Many of us have listened to Beyoncé’s song “Love Drought” and thought of it to be a story of a strained relationship; Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s, of course. Songwriter and rapper Ingrid Burley said that’s not the case. As one of the first signees the Beyoncé’s label Parkwood Entertainment, it comes as no shock that Ingrid Burley has a way with words. The Houston-bred rapper shared with Genius that the song had nothing to do with Jay-Z and everything to do with her frustration with Parkwood.
The label, according to Burley, was dishonest about whether or not Beyoncé was listening to any new music. So she wrote a song about it within a half hour. The lines “10 times out of 9, I know you’re lying / But 9 times out of 10, I know you’re trying” are about the rift between Burley and Parkwood.
“I’m ’bout to give you the answer I haven’t given anybody else, I swear to God, no dramatics or nothing,” Ingrid started in her interview with Genius. “Beyoncé doesn’t even know this. I wrote ‘Love Drought’ in all seriousness I was very frustrated with the label at the time. Two years ago. I was very new.”
Ingrid, who knows Beyoncé from their childhood in Houston, and started at age 11 as part of a girl group named “Trio” which was managed by Beyoncé’s father, Mathew Knowles. The artist grew up writing verses inspired by hip-hop influencers DJ Screw, Jay-Z, and country artist Alan Jackson.
Ingrid opened for rappers Drake and J Cole under the moniker IB3, “IB” being her initials and 3 being a nod to Houston’s Third Ward, before reuniting with Beyoncé in 2012 to write for the artists self-titled album. An artist that described herself as once shy had a lot of help from her hometown friend.
“Every song I write, she gives me feedback on,” says Burley of Beyoncé. “There were songs I had to rewrite 10 times — she challenged me.”
This type of mentorship along with the patience and kindness that Ingrid ascribed to Beyoncé could be a huge part of the reason that “Love Drought” caught so many ears. Though the song bleeds from personal experience and metaphors about music, Ingrid has written it so that it naturally fits any situation for the listening ear.