Baby Boy (song)

Baby Boy (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Baby Boy

Artist = Beyoncé Knowles featuring Sean Paul
Album = Dangerously in Love "and" Dutty Rock
Released = September 9, 2003
Format = CD, digital download, 12"
Recorded = 2003, South Beach Studios, Miami, Florida
Genre = Contemporary R&B, dancehall, reggae
Length = 4:04
Label = Columbia
Writer = Beyoncé Knowles, Scott Storch, Sean Paul Henriques, Robert Waller, Shawn Carter
Producer = Beyoncé Knowles, Scott Storch
Certification = Platinum (AUS, US)
Chronology = Beyoncé Knowles singles
Last single = "What's It Gonna Be"
This single = "Baby Boy"
Next single = "Fighting Temptation"
Misc = Extra chronology
Artist = Sean Paul
Type = singles
Last single = "Breathe"
This single = "Baby Boy"
Next single = "I'm Still in Love with You"

"Baby Boy" is a contemporary R&Bdancehall song by American singer Beyoncé Knowles. It features a reggae toast by Jamaican artist Sean Paul. The track was produced by Scott Storch and Knowles for her debut solo album "Dangerously in Love". It was written by Knowles, Storch, Robert Waller, Jay-Z and Sean Paul; its lyrics refer to a woman's fantasies, and its music video features sensual footage.

"Baby Boy" was released on October 14, 2003 in the United States as the second single from the album. The single was a commercial success, and topped the US Singles Chart for nine consecutive weeks, in part due to the heavy rotation received on radio. It was certified platinum in the US, and was Knowles' longest-running solo number-one single until the release of "Irreplaceable" in 2007. "Baby Boy" performed well internationally, reaching the top ten in many countries, and achieving platinum status in Australia. The song has been praised by both critics and music industry personnel. "Baby Boy" remains a staple of Knowles' concert set list. The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers recognized it at the 2005 Pop Music Awards as one of the most performed songs of the year.

In 2005, US singer-songwriter Jennifer Armour filed a copyright infringement lawsuit claiming that Knowles had used lyrics and a musical hook from her song "Got a Little Bit of Love for You". The case was dismissed the following year.

Background and writing

Knowles went to Miami, Florida in the United States to work with Canadian record producer Scott Storch for her debut solo album, "Dangerously in Love".Cite video |title=Dangerously in Love |publisher=Columbia Records |year=2003] She and Storch wrote "Baby Boy" with contributions from American songwriter Robert Waller and Knowles' long-time boyfriend rapper-hip hop artist Jay-Z.

Once the track was supposedly done, Knowles had the idea that it would be "perfect" if Jamaican dancehall-reggae artist Sean Paul contributed a vocal track. Knowles contacted Sean Paul about a possible collaboration.Cite news |last=Kaufman |first=Gil |title=Jigga Who? Beyonce Shares Fantasies With Sean Paul On 'Bonnie & Clyde' Sequel |url= |work=MTV News |date=2003-03-17 |accessdate=2008-01-21] Cite web |author=Thread editors |title=Beyoncé's debut Album, Dangerously In Love |url= |work=Thread |accessdate=2008-01-21] Sean Paul agreed and flew in from Jamaica to join the recording sessions of the song. He contributed a toast verse, and they finished recording "Baby Boy" in March 2003, during the latter stages of the album's recording.

Composition and theme

"Baby Boy" is a mid-tempo contemporary R&B song performed with a moderate groove. It is in the key of E♭ major, and is set to ninety-two beats per minute in common time.Cite web |title=Baby Boy |url= |work=Sheet Music Plus |accessdate=2008-01-21] "Baby Boy" is a hybrid of R&B and dancehall [Cite web |last=Gerard |first=Morgan |title=Time is the Master |url= |work=Peace |accessdate=2008-04-01] and has a reggae influence. Like Knowles' 2004 song, "Naughty Girl", Storch's knowledge on Middle-Eastern music contributes to its Arabic influences. [Cite news |title=Scott Storch's Outrageous Fortune |url= |work=Rolling Stone |date=2006-06-29 |accessdate=2008-04-01] According to FOX News, "Baby Boy" is based on the 1995 reggae song "Here Comes the Hotstepper" by Jamaican singer Ini Kamoze. [Cite news |last=Friedman |first=Roger |title=Beyonce Takes Credit for 'Writing' Songs |url=,2933,172552,00.html |work=FOX News |date=2005-10-18 |accessdate=2008-04-11]

