Queen Bey has a bigger influence in the music industry than we thought.
Jay-Z released his thirteenth album this past week. The rapper’s album, titled 4:44, has been classified as a response to his wife’s most recent album, Lemonade, which shook the world to its core.
And not only is 4:44 linked to Beyonce’s album, but it also has the singer’s stamp of approval considering not one single track on the album was added without Bey’s say-so.
The New York Times interviewed Jay-Z’s solo producer, No I.D., on his experience working on Jay-Z’s album, how the rapper found his true voice and Beyonce’s involvement.
The producer said that Jay-Z wanted this album to be completely different that his other work and that he wanted to open up discussions that he’s never introduced before. “I wanted to see something new happen,” commented No I.D. “We have 12 albums, why 13? I had to know that I could be of assistance to pull things out of him.”
That he surely did. The album touches on infidelity (which is an extremely touchy subject, especially when you’re constantly in the spotlight), Jay-Z’s struggles of being in a relationship and father to his children and even includes his mother’s coming out story in the song “Smile.”
Though the album has been regularly linked to Beyonce’s Lemonade, Jay-Z’s producer made it clear that he, along with the rapper himself and his recording engineer, Guru, wouldn’t let 4:44 just be a response album to his wife’s work. “We just wanted him to respond and then let it be and still touch on other things.”
With regards to Bey’s input on the album, No I.D. (whose real name is Dion Wilson) said, “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.”
On sale now, the public can expect an amazing album from the rapper full of trials and tribulations, great beats and just plain realness. “Honesty, vulnerability, pain — these are things that always supersede the trends of the day,” said No I.D. And with Beyonce’s approval, there is no doubt that the album will be a hit.