Swizz Beatz knows firsthand just how competitive the creative process can be when producers are challenged to help craft chart-topping hits for megastars like Beyoncé. In a Rolling Stone “Musicians on Musicians” one-on-one conversation with Rema, he revealed that working with Queen Bey pushed him to new levels of creativity.
“I remember when I was working on B’Day with Beyoncé, and she is so smart, right. She comes downstairs, and she knows how to put the right battery in my back and wind me up, and so she says, ‘Yeah, it’s a few of ‘em (producers working on the project). It’s gon’ be amazing,’” began the Verzuz co-founder’s recollection to the magazine.
Musical juggernaut Rodney Jerkins was among the highly talented producers Beyoncé enlisted to help shape her sophomore album. Swizz admitted that he was shocked by the singer’s admission. “I thought it was just gon’ be me and her. I was like, ‘OK — oh s**t, it’s a bunch of us.’ And it forced me to go left,” he said.
“If you listen to ‘Get Me Bodied,’ I got so overloaded [with] how professional Rodney — these guys are professional; they, like, started in church. They can play anything, like, these guys are real scientists with it. Me, I’m a kid from the Bronx. I play what I like; I play how I feel. I had to, like, change my mind and say, you know what, I’m in here because of what I do; all I got to do is what I do. I don’t need to compete with anybody,” explained Swizz as he shed light on how the sound of the five-time RIAA platinum-certified track came to be.
“I stripped everything out [of] the beat and that’s how ‘Get Me Bodied’ happened,” he continued. “And then it just changed the trajectory of even how she did songs and had less musical sounds and more vocal and dance.”
B’Day, which was released in September 2006, boasts Swizz in the production credits for such songs as “Upgrade U” featuring JAY-Z, “Ring the Alarm,” and “Check On It” featuring Bun B and Slim Thug. Jerkins is behind the production of the opening track, “Deja Vu,” which has since been heralded as one of her best songs. The LP was certified five-times platinum by the RIAA in 2022, having sold more than five million units.
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