JAY-Z's new album 4:44 is breaking the internet, and this latest news may take it to the next level — if that's even possible. In an interview with the New York Times, producer No I.D. says Beyoncé was heavily involved on JAY-Z's album, and he refutes the idea that the project is simply a "response" to Lemonade. But for true Bey and Jay fans, this news shouldn't come as a huge surprise.
"I always call Bey our de facto A&R. Pillow talk is the strongest conversation on the planet," the producer explained. The singer was so influential on her husband's album (beyond doing background vocals on "Family Feud") that apparently nearly every song was vetted through her. "Every song has to get past her ears, in my eyes," No I.D. told the Times. "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 the album, JAY-Z addresses intimate conflicts between the couple including failed pregnancies and cheating, just as Lemonade did. Although 4:44 is through his lens, fans of the couple already know that JAY-Z was also heavily involved with Lemonade.
With songs alluding to Jay's rumored infidelity (like "Hold Up," "Sorry," and "Pray You Catch Me"), the drop of Lemonade nearly caused internet implosion. Fans later learned that JAY-Z not only knew about the songs, but gave them the OK when a source close to the couple spoke to E! News. "Jay was involved in the creation of Lemonade and knew every song Bey was going to release," the source claimed. "He knew the lyrics; he knew the implications. He had to approve the songs before release."
Now, it's clear that JAY-Z gave Beyoncé the same respect with his music by letting her be so involved in the process. This makes sense, since his lyrics are extremely personal. The song "4:44" seems to specifically address the cheating rumors with lyrics like: "I suck at love, I think I need a do-over / I will be emotionally available if I invited you over / I stew over what if you over my sh*t?” and "If my children knew, I don’t even know what I would do / If they ain’t look at me the same / I would prolly die with all the shame." (When the album was released, Bustle reached out to JAY-Z's rep, but did not receive an immediate response.)
With Beyonce's input on 4:44, No I.D. said it's in no way a rebuttal album. He further explained to the Times,
Hopefully both Beyoncè and JAY-Z are satisfied with the points of view they've each put into the world. Seeing as how they helped each other through both projects, it seems they're moving forward from any struggles in true Bey and Jay fashion.