The-Dream Tips That Beyonce May Have Shelved a Fela Kuti-Inspired Album

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Beyonce performs at the Staples Center on July 13, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

As the legend goes, sometime before Beyoncé released her 2011 album 4, she hit the studio with The-Dream and cooked up an album inspired by the legendary Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Kuti.

The album never saw the light of day. But now, several years after those studio sessions, the "Single Ladies" producer is opening up about the unreleased set of material.

"We did a whole Fela album that didn't go up," he shared in an annotation posted on Genius.com. "It was right before we did 4. We did a whole different sounding thing, about twenty songs. She said she wanted to do something that sounds like Fela. That's why there's so much of that sound in the 'End of Time'."

The-Dream would go on to work with Queen Bey on her 2011 album, including "End of Time" as well as "1+1," "Love on Top," "Countdown" and "Run the World (Girls)." 

"There's always multiple albums being made," he added in the post. "Most of the time we're just being creative, period. We're talking about B, somebody who sings all day long and somebody who writes all day long. There's probably a hundred records just sitting around."

In fact, Beyoncé hinted at such a release in an interview with MTV back in Nov. 2010. "I'm not in a box," she shared at time time, later namedropping the Nigerian-born musician as an inspiration for the music she was making at the time.

"Definitely Fela Kuti, the Stylistics. How random, right?" she said. "So many people … Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, of course, Michael Jackson's Off the Wall… all of those things I'm kind of mixing together."


THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.