Beyoncé Was in the Studio When Kanye West Recorded ‘All of the Lights’ — And Helped Producer The-Dream With the Track After Kanye Fell Asleep

Beyoncé and Kanye West are two artists known for creating hit songs that become moments in pop culture. West’s 2010 song “All of the Lights” was one of those songs. And although Beyoncé herself isn’t featured on the song, she had a hand in creating the sound of the track.

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Beyonce attends the “Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology” Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City | Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com

Beyoncé watched Kanye West record ‘All of the Lights’

Hitmaking producer The-Dream worked with Kanye on “All of the Lights” as a co-writer. He reflected on the experience in an interview on Deep Hidden Meaning Radio with Nile Rodgers

“’All of The Lights,’ oh man, wow, ‘All of the Lights,’” he remembered. “I was doing 4 in New York for [Beyoncé]. We were working on 4 and Kanye happened to come by the studio. And Ye didn’t know I was there and he is like, ‘Oh, happy you’re here. I got something I want you to listen to and see if you can put a hook on this thing.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, cool. Let me hear it.’ And this track came on. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s crazy.’ I knew instantly exactly what I wanted to do, instantly.”

“So, we got the booth working, brought the engineer down, recorded. And after the first take, which ended up being the song that you hear now, he said, ‘Nah, nah, nah, nah, try another one,’” Dream continued. “Like, ‘Okay. All right.’ Got another one. ‘Oh, try another one, Dream.’ It’s like, ‘Okay.’”

Soon, both The-Dream and Beyoncé realized that Kanye had fallen asleep on them.

“I got to like number eight of the song I did. I look out, Kanye West is sleep. And I’m like, I’m looking through the glass like, ‘Yo, is he asleep?’” he said. “B’s like, ‘Yeah, he’s kind of knocked out.’ I’m like, ‘What?’”

She helped The-Dream with the track while Kanye was asleep

Because his collaborator had fallen asleep, The-Dream needed help in finishing up the track. Beyoncé threw in her two cents and suggested he use the first take.

“She’s like, ‘Actually, Dream, the first hook, that was the one.’ I was like, ‘I knew it. I knew that was the one,’ and so, that ended up being the one that Rihanna sings to this day,” he said. “But that was so hilarious. I’m on idea number eight. He’s been asleep since idea number three.”

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The track was originally produced in 5 minutes

The-Dream worked on the song as a writer, but the track itself was created by West and his longtime collaborator, Jeff Bhasker.

In a 2022 interview with Vlad TV, Bhasker looked back on his years working with West, including the creation of “All of the Lights.”

“[‘All of the Lights’] just came in a burst of inspiration,” he said. “I just came in the room and had my keyboard up and just started [playing].” He played the beat of “All of the Lights” on the keyboard while West hopped started adding drums and other accents.

The track came together quickly. “We did that in like five minutes,” Bhasker revealed.

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