A lot of rumours were confirmed with the release of Jay-Z's new album, 4:44. He addresses the cheating allegations made on Beyoncé's latest album Lemonade, her miscarriage, and the ups and downs of parenthood. His 13th studio album is full of confessions and honesty. In an interview with No I.D., the album's producer had something of his own to share: Beyoncé played a huge role in shaping the album as we know it.
“I always call Bey our de facto A&R. Pillow talk is the strongest conversation on the planet,” he shared in his interview with the New York Times. “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.”
So not only did Beyoncé inspire much of the lyrical content on her husband's album, but she also played the role of collaborator helping shape the final album.
It was inevitable that Lemonade would be mentioned with the release of 4:44. With the release of Beyoncé's album last year came the speculations about what happened. Without it being a direct response, the Brooklyn-born rapper addresses a lot about himself and the circumstances surrounding his wife's lyrics.
"No, we never directly spoke about that album. Mainly because if he talks about himself, it’s going to bleed into that regardless," No I.D. explained to the Times. "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?"
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the tenured producer spoke about how he first started working with Jay-Z on the album. "A lot of it was talking early on at his house. We created some music at his house. After a while, I think B[eyoncé] wanted to use the room they use as a studio so that led to him coming by my place. But at this point, we had discussed no business. We were just creating music."
So, was Jay recording this album while Beyoncé was working on Lemonade? Or perhaps he is referring to new music? We have some questions about the timeline now.
No I.D. also delved into how he encouraged Jay-Z to get personal on his record. "I helped push him by saying, 'Hey, this is what you said, this is what we know. And I don't think people need to hear it. I think people need to hear what they don't know.'"