-John for seventh-place among women with the most top tens in the chart's 55-year history.[46] "Drunk in Love" spent eight consecutive weeks in the top ten.[48] As of March 30, 2014, it has sold 1,279,961 digital copies in the US.[49]

Music video[edit]

The video was filmed on August 15, 2013 in Golden Beach, Florida at a beach front manse that Beyoncé rented out for the shoot.[50][51] It was directed by Hype Williams and shot in black-and-white; the clip depicts Beyoncé and Jay-Z "madly in love".[51] Talking about the video in an iTunes Radio session, Beyoncé said, "The shoot was extremely effortless and spontaneous and we completely captured the energy of the song."[51] She also went on to say that it was the most organic shoot she had ever done and further added: "I wanted to carry this idea of being in the moment and embracing mistakes and effortlessness into the video. I wish every video was like 'Drunk [in Love]'."[2] The clip was released on December 13, 2013 to iTunes on the album itself[51] and was later uploaded to Knowles' Vevo channel on December 16, 2013.[52]

As the video begins, waves are seen crashing on a night time beach. Nearly a minute later, Beyoncé appears; she is strolling on a beach at night and she seemingly carries a massive trophy while an eerie music is playing in the background. Sporting a sheer negligee that reveals her bra and panties beneath, she twists her body in the sand. The singer also dances seductively against a backdrop of smoke and mouths the song's lyrics, staring at the camera. Beyoncé is later joined by husband Jay-Z, who is wearing a T-shirt and a backwards baseball cap. He raps with his eyes down while Beyoncé mouths the words behind him, smiling.

On a review of the clip, Kory Glow of Rolling Stone wrote, "The video, as metaphorical as it is, perfectly captures the feeling of the track."[10] Carrie Battan of Pitchfork Media commented that the video "brings the #surfboard line into clear focus".[53] An editor writing for Rap-Up commended the "intoxicating visuals".[51] The video is nominated for Best Female Video and Best R&B Video at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards Japan.[54][55]

Live performances[edit]

Beyoncé performing "Drunk In Love" on the 2014 leg of The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.

On January 26, 2014 the couple opened the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, performing the song live together for the first time.[56][57][58] The performance opened with Beyoncé dancing cabaret-style,[59] singing and gyrating,[60][61] sporting wet-look hair in a leotard, sitting on a chair with her back to the audience.[62][63] The intimate stage was dark and surrounded in smoke.[62] The sexually-charged performance ended with a kiss and the two walked off with their arms around each other.[60][64] The duet was described as "scorching"[65] and "chill inducing".[66] Lily Harrison of E! hailed the couple as "King and Queen of Everything", stating that they "easily gave the performance of the night" and "set the bar impossibly high."[63] On public reaction to the "steamy" performance, Lavanya Ramanathan of The Washington Post wrote: "The Internet exploded, and it's not surprising. This is a couple who sat separately at awards ceremonies when they were dating several years ago."[67] The performance sparked criticisms from some parents who believed the performance was "provocative" and "inappropriate" due to its risqué nature.[68][69][70] Contrastingly, writing for ThinkProgress, Alyssa Rosenberg said of the controversy: "This may not be the vision of marriage conservatives intended to try to promote [but] if marriage is a product that conservatives desperately want to sell, the smartest thing they could do right now is to hire Beyoncé and Jay-Z as a product spokescouple," because "they made marriage look fun, and sexy, and a source of mutual professional fulfillment."[71]

On February 1, 2014, the couple performed the song for the second time, during Jay Z's performance at the DirecTv pre-Super Bowl party.[72][73][74] Christopher R. Weingarten of Rolling Stone referred to "their chemistry" as "the highlight of [the] event" and said the performance was "unlike the couple's sexy showing at the Grammy's," instead being "smiles and hugs and laughs, with one of the most famous rappers in the world gladly playing hypeman."[72]

The song was added to the setlist and performed live during the second European leg of The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour; with the first performance taking place in Glasgow at the SSE Hydro arena on February 20, 2014.[75] Jay-Z joined Beyoncé on stage to perform the song together at all 6 London shows of the leg, as well as at the final tour stop in Lisbon.[76]

