With JAY-Z’s new album, 4:44, dropping on Tidal, everyone’s been blown away by the confessional nature of the tracks. Fans have already noted that the personal songs on the record seem like a response to Beyoncé’s groundbreaking visual album, Lemonade, but now we’re also learning that the Queen Bey herself had major input into the project.

According to the album’s lone producer, No-I.D., Beyoncé had more input than anyone else while Jay was making his emotional record. “I always call Bey our de facto A&R. Pillow talk is the strongest conversation on the planet. Every song has to get past her ears, in my eyes,” he said. “She came by [the studio] a lot and played a good part in helping us get over hurdles on certain records. Of course she’s genius-level with that.”

The producer went on to talk about how rare it is in rap music to have a single producer on an album, and said that helped make 4:44 as intimate as it is. “It was a real artist-producer relationship on a traditional level. I think it’s something we need more of in all music. It wasn’t until the mid-90s that we even started this concept of multiple producers on projects.”

The now-father of three used his latest album to reflect on his life. No-I.D. disclosed that in an email with the rapper, he mentioned “smiling no matter what,” and from there, Jay’s emotional confession about his mother’s life (“Smile”) came out.

Have you heard JAY-Z’s new album? Tell us what you think about it @BritandCo!

(h/t E!Online; photos via Dimitrios Kambouris + Larry Busacca/Getty)