"Baby Boy" is a sequel in ways to "'03 Bonnie & Clyde"; a 2002 Jay-Z song featuring Knowles. The lyrics detail a woman's fantasies, and in keeping with the album's overall theme, Knowles' deemed them as personal to her. Sean Paul remarked, "She's telling me about her fantasies and picturing me and her going here and there, all over the world ... I'm answering back, like, 'I'm wit it.'" The lyrics are constructed in the toast–chorus–verse form; Sean Paul performs the toasting while Knowles sings all other verses and choruses. The pattern is repeated twice; a further chorus and verse follow, resolving at the toasting and final verse.

Release and reception

"Baby Boy" was released as the second single from the album "Dangerously in Love". It was released as a CD in Canada on May 4, 2003, in Australia on September 9, and in the United States on October 14, 2003 as a 12" single. [Cite web |title=Beyoncé: Discography |url= |work=Billboard |publisher=Nielsen Business Media, Inc |accessdate=2008-04-11] The track appeared in the revamped version of Sean Paul's 2003 second album, "Dutty Rock".

"Baby Boy" was well-received by critics. "Rolling Stone" magazine reviewer Anthony DeCurtis wrote that Knowles‎ sounded like she was "having fun" on the song, [Cite web |last=DeCurtis |first=Anthony |title=Album Reviews: Dangerously In Love |url= |work=Rolling Stone |date=2003-07-10 |accessdate=2008-01-22] while Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic, an online music database, described Knowles' vocals as "assured and sexy". [Cite web |last=Erlewine |first=Stephen Thomas |title=Review: Dangerously in Love |url= |work=Allmusic |publisher=Macrovision Corporation |accessdate=2008-01-22] Mark Anthony Neal of the international webzine PopMatters, regarded the song as one of the "high-profile collaborations" from "Dangerously in Love". [Cite web |last=Neal |first=Mark Anthony |title=Getting Grown |url= |work=PopMatters |date=2003-07-11 |accessdate=2008-01-21] Lisa Verrico of the daily US newspaper "The Times" described the song a "Latino-tinged collaboration ... set to clicky beats that sound like castanets".Cite web |last=Verrico |first=Lisa |title=Beyonce: Dangerously in Love - Beyonce Knowles is growing up, but not too much |url= |work=Times Online |publisher=Times Newspapers Ltd. |date=2003-06-20 |accessdate=2008-01-22] She concluded that "Paul does a reggae rap in the middle, but it's when he chats while Beyoncé half raps that the pair have real chemistry". Yancey Strickler of the "Flak" magazine wrote that "'Baby Boy''s diwali stutter is enhanced by Sean Paul's dancehall monotone". [Cite web |last=Strickler |first=Yancey |title=Beyonce: Dangerously In Love |url= |work=Flak Magazine |accessdate=2008-01-22] "Entertainment Weekly" magazine's Neil Drumming said that "'Baby Boy' goes full-tilt Bollywood 'n da hood, with Sean Paul ripping a pulsing tabla raga". [Cite web |last=Drumming |first=Neil |title=Music Review: Dangerously in Love (2003) |url=,,459850,00.html |work=Entertainment Weekly |date=2003-06-27 |accessdate=2008-01-22]

James Anthony of the British newspaper "The Guardian" said the track "bridges the gap between the genres of R&B and dancehall". [Cite web |last=Anthony |first=James |title='Of course you can lose yourself' |url=,,1852025,00.html |work=The Guardian |date=2006-08-18 |accessdate=2008-04-01] British record label EMI was honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) during the 2005 Pop Music Awards as Publisher of the Year for publishing "Baby Boy", among other songs.Cite web |title=ASCAP Pop Music Awards 2005 |url= |work=American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers |accessdate=2008-01-23] Scott Storch earned Songwriter of the Year at the same event.

