This Iconic Beyoncé Lyric Wasn’t Originally In “Formation”

Photo: Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock.
"When he fuck me good, I take his ass to Red Lobster." Can we all just take a moment to imagine what 2016 might've looked like without this lyrical gem? The instantly iconic line from Beyoncé's "Formation" became a meme basically right away. It's the line remembered by people who don't know any other words to "Formation." The anthem itself spread a strong message — celebrating Black culture and love, while ripping into racist police brutality — but in perhaps the most tangible proof of its influence, Bey's "Red Lobster" line literally sent the seafood chain's sales skyrocketing. (Seriously: Three days after the song's surprise February release, Red Lobster reported a 33% increase in single-day sales year over year.) But what if the line were slightly different? What if Bey sang about rewarding Jay for good sex not with a trip to Red Lobster — but to a French luxury fashion house?
That was originally the case, according to one of Beyoncé's collaborators on "Formation." Producer Mike WiLL explained the surprise detail in an interview for Red Bull Music Academy. During one recording session between WiLL and Rae Sremmurd — the hip-hop duo made of brothers Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee— Jxmmi came up with the line, “If you fuck me good, I’ll take your ass to Margiela.”
He was referring, of course, to the high-end Parisian fashion house Maison Margiela. WiLL gave the material to Beyoncé, who made the key decision to replace "Margiela" with "Red Lobster." WiLL called the song-writing collaborative, noting that Bey “wrote both of her verses and she got inspired by what Jxmmi said.” We're glad Queen B put her singular stamp on the track, because we truly can't imagine singing along to "Formation" any other way.

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