Beyoncé’s recording-breaking album Renaissance was a glowing tribute to the “Cuff It” singer’s late Uncle Jonny, the LGTBQ community, and the Black musical pioneers. Across the body of work, Beyoncé sampled a wide range of musicians, including Donna Summer, Robin S, Teena Marie, and Kelis. One of the most-discussed uses of a classic song came from her track “Church Girl,” which pulled from The Clark Sisters’ 1981 record “Center Of Thy Will.”
However, Beyoncé’s “Church Girl” beat was originally made for someone else. So, who was the instrumental initially intended for? According to the song’s co-producer, No ID, he crafted the beat for his longtime collaborator, Jay-Z. During an interview with Al Shipley for Stereogum, the musician confessed that Beyoncé playfully jacked the beat from her husband.
“I was at [Jay-Z’s] house one day, and I had some equipment with me, and I just started making a beat. And he was rapping to it. It was for him. And he just put it on the computer. I never thought about it again. I literally forgot about it. And then, one day, I just got a call. When you get two to three calls from people in a row, you know it’s something,” said No ID.
He added, “‘Hey, do you have this idea? Beyonce got somethin’ to it. And Jay jokingly tells me, ‘Man, she stole my beat.’ She was like, ‘Remember that idea in the computer that you didn’t finish?”’ And I went to see [Beyoncé], talked about the record, and listened to her album.”
Renaissance is out now via Columbia Records. Find more information here.