Music video

The music video for "Baby Boy" was filmed by English director Jake Nava, who also shot Knowles' "Crazy in Love" video. It was recorded in Miami, Florida on August 7–8, 2003. Parts of the video were captured in a house with different styles rooms: one in a Japanese style and one in an old English style. [Cite news |last=Reid |first=Shaheem |title=Sean Paul Appears In The Flesh In Beyonce's 'Baby Boy' Clip |url= |work=MTV News |date=2003-08-20 |accessdate=2008-01-21]

Scenes featuring Knowles and Sean Paul are shown separately. The video begins with Sean Paul sitting on a throne while toasting; Knowles is leaning against the wall dancing. In the following scene, Knowles is seen on a bed tossing herself. Sean Paul is shown with several women who are lying on the floor caressing each other. Knowles walks towards the beach; she spots a man, and the two touch and flirt. At a party, Knowles dances with a man. Water floods the floor as she sings "the dance floor becomes the sea". The original track is interpolated towards the end with an Arabic instrumental, designed for the music video. This section showcases Knowles vigorously dancing on the sand.

Sal Cinquemani of the online publication Slant Magazine, described the video as a "baby-oil-logged follow-up" to "Crazy in Love"'s "bootylicous video". [Cite web |last=Cinquemani |first=Sal |title=03 Year in Rewind |url= |work=Slant Magazine |accessdate=2008-01-22] "Baby Boy" premiered on MTV's program "Total Request Live" on August 25, 2003 at number ten and reached the top spot.Cite web |title=TRL debuts |url= |publisher=Popfusion |accessdate=2008-01-22] [Cite web |title=TRL Number Ones |url= |publisher=Popfusion |accessdate=2008-02-09] It stayed on the show for forty-one weeks, the same chart run "Me, Myself & I" earned.

Chart performance

"Baby Boy" attained a positioning on the commercial charts before its physical release in the US. The track led to a higher "Billboard" 200 chart placing for "Dangerously in Love", and helped the album to attain multi-platinum certification in the US. [Cite book |last=Stacy-Deanne |coauthors=Kenyatta, Kelly; Lowery, Natasha |title=Alicia Keys, Ashanti, Beyonce, Destiny's Child, Jennifer Lopez & Mya: Divas of the New Millennium |url=,M1 |publisher=Amber Books Publishing |date=2005 |pages=60–61 |isbn=0974977969 |accessdate=2008-02-01] The single debuted on the "Billboard" Hot 100, the US' official singles chart, at number fifty-seven while "Crazy in Love" was still in the top spot. [Cite web |title=Billboard Hot 100 |url= |work=aCharts |date=2003-08-21 |accessdate=2008-01-22] "Baby Boy" dominated the US airplays, helping it to chart atop the Hot 100. [Cite news |last=Martens |first=Todd |title=Beyonce, Sean Paul Creep Closer To No. 1 |url= |work=Billboard |publisher=Nielsen Business Media, Inc |date=2003-09-11 |accessdate=2008-04-01] Cite news |last=Martens |first=Todd |title='Tailfeathers' Still Shakin' Singles Chart |url= |work=Billboard |publisher=Nielsen Business Media, Inc |date=2003-08-04 |accessdate=2008-04-01] Cite news |last=Martens |first=Todd |title='Baby' Kicks 'Tailfeather' From Chart Roost |url= |work=Billboard |publisher=Nielsen Business Media, Inc |date=2003-09-25 |accessdate=2008-04-01] It reached the chart's top spot eight weeks after its debut, and stayed there for nine consecutive weeks.Cite news |last=Martens |first=Todd |title='Stand Up' Ends 'Baby Boy' Reign |url= |work=Billboard |publisher=Nielsen Business Media, Inc |date=2003-11-28 |accessdate=2008-03-31] The single stayed number one for a week longer than "Crazy in Love" had, becoming Knowles' longest-charting number-one single. The feat was not broken until Knowles' 2006 single "Irreplaceable", from her second album "B'Day", spent ten weeks at the top spot in late 2006 to early 2007. [Cite news |last=Hasty |first=Katie |title=Beyonce Makes It Ten Weeks At No. 1 With 'Irreplaceable' |url= |work=Billboard |publisher=Nielsen Business Media, Inc |date=2007-02-08 |accessdate=2008-03-31] The single stayed on the Hot 100 for twenty-nine weeks,Cite web |title="Baby Boy" Global Chart Positions and Trajectories |url= |work=aCharts |accessdate=2008-01-23] and was certified platinum on June 6, 2006 by the Recording Industry Association of America. [Cite web |title=Gold and Platinum |url= |work=Recording Industry Association of America |accessdate=2008-01-23] "Baby Boy" achieved success on "Billboard" crossover and mainstream radio charts, appearing on the Top 40 Tracks, Rhythmic Top 40 and Top 40 Mainstream, as well as on the Hot 100 Airplay, Dance Radio Airplay and Hot Dance Music/Club Play. [Cite news |last=Martens |first=Todd |title=No Stopping Beyoncé's 'Baby Boy' At No. 1 |url= |work=Billboard |publisher=Nielsen Business Media, Inc |date=2003-10-23 |accessdate=2008-04-01] Cite web |title=Beyoncé: Artist Chart History |url= |work=Billboard |publisher=Nielsen Business Media, Inc |accessdate=2008-01-23] Cite web |title=Beyoncé Billboard Singles |url= |work=Allmusic|publisher=Macrovision Corporation |accessdate=2008-01-22]

