A producer behind JAY Z’s 4:44 LP revealed a secret about its recording process that appears to link to certain rumors that the release was coming as early as 2016, as a “response” to the album Lemonade by Beyonce, Jay’s wife.
Music maker No I.D. (born Dion Wilson) shared with the New York Times on Saturday that the Destiny’s Child alum and mother of the “Empire State of Mind” lyricist’s three children, 35, had a major say in how her husband’s 13th studio album came together.
“I always call [Beyonce] our de facto A&R,” the producer mentioned of the “Hold Up” performer’s presence in the studio during the making of 4:44.
“Pillow talk is the strongest conversation on the planet. Every song has to get past her ears, in my eyes,” Wilson also stated, as Love B. Scott shared.
“She came by a lot and played a good part in helping us get over hurdles on certain records. Of course she’s genius-level with that.”
Interestingly, the producer’s reveal of JAY Z and Beyonce working on 4:44 in tandem connects to several rumors of Jay’s knowledge of the lyrical content on the latter performer’s Lemonade album and its overall home-wrecking “Becky” narrative, in 2016.
Furthermore, several media outlets also speculated that the “revealing” look into Beyonce and Jay’s marriage by way of Lemonade, had been nothing more than a publicity stunt that would soon spawn a recorded “response” album from JAY Z to publicly right his marital wrongs — which has seemingly, now, come to pass with the release of 4:44.
In fact, a report from the New York Daily News in August of 2016 — four months after the release of Beyonce’s Lemonade — foreshadowed what they saw as a “meticulously calculated stunt” for both stars’ fan bases and the public at large, to trudge through lyrically in hopes of seeking out the “real” truth behind the couple’s reportedly rocky relationship.
“At first, [Lemonade] streams like a rallying cry for women scorned to flip the script,” they wrote.
“But is the ‘Beyhive’ being played here? Because now that we’ve [all] had a few days to digest Lemonade, the wronged woman premise is [becoming] harder to swallow. Are we finally seeing the real Beyonce, or is this another meticulously choreographed performance?”
Most of the lyrics heard on 4:44 by JAY Z do seem to link by those sung by a seemingly wistful Beyonce on Lemonade, but none more so than the album’s title track, where an apologetic Jay directly answers for his blame in his wife’s multiple miscarriages that Beyonce herself mentioned in a poem entitled “Apathy” for the visual album of Lemonade, and recited in the music video for “Sorry”.
In “4:44,” Jay fully owns his blame for Beyonce’s many miscarriages, as Refinery29 reported.
“Look, I apologize, often womanize. [It] took for my child to be born [to] see through a woman’s eyes, took for these natural twins to believe in miracles. So I apologize, I’ve seen the innocence leave your eyes. I still mourn this death, I apologize for all the still borns.”
In his sit down with the Times, Jay’s producer went on to claim that despite all appearances to the implied intention of JAY-Z’s new album, he and the rapper never once discussed the concept of making 4:44 as a response to Beyonce’s Lemonade.
“[We never] spoke of [the Lemonade] album,” Wilson said, “[but] because he talks about himself [in his music], it’s going to bleed into [his songs], regardless,” he went on.
“But there’s a difference in talking about it for the sake of response and for the sake of honesty and the truth. The truth needs to explain why you are the way you are, why you did what you did. We know what happened. We got it. But what were the circumstances that led to this and how do you feel about it?”
Both JAY Z’s 4:44 and Beyonce’s Lemonade albums are now available to stream in full on Tidal.
[Featured Image by Jason Miller/Stringer/Getty Images]