Beyoncé Helped A&R Jay Z’s ‘4:44’ Album
Jay Z’s new ‘4:44’ album dominated conversations over the weekend, but No I.D., the producer responsible for scoring the project is spilling details about the project and whether or not Jay was responding to ‘Lemonade.’
In an interview with the NY Times, No I.D. says he, Hov and his engineer Guru, all agreed that the project shouldn’t be a ‘Lemonade’ response:
One that I didn’t see him record that really hit me was obviously “4:44.” Me, him and Guru, his [recording] engineer, knew that we didn’t want him to do an album of “Lemonade” response. We just wanted him to respond and then let it be and still touch on other things. I created that beat to box him into telling that story. I put the sample from the singer Hannah Williams — it starts off with, “I find it so hard/When I know in my heart/I’m letting you down everyday.” I remember him hearing it and looking at me like, “O.K., fine.”
He went home, wakes up at 4:44 [a.m.] and calls Guru over [to record]. I was blown away. I just walked out of the studio and wanted to go find my wife and hug her. I told him that’s the best song he’s ever written. Everything it covers about being a man, being in a relationship, being a father, how you affect your kids. These things don’t really get touched on in music, especially in hip-hop.
Powerful stuff right? It’s wonderful to see hip-hop have a positive effect on black families. Isn’t it?
Here’s a little bit more about how the impact of ‘Lemonade’ affected the making of ‘4:44’:
No, we never directly spoke about that album. Mainly because if he talks about himself, it’s going to bleed into that regardless. 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?
Lastly, No I.D. reveals that Hov had plenty of help from his wife Beyoncé who offered genius level input:
I always call Bey our de facto A&R. Pillow talk is the strongest conversation on the planet. Every song has to get past her ears, in my eyes. 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.
Now that’s something special, incredible and amazing. We’re so happy that Jay-Z has grown to be a man capable of embracing his wife in all her power and glory and celebrating his life and achievements in a way that we can all be proud of.
Welp. The coupled up Carters have done it again. Go head and let Hubby Hov upgrade you.