Internationally, "Baby Boy" performed just as well, peaking inside the top ten on most charts. The single debuted at number two in the United Kingdom, becoming the chart's highest debut and "Baby Boy"'s highest entry internationally. [Cite web |title=UK Singles Top 75 |url= |work=aCharts |accessdate=2008-01-23] Though it spent eleven weeks on the chart, it failed to top it. In most European countries, the single entered the top ten. In Australia and New Zealand, "Baby Boy" peaked at number three and two, respectively. It was certified platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association with sales in excess of 70,000 units. [Cite web |title=ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2003 Singles |url= |work=Australian Recording Industry Association |accessdate=2008-01-23]

Live performances

Knowles performed "Baby Boy" during the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. [Cite web |last=Cinquemani |first=Sal |title=The Kiss(es) Heard 'Round the World: 2003 MTV Music Video Awards |url= |work=Slant magazine |accessdate=2008-01-21] She sang the song in a medley with the pre-recorded vocals of Sean Paul, and also performed "Crazy in Love" with Jay-Z. [Cite news |title=Jay-Z Prevented Sean Paul From Performing With Beyonce At VMAs |url= |work=Yahoo! |date=2003-09-05 |accessdate=2008-01-21] She later performed "Baby Boy" at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards together with Sean Paul. [Cite news |last=Wiederhorn |first=Jon |title=It's Justin's Night As Christina, Kelly Osbourne Fight At MTV Europe Awards |url= |work=MTV News |date=2007-11-06 |accessdate=2008-01-22] Her performance was panned by PopMatters' Jessica Hodges as a "letdown" compared with her applauded 2003 MTV VMA. [Cite web |last=Hodges |first=Jessica |title=MTV Europe Music Awards 2003 |url= |work=PopMatters |date=2003-11-17 |accessdate=2008-01-21]

"Baby Boy" has been included on the set list for most of Knowles' concert tours. The song was set as opening of her Dangerously in Love World Tour that began in late 2003. During the tour, she appeared suspended from the ceiling of the arena being lowered to a red lounger [Cite web |last=Simpson |first=Dave |title=Beyoncé |url=,,1077421,00.html |work=The Guardian |date=2003-11-04 |accessdate=2008-04-16] —a prop she also used during the 2003 MTV VMA. The footage taken in London's Wembley Arena in the United Kingdom is included in the "Live at Wembley" concert DVD that was released on April 27, 2004. Knowles performed the song midway through the setlist of her former group Destiny's Child farewell tour Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' It, and it subsequently appeared on the "" concert DVD. During the 2007 The Beyoncé Experience world concert tour, Knowles again performed "Baby Boy" in a version that incorporated a reggae song "Murder She Wrote". [Cite news |last=Shaheem |first=Reid |title=Beyonce Puts On Flawless — And Fall-Less — NYC Show With Robin Thicke |url= |work=MTV News |date=2007-10-06 |accessdate=2008-01-22] The footage taken at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on September 2, 2007 appeared on "The Beyoncé Experience Live!" DVD.

