How Beyoncé and JAY-Z’s “SALUD” got made
Cool and Dre tell us the story behind the EVERYTHING IS LOVE sleeper hit.
Now that the shock factor of Beyoncé and JAY-Z’s surprise collaborative album EVERYTHING IS LOVE has worn off, I feel like I can really start to appreciate it. I love the power of “APESHIT” and the sweet tenderness of “SUMMER,” but the track I keep coming back to every day is the TIDAL-only bonus track, “SALUD.” Over some beeps and crescendos, Bey and Jay take one final victory lap on the press, world, and their marital challenges, with some added vocals from Dre of legendary production duo Cool & Dre. The producers actually worked on multiple tracks for the album, a surreal experience they described to The FADER as “fucking crazy.”
After working with JAY-Z on some music in L.A., the team shipped off to Paris to work on songs for the album after getting a heads up from JAY-Z’s close collaborator Young Guru. They dug out a space in a luxury box inside the Parisian arena The Carters were using to rehearse for their world tour and got to work. Three of the tracks they made in the stadium — “SUMMER,” “713,” and "BLACK EFFECT" — made the album and, “SALUD,” a track they had played for JAY all those months ago, remains as an exclusive on The Carters’s preferred streaming platform. Here, Dre explains how “SALUD” got made.
DRE: "SALUD" was the first record that Beyoncé actually cut [with us]. Before we knew about this duet album, we were sending Jay a bunch of beats. He asked me to come to LA because he had recorded to one of the beats we sent him. I went to LA and I had my laptop and over the course of like 10 hours, we cut around five or six records. Then, this has nothing to with the JAY-Z/Beyoncé album. We're just cutting shit. Not full records, just ideas here and there.
So after doing all of that, he decided to play me like three or four Beyoncé/JAY-Z records. I'm listening to them. I'm like, "Jesus, this dope," and all I heard was a voice in the back of my head and it was Cool saying, Dre whatever you do, do not leave that house without playing him "SALUD." Toward the end of the night, I said, "Jay, can I play you one more record. I gotta play it. If I don't play it, Cool is going to kill me." Jay was like, "Of course, bro, go ahead." I pressed play, and it was "SALUD." It was just the beat. But I had the hook idea the whole time in my head.
I played the beat and Jay stopped me after 30 seconds and he's like, "You trying to tell me that you wait until the very end of the night to play me this?" He's like, "Are you fucking kidding me? This is unbelievable.” I was like, "Well listen, I have a hook idea." He's like, "Yo, go lay it down." As I'm about to lay the hook, the queen walks into the studio. And this is at their house. And she's like, "Hey guys, I'm sorry to interrupt." And Jay was like, "No, no, no, come in. Dre was about to lay a little idea to see if you like it." Beyoncé walks in and I'm by the microphone like, "Oh my god. What the fuck?" I do a little bit of the "SALUD." You know, "Put it on ice." And when it's done, B listens to it like four or five times. She's like, "I absolutely love this. This is amazing."
Then like a week and a half later, Jay calls me. He's like, "Yo, B cut "SALUD" man. Congrats. Y'all got one on here." After that, he called and played it for me over the phone. I was like, "Holy shit." I told Cool like "Yo, got one on this joint album." And Cool was like, "Whoa, we gotta get more. We can't just have one." That's when Guru told us, "Yo, we're going to Paris. You know, the fact that B really cut "SALUD" and he really... you know what I'm saying? She likes the vibe and everything. Y'all need to come out." And then you know, the rest is history.
What's crazy is, they kept my vocals on there with me singing on the hook, I'm buzzed... I just told that to Cool to today, I was like, "Yo, Cool I listened to "SALUD" today and it just hit me..." and you know, they even put like featuring Dre from Cool and Dre on the credits. I'm like, "I'm on the fucking record singing with Beyonce and Jay-Z. I can't believe this." This is like, you know, after being in the game 15 years, you think you done seen it all. It's like, I cannot believe this.