Before it broke the internet, before it practically overshadowed Super Bowl 50 and before it caused multiple police departments around the country to encourage people to boycott her shows, Beyonce’s song “Formation” started with ideas generated by super producer Mike WiLL Made-It. He knew she wanted to do something different, and he was aiming to create an anthem for her. The cultural monsoon that “Formation” became was somewhat of a surprise to him, though.
In a new interview with Genius, the Atlanta-based producer shed some light on the creation of arguably the most controversial song to be released in the last few months, pulling back the curtain on the creative process that led to Beyonce’s celebration of “her blackness, her womanhood” and a song that’s goal was to start “conversations about police brutality and racial profiling.”
“I thought she was going to take a woman empowerment approach, telling the ladies to get in-for-mation and use wordplay to encourage young women to get information about whatever they’re doing, because they look up to her. From there she took it and made it what it is. She really just took it in a whole other direction than what we were originally thinking. When we heard the record with her on it, we were like ‘Damn, she snapped for real,’” he continued.”
WiLL had been working on his own project, Ransom 2, the follow-up to his 2014 album, Ransom. The project had already been delayed, though, due in large part to the attempt to include Gucci Mane, who is currently in prison. Yet WiLL later tweeted that it was “Formation” and not Mane’s lack of availability that held things up.
As for the roll out of “Formation,” WiLL was most definitely not on conference calls when it came to putting that together, as he didn’t learn of Bey’s intention to perform the song during halftime until he was invited to rehearsals and she told him.
“The video dropped, and the Super Bowl came, and it was dope. We didn’t plan it out together. Maybe she had it all planned in her head.”
Oh you can bet your bottom dollar that she had it planned in her head, sir. That kind of boss move, top notch roll out doesn’t just come together last minute. This isn’t someone like, you know, Kanye we are talking about here. This is Bey-freakin’-once. Her plans have plans.