Remixes and other versions[edit]

The popularity of the song has led to several remixes. In December 2013, American singer Rico Love and American rapper Plies released a remix of "Drunk in Love".[77] Future utlized Auto-Tune on his version of the song, which he released in late January 2014.[78] On February 14, 2014, American rapper Kanye West, friend and frequent collaborator of Jay-Z, released the official remix of "Drunk in Love", featuring a verse by himself and a slightly modified instrumental produced by Mike Dean. Diplo produced an EDM-influenced remix of the song, which he released on February 15, 2014.[79] Canadian singer The Weeknd and American rapper T.I. both released their respective remixes on February 15, 2014.Angel Hazealso remixed the song.[80][81]

At BBC's Live Lounge, American rapper Angel Haze performed "Drunk in Love", substituting Jay Z's verses with new verses that discuss "empowerment and braggadocio".[82] On February 18, 2014, American rapper Cassidy, released a song titled "Surfboard", with the tag "Drunk in Love G-Mix", which heavily samples "Drunk in Love".[83] English singer Katy B performed a medley of "Drunk in Love" and "Vulnerable" by Tinashe during Rinse Sessions at London's Metropolis Studios.[84][85] Ed Sheeran also performed a cover version while on the Elvis Duran Morning Show during the Friday, April 11 broadcast.[86]


Credits adapted from Beyoncé's website.[1]

Song credits[edit]

  • Written by Noel "Detail" Fisher, Beyoncé Knowles, Shawn Carter, Andre Eric Proctor, Rasool Diaz, Brian Soko, T.Mosley, J.Harmon
  • Beyoncé Knowles – vocals, production, vocal production
  • Boots – additional production, additional vocals, instruments
  • Stuart White – recording, mixing
  • Ramon Rivas – assistant engineering
  • Tony Maserati – mixing
  • Tyler Scott – assistant mix engineering
  • Justin Hergett – assistant mix engineering
  • James Krausse – mix engineering
  • Derek Dixie – mix consultation, additional sounds
  • Tom Coyne – mastering
  • Aya Marrill – mastering

Video credits[edit]

  • Director – Hype Williams
  • Creative Director – Todd Tourso
  • Director of Photography – Jeffrey Kelly
  • Executive Producer – Erinn Williams
  • Producer – Hype Williams
  • Production Company – Parkwood Entertainment, HW Worldwide LLC
  • Stylist – Lysa Cooper
  • Additional Styling – TY Hunter, Raquel Smith
  • Choreography – Kwasi Fordjour
  • Editor – Josiah Spencer for Wild Child Editorial
  • Brand Manager – Melissa Vargas
  • Hair – Neal Farinah
  • Make-Up – Francesca Tolot
  • Nails – Lisa Logan
  • Color Correction – Wild Child
  • VFX – Light of Day, Wild Child
  • Photography – Mason Poole


Chart (2013–14) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[87] 22
Australia Urban (ARIA)[88] 5
Belgium (Ultratop Flanders)[89] 13
Belgium (Ultratop Flanders Urban)[89] 4
Belgium (Ultratop Wallonia)[90] 23
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[91] 23
Czech Republic (IFPI)[92] 83
Denmark (Tracklisten)[93] 15
Finland (The Official Finnish Charts)[94] 19
France (SNEP)[95] 9
Germany (Media Control AG)[96] 70
Ireland (IRMA)[97] 10
Japan (Billboard Japan Hot 100)[98] 92
Lebanon (The Official Lebanese Top 20)[99] 5
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[100] 39
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[101] 7
Slovakia (IFPI)[102] 63
South Africa Airplay (EMA)[103] 1
South Korea International Singles (Gaon)[33] 25
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[104] 16
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[105] 40
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[37] 9
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[36] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[106] 2
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[107] 15
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[108] 1
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[109] 13
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[110] 1


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[111] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[112] Gold 40,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[113] Gold 7,500*
United Kingdom (BPI)[114] Silver 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[115] Platinum 1,279,961[49]
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[116] Gold 900,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]