For the window-bashing, Soulja Boy-referencing anthem on Beyonce‘s sixth studio effort and second visual album Lemonade, Vampire Weekend musician Ezra Koenig, DJ extraordinaire Diplo, producer Emile Haynie and folk singer Father John Misty joined forces to create “Hold Up.”
In a statement sent to Billboard, singer-songwriter Josh Tillman (who performs under the F.J.M. moniker) explains how his collaboration with Mrs. Carter came about.
“About a year and half ago, my friend Emile Haynie played Beyonce some of my music, along with some tunes I’ve written for other people, back when she was looking for collaborators for the record… Pretty soon after they sent along the demo for “Hold Up”, which was just like a minute of the sample and the hook,” says J. Tillman in a statement sent to Billboard.
“I‘m pretty sure they were just looking for lyrics, but I went crazy and recorded a verse, melody and refrain too that, unbelievably — when you consider how ridiculous my voice sounds on the demo — ended up making the record — right between picking up the baseball bat and decapitating the fire hydrant.” The last note is a reference to the visual where Mrs. Carter goes bat-crazy on several low-riders after being submerged in an underwater room. He adds, “The first verse and refrain is my lyrics and melody.”
He adds of his involvement, “I was mostly kind of in the dark, my involvement with the record kind of ends with me just sending off the demo. It wasn’t until she came to my Coachella set in 2015 and told me personally it had made the record that I really had anything concrete with which to convince my friends that I hadn’t actually gone insane.”
Beyonce’s Lemonade made its HBO debut on Saturday, April 23.