In the 2005 ASCAP Pop Music Awards, "Baby Boy", along with Knowles' songs "Me, Myself and I" and "Naughty Girl", was honored as one of the most performed songs of the year. [Cite web |title=Most Performed Songs |url= |work=American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers |accessdate=2008-01-23]

Copyright infringement lawsuit

In 2005, US singer-songwriter Jennifer Armour filed a copyright infringement lawsuit claiming that Knowles had used some lyrics and the musical hook from her song "Got a Little Bit of Love for You".Cite news |author=Associated Press |title=Suit Over Beyonce's 'Baby Boy' Lyrics Goes to Appeals Court |url=,2933,299318,00.html |work=FOX News |date=2007-10-04 |accessdate=2008-01-21] [Cite news |author=MTV News staff |title=For The Record: Quick News On Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, Snoop, White Stripes, Simon Cowell & More |url= |work=MTV News |date=2005-07-13 |accessdate=2008-01-21] "Armour v. Knowles", No. H-05-2407, 2006 WL 2713787 (S.D.Tex. Sep. 21, 2006).] In 2003, Armour's former label manager had submitted a demo recordings to record labels, including Knowles' Columbia Records and Sean Paul's Atlantic Records. [Cite news |author=MTV News staff |title=For The Record: Quick News On Britney Spears, Beyonce, Kristin Cavallari, Beck, T.I., Lil' Kim & More |url= |work=MTV News |date=2006-10-03 |accessdate=2008-01-21] Cite web |title=Beyonce cleared of copying song |url= | |date=2008-01-03 |accessdate=2008-01-21] According to the district court, an expert hired by Armour testified that "there are a few, very brief elements in 'Baby Boy' that, once the key and the tempo are changed to match 'Got a Little Bit of Love for You,' appear similar"; the district court nonetheless ruled that no jury could find the two songs to be "substantially similar" (a requirement for an infringement finding) and dismissed the case.

On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling, but ruled with different reasoning. It held that there was no infringement because Armour's demo tape was received after the writing of Knowles' song had been substantially completed. However, the court did not address the issue of substantial similarity. [ [ "Armour v. Knowles"] (PDF), 512 F.3d 147 (5th Cir. 2007). Retrieved on 2008-04-17.]

Track listing

#"Baby Boy" – 4:04
#"Baby Boy" (Junior Vasquez Club Anthem remix) – 8:50
#"Krazy In Luv" (Adam 12 So Crazy remix) – 4:30

;Maxi CD
#"Baby Boy" (Album version) – 4:04
#"Baby Boy" (Maurice's Nu Soul mix) – 6:14
#"Baby Boy" (Junior's Papadella) – 3:58
#"Krazy In Luv" (Adam 12 So Crazy remix) – 4:30

#"Baby Boy" (Album version) – 4:04
#"Baby Boy" (Junior Vasquez Club Anthem remix) – 8:50
#"Baby Boy" (Maurice's Nu Soul mix) – 6:14
#"Baby Boy" (Maurice's Nu Dub Baby!) – 6:30


{| class="wikitable"!align="center"|Chart (2003/2004)!align="center"|Peak
align="left"|Italian Singles Chart
align="left"|New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart
align="left"|Norwegian Singles Chart
align="left"|Swedish Singles Chart
align="left"|Swiss Singles Chart
align="left"|UK Singles Chart
align="left"|U.S. "Billboard" Hot 100
align="left"|U.S. "Billboard" Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs
align="left"|U.S. "Billboard" Hot Dance Airplay
align="left"|U.S. "Billboard" ARC Weekly Top 40
align="left"|U.S. "Billboard" Pop 100


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