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Jay-Z’s Producer No I.D. on Beyonce’s Involvement in ‘4:44’: ‘Every Song Has to Get Past Her Ears’

No I.D. is spilling the lemonade. The legendary music producer behind Jay-Z‘s 4:44 revealed in a new interview that Beyoncé approved every song on her husband’s new album prior to its release on Friday, June 30.

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“I always call Bey our de facto A&R,” No I.D. (real name Dion Wilson) told The New York Times in an interview published on Saturday, July 1. “Pillow talk is the strongest conversation on the planet. Every song has to get past her ears, in my eyes. She came by [the recording studio] a lot and played a good part in helping us get over hurdles on certain records. Of course she’s genius-level with that.”

Jay-Z and Beyoncé
Jay-Z and Beyoncé Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for NARAS

Almost immediately 4:44 dropped, many fans speculated that the 10-track LP was Jay-Z’s response to Beyoncé’s acclaimed 2016 visual album Lemonade, noting that both projects address the taboo subject of infidelity. However, No I.D. insists Lemonade was not the inspiration behind 4:44.

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“We never directly spoke about [Lemonade],” he told the Times. “Mainly because if he talks about himself, it’s going to bleed into that regardless. 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?”

No I.D.
No I.D. Mike Windle/Getty Images for ASCAP

Many listeners noticed that the title track of 4:44, in particular, seemingly addresses longstanding rumors that the rapper, 47, cheated on Queen Bey, 35, years ago. “Look, I apologize, often womanize / Took for my child to be born / To see through a woman’s eyes,” Jay-Z raps.

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“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 probably die with all the shame,” he adds later in the song. “‘You did what with who?’ / What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate? / ‘You risked that for Blue?'”

Rumors aside, Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s marriage appears to be stronger than ever these days. The couple welcomed twins, a boy named Sir and a girl named Rumi, on June 13. They are also parents of 5-year-old daughter Blue.

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