Led Zeppelin’s hidden sample on Beyonce’s “Lemonade”
Musically, Beyonce and Led Zeppelin may seem worlds apart, but they’re not. In 2016, the American singer released her sixth studio albumLemonade, which has been widely accepted as his most accomplished work to date. The album not only featured collaborations with some of the biggest names in modern music, such as Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd, but it also featured a mass of samples.
Among the samples of artists you typically associate with Beyonce’s pop and R&B sounds, such as Soulja Boy and OutKast, you can also find a sample of classic rockers Led Zeppelin.
Beyonce was first introduced to Led Zeppelin by Mike Myers on the set of gold member, where she played Austin Powers sidekick Foxxy Cleopatra. In an interview with vanity lounge, Myers shared, “Beyoncé was a dream. She was the loveliest person in the world and just knocked it out of the park, she was always listening to music. She was like, ‘Mike, what the hell what are you listening to at the moment?’ And I said, “Oh, I’m just listening to Led Zeppelin right now.”
He continued, “And she said, ‘I think I’m going to listen to this Led Zeppelin’. She’d never heard of it. She was so young and the whole crew was like, ‘Awwww.’ the next day, she was doing this (shaking his head, enjoying the music) and I said, ‘What are you listening to?’ She said, ‘Led Zeppelin! They are awesome!'”
Cut to 2016, and it looks like Myers’ recommendation had a lasting impact on the star. In his collaboration with Jack White of the White Stripes, ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’, parts of the Led Zeppelin track ‘When the Levee Breaks’, from their 1971 album Led Zeppelin IV, Can be heard.
Discussing their collaboration together, White shared, “You know, I just talked to her and she said, ‘I want to be in a band with you.’ […] I’ve always loved her voice – I mean, I think she’s got the kind of voice that sings the soul of Betty Davis or Aretha Franklin days. It took just a sort of sketch of a lyrical outline and turned into the most daring, vicious and incredible song. I don’t even know how you would classify that – soul, rock and roll, whatever. “Don’t Hurt Yourself” is incredibly intense; I’m so amazed at what she did with it.
The song was met with praise upon its release, with Beyonce’s vocal performance compared to Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. Zeppelin’s drum beat drives the song forward as the singer repeats the lines “Let it be, let it be, let it be” before shouting, “Who the hell do you think I am? / You’re not married to no mean female dog, boy.”
It turns out that a couple between Beyonce, Jack White and Led Zeppelin is a heavenly marriage. Listen to the track below.
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