How Vampire Weekend Helped Make Beyoncé's Lemonade

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“Hold Up” might be the best song on Lemonade. We know that’s saying a lot, but between Beyoncé’s gleeful automobile destruction, the simple-yet-engaging Diplo beat, and its overall message, it’s quite a song. But it’s also one of the most mysterious.

Besides Diplo, credits on the song include Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Father John Misty. For the uninitiated, Vampire Weekend is a band that sings songs featuring references to things like "look[ing] psychotic in a balaclava" and San Pellegrino drinks. Father John Misty is a singer-songwriter who sings about being a dissolute drunk in Los Angeles in a way that's joking, not joking, and joking about the possibility of being in on the joke. His song titles make specific references to hipster bars in Silver Lake where a majority of his audience is probably currently located.

In other words, these are not exactly the people you would expect to be on a Beyoncé track. So how did they end up there?

We’ll let Ezra explain, via Twitter. His story involves a tweet about the Yeah Yeah Yeahs which later turns into a song, which later turns into a Beyoncé song.

Father John Misty offered a joke explanation about being an air horn musician before telling Pitchfork the real story.

Here’s what really happened, according to Misty.

“About a year and half ago, my friend Emile Haynie played Beyonce some of my music, along with some tunes I've written for other people, back when she was looking for collaborators for the record...Pretty soon after they sent along the demo for "Hold Up", which was just like a minute of the sample and the hook. I'm pretty sure they were just looking for lyrics, but I went crazy and recorded a verse melody and refrain too that, unbelievably - when you consider how ridiculous my voice sounds on the demo - ended up making the record - right between picking up the baseball bat and decapitating the fire hydrant."

“I was mostly kind of in the dark, my involvement with the record kind of ends with me just sending off the demo, it wasn't until she came to my Coachella set in 2015 and told me personally it had made the record that I really had anything concrete with which to convince my friends that I hadn't actually gone insane.”

So there you go. That's how couple of indie mainstays wound up in the Beyhive.

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