When Beyonce decided to drop her self-titled visual album as an iTunes exclusive on Friday (December 13), many people were surprised, including those who worked on the project. 

Noah “40″ Shebib, who produced Beyonce’s Drake-assisted selection “Mine,” recently spoke about the album and its unexpected release.

“Everybody was surprised,” Shebib said to Rolling Stone. “Everybody. It wasn’t just the fans.” 

40 also praised Beyonce for the execution of the idea to release an album without a publicized release date.

“It was brilliant,” 40 said. “You spend no marketing dollars, essentially. To hold that together and not let that out of the bag is very, very impressive. It’s not easy to do.” 

Beyonce’s self-titled visual album sold more than 80,000 copies in three hours. It is expected to debut at #1 on the charts when they are announced Wednesday (December 18). The project is expected to sell approximately 600,000 units in its first week

Beyonce remains an iTunes exclusive. Individual tracks have not become available. They are set to be released for purchase as separate songs December 20. An official date on the project’s release through other outlets has not been announced. 

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