In 2016, we discovered that Slim Jimmy and Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd are national treasures. Not only did the duo drop a good (if underperforming) album and a powerful, Paul-McCartney-endorsed single, but they also were the inspiration for the most talked-about lines from Beyoncé's powerful "Formation" single: the title of the song, and that infamous lyric about Red Lobster, which helped the chain's sales surge 33% following its release.
According to frequent collaborator and "Formation" producer Mike Will Made It, the Brothers Sremmurd provided Bey critical assistance individually. Mike recently explained the origins of "Formation" at a Red Bull Music Academy talk in Montreal, which can be viewed in the video above (the moment comes around the 1:32:00 mark).
On the song's title
On a trip to Coachella, Mike says a freestyle session inspired the song's title. The trio were rapping on the ride to the festival when this happened: "And Swae Lee said, 'Ok, now let's get in formation, ugh.' And I said, 'man, what did you say?'" Upon getting back to L.A., Mike insisted that Swae record the verse for Beyoncé, which eventually led to...
On “when he fuck me good, I take his ass to Red Lobster”
Mike mentioned this bar was all Slim Jimmy's doing. During that aforementioned L.A. recording session, Jimmy stepped into the booth and spit, "if you fuck me good, I'll take your ass to Margiela." Mike said he then took that reference track—along with several others—and gave them to Queen Bey. Despite some back and forth between Beyoncé and him about whether or not the track would see the light of day, Bey said she liked the song. While the initial idea that Mike and Rae Sremmurd had was to make it an empowerment anthem for women, Beyoncé decided to make it anthem for African-American culture, altering Jimmy's line to fit Beyoncé's particular perspective.
And there you have it. As for Bey's boast about keeping hot sauce in her bag, we'll have to assume that was 100% her. With the exception of the Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy assists, Mike said that Beyoncé wrote the rest of her lyrics.