Today, Sept. 4, is the birthday of the one and only Beyoncé – a.k.a. Queen Bey, artistic goddess amongst men and women and the closest thing we have to a real superhero.

Although Bey's legendary vocals and dancing skills are the abilities that put her on the fast track to her icon status, the diva is still inextricably linked to the world of hip-hop.

The Queen Bey's rise to international stardom began in 1997, when she and her group Destiny's Child released their hit single, "No, No, No." Featuring a "phat beat for the clubs" and soulful vocals that were still accessible to the mainstream, the track helped propel the group to the dizzying heights they'd reach before their split in 2005.

2003 saw Beyoncé drop her debut solo album Dangerously in Love, a project that marked the beginning of her trek to superstardom as a solo artist. The album immediately jumped to the top of the charts, thanks in large part to its rap-infused lead single, "Crazy in Love." You know, the one that featured Jay Z. It was shortly after "Crazy in Love" that Beyoncé would solidify her status as an artistic dynamo, and as the "hottest chick in the game" that Hov had wearing his chain.

"Crazy in Love" wouldn't be the last time Bey infused hip-hop into her music. In fact, it continued to be a major part of her subsequent projects. Her 2006 single "Upgrade U" featured Jay Z and gave Mixtape Weezy the audio canvas for one of his most legendary freestyles. Her most recent album Lemonade features plenty of rap-worthy instrumentals and sees Kendrick Lamar spitting on her social justice anthem "Freedom."

Queen Bey is a pop star, but her willingness to merge her R&B roots with hip-hop helped make her iconic. When you combine her artistic ingenuity with her effortless swag, you're looking at a living legend. Thank you Beyoncé, and happy birthday!

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