The-Dream visited Deep Hidden Meaning Radio with Nile Rodgers on Apple Music 1 to discuss his time as a super-producer and songwriter over the years. Amidst stories about writing some of Beyoncé’s biggest hits (including her recent “Break My Soul”), and working with the likes of Diana Ross, Britney Spears, Rihanna and Madonna, he also shared that Kanye West once fell asleep after asking for help with “All of The Lights.”
“’All of The Lights,’ oh man, wow, ‘All of the Lights.’ I was doing 4 in New York for Bey,” The-Dream revealed to Rodgers. “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.”
Things weren’t as “instant” for West, however. According to The-Dream, it took eight takes to choose the final version of the song—and Ye was asleep by take three. “I look out, Kanye West is sleep. And I’m like, I’m looking through the glass like, ‘Yo, is he asleep?’ B’s like, ‘Yeah, he’s kind of knocked out.’ I’m like, ‘What?’ 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. But that was so hilarious.”
It’s now safe to say that Beyoncé’ was instrumental in picking the right hook for the song “All of The Lights,” which was included on Ye’s fifth studio-album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Produced by West, the star-studded track featured vocals from Rihanna most notably, with additional vocals from Drake, John Legend, The-Dream, Alicia Keys, Fergie, Kid Cudi, Elton John, Ryan Leslie, Charlie Wilson, Tony Williams, La Roux, Alvin Fields and Ken Lewis.
The smash peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as well as No. 2 on both Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts. “All of The Lights” also earned a plethora of nods and awards, including an ASCAP, BMI, MTV and Grammy award.
Check out The Dream’s full interview on Deep Hidden Meaning Radio with Nile Rodgers on Apple Music 1 here.