Someone from Beyonce’s past has stepped forward to stoke the flames of the Beyonce-doesn’t-write-her-songs fire. Rob Fusari was the producer of Destiny’s Child’s first single and hit “No, No, No” and he reveals that working with Mathew Knowles and his daughter sometimes meant not always getting full credit. In an interview with Billboard.com, Fusari talks about how disappointed he was when he saw Beyonce recount a story to Barbara Walters about how she came up with the Destiny’s Child song, “Bootylicious.”
Did “Bootylicious” come together in a similar fashion?
I came up with the idea to build a track using the guitar riff from Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen.” I really wanted to play the riff from “Eye of the Tiger,” but I was flipping through my CDs in the studio and I couldn’t find it. But I saw the Stevie Nicks CD and I remembered that the riff was similar.
I figured I’d put the guitar loop on there temporarily, and later go into the studio with a guitar and replay it, because I’d learned, after sampling Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish” for Will Smith’s “Wild Wild West,” that I didn’t want to lose 50% of the publishing. I vividly remember telling Mathew Knowles, “Mathew, you got to book me into your studio and let me replay that riff.” It was Guitar 101! One note!
But Mathew didn’t want to do it?
He didn’t want to do it. So 50% got cut for one note. That whole experience was bittersweet for me.
I remember watching Barbara Walters interview Beyoncé about “Bootylicious,” and she told Barbara about how she came up with the idea for the track. And I was just like, “What?” I called Mathew-which was a big mistake; I got emotional, and I apologized after-but I called Mathew and said, “Mathew, like, why?”
And he explained to me, in a nice way, he said, “People don’t want to hear about Rob Fusari, producer from Livingston, ***.J. No offense, but that’s not what sells records. What sells records is people believing that the artist is everything.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I know, Mathew. I understand the game. But come on, I’m trying too. I’m a squirrel trying to get a nut, too.”
Forget the Sopranos, it looks like Daddy Knowles was running one of the world’s toughest gangs right under pop music’s noses. He muscled and strong-armed producers and songwriters into giving his daughter and her friends songwriting credits so they could sit in interviews and gush about how much “growth” and “input” they had on their albums. If it sounds shady and makes you feel disappointed, don’t be. That’s showbiz.
And Rob Fusari is likely no innocent party to all of this. It appears that after “Bootylicious,” Rob Fusari and Beyonce parted ways. He struck gold again with his collaborations with Lady Gaga (“Beautiful, Dirty Rich” and “Paparazzi”), but now she too has cut ties with Fusari and the two haven’t worked together in 3 years. There must be some reason he’s burning bridges with these pop divas. Oh wait, maybe it’s cause he trashes them in the media, exposing all their skeletons?