It seems Beyoncé just can’t catch a break at the moment. Since dropping her album she’s already removed lyrics that contained an ableist slur, been called out by Monica Lewinsky and now she’s had to rework yet another track on Renaissance.
The track in question is ‘Energy,’ which originally featured an interpolation from Kelis’ 2003 hit ‘Milkshake.’ The Kelis track was written by the singer herself as well as Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes. However, in Bey’s song, only Williams and Hugo were listed as songwriters, much to the dismay of Kelis. In response to the controversy, Beyoncé has now dropped the interpolation entirely from her song.
This whole debacle kicked off on July 25th after a Kelis fan page on Instagram shared that Beyoncé would be sampling one of her songs, which was the first the artist had apparently heard of the news. The R&B star then commented: “My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding. I heard about this the same way everyone else did. Nothing is ever as it seems, some of the people in this business have no soul or integrity and they have everyone fooled.”
Kelis then posted two videos on Instagram in which she called Williams petty and claimed he “does this shit all the time.” She also claimed the producer “swindled” her out of her older music. In a follow-up post, Kelis said that “all this female empowerment stuff only counts if you really do it if you’re really living it and walking the walk.”
The recent outburst from Kelis wasn’t the first time she had called out The Neptunes, who produced her debut album Kaleidoscope. Back in 2020, Kelis spoke with The Guardian she claimed she doesn’t make any money from her debut or sophomore album, Wanderland.
“I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do,” said the singer. “Their argument [from The Neptunes and their team] is, ‘Well, you signed it.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I signed what I was told, and I was too young and too stupid to double-check it.’”