Mike WiLL Made-It paid tribute to both Beyoncé and Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd for making "Formation" come together. It was known that the Mike WiLL-produced track features a hook written by Swae Lee but the origins of the song were unclear. Speaking in a New York Times interview, Mike WiLL explained that the Rae Sremmurd rapper came up with the song's call to arms while he was at Coachella. “I’m like, ‘Dog, we got to do that “get in formation” shit,’” WiLL said. “That could be a hard song for the ladies. Some woman-empowerment shit. Like, ‘Ladies, let’s get in line, let’s not just fall for anything.’”
Beyoncé came into the conversation when Mike WiLL met her at a party and explained the type of song he and Swae Lee had in mind. She then took that idea and ran with it. "She takes ideas and puts them with her own ideas, and makes this masterpiece," he explained. "She’s all about collaborating. That’s what makes her Beyoncé. Being able to know what she wants. A lot of people don’t know what they want. To the point where you can bring them some hot shit, and they’re like, “This shit ain’t it. I need a hit, bro.” And I’m like, “Man, this is a hit. If you don’t like this line or that line, you should take this line out and put your own lines in there, and we doctor it up.” Some people want it cooked. They just want to put a little icing on it and bite it. But it’s really a process to make one of these great songs. It’s layers. Layers and layers and layers."
Read the full Mike WiLL Made-It profile in The New York Times here.