Crazy Feelings, from Missy Elliott’s criminally underrated sophomore album Da Real World, is the first great Beyonce vocal performance. It is one of only three instances where Beyonce shows she has some emotive instincts (the other two being Speechless and Resentment). Here, she sings in a slightly lower register, which shows that (when she wants to) her voice can have beautiful tone.
Crazy Feelings is also a slow burn of a song. Missy wisely opens the song with her more emotive, plaintive singing and lets Beyonce take more of the dramatic build up on the second verse and the adlibs over the bridge. This is the key to both performances. Missy’s backgrounds do their job splendidly, grounding Beyonce and, in a way, forcing her to exercise a fair amount of restraint. But the song is about goin’ a lil crazy, so that tension between the two voices, particularly on the bridge, is what makes the song work.