Dropped calls usually don't lead to productivity. But after
The song, tentatively titled "Haiti Mon Amour," a.k.a. "Stranded," also features The Edge and Rihanna and will debut Friday during the George Clooney and MTV Networks telethon "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief," airing at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
"The idea of the song is 'We're not gonna leave you stranded,' and that's what the chorus is," Swizz Beatz told Rolling Stone on Thursday (January 21). "So me and Bono started going back and forth with ideas, and he was like, 'You know this word stranded keeps standing out to me,' and I asked him to sing it, and he put me on hold, 'cause he's recording the ideas on a Dictaphone — so he did it there and then on the phone."
The composition came to life as they played phone tag trying to get Jay back on the line.
The Edge co-produced the record, then Jay-Z handled the verses. Meanwhile, Swizz said Rihanna was added onto the song to give it a "caring" quality. "I knew that Jay would be able to tell a story and that Bono would be able to sing and bring it home," he said. "The last component that I added was Rihanna, and she's kinda like the angel that's on the track, softening it up and giving it that caring feeling, because this hook is so powerful."
Rihanna also confirmed that the song will premiere on Friday during a radio interview Thursday in Norway. The singer, a native of the Caribbean island of Barbados, said, "In the Caribbean, we think of ourselves as one big family, one country. We're all together. We all represent each other. It's like [the earthquake] happened to Barbados."
According to The Edge, Swizz and Jay-Z came up with the idea to contribute a song after the earthquake ravaged the small country. The Edge said the two hip-hop stars reached out to Bono, and the ball got rolling.
Swizz told MTV News recently that he and Bono had become musical and philanthropic allies, which made the collaboration a natural pairing. "Me and Bono, he's a music lover," Swizz said. "I'm a music lover. We knew each other for a while through [Interscope chairman] Jimmy Iovine. He's with Jimmy. We share a lot of mutual friends though the art world. Enrico Navarra, which is one of my art mentors, is one of his art mentors. We always hook up in France. I go to his crib, we go to Enrico's crib. He does art. It's like a musical/art/philanthropic relationship that's there. He's an amazing guy. He has an amazing family. He embraced me and my people with open arms. He's a brother."
Learn more about what you can do to help with earthquake-relief efforts in Haiti, and for more information, see Think MTV. Join George Clooney and Wyclef Jean for MTV's "Hope for Haiti Now" telethon, airing commercial-free Friday, January 22, at 8 p.m. ET and visit HopeForHaitiNow.org or call (877) 99-HAITI to make a donation now.