The production team Poke & Tone (Jean-Claude Olivier and Samuel Barnes) produced this track and co-wrote it with Beyoncé and Cory Rooney. Poke & Tone were known for crafting Will Smith's hit sound on "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" and "Miami
." They also had some girl group experience, having produced Allure.
Beyoncé came up with the song after having an argument with her boyfriend. She thought to herself, "I don't need a man, I'm independent," and with that went into a studio on her own and recorded vocals for the first version of this song, which promoted female independence, both financially and relationally. A team of producers - Eric Seats, Rapture Stewart, David Donaldson - put the track together using a sample from the Peabody's Improbable History
theme song. This version was later used on the 2001 Destiny's Child album Survivor
as "Independent Women Part II," but a radically different rendition became the hit.
Destiny's Child's label, Columbia, whose studio division was distributing the Charlie Angels
film, decided that it would be a great fit for the movie, which portrayed the lead characters as tough, liberated women. They wanted the hit sound of Poke & Tone, however, so they commissioned the duo to remix the track and have the group alter the lyrics to suit the film. Instead of remixing it, Poke & Tone completely reworked the song, earning lucrative writing credits in the process. This second version of the song was released first, so it was labeled "Independent Women Part I."