Beyoncé cuts Kelis interpolation from new album after being accused of ‘stealing’
Beyoncé has removed an interpolation of Kelis’ “Milkshake” from her new album Renaissance after being accused of “theft”.
Beyoncé released her album Renaissance on 29 July to critical acclaim, with many already dubbing it the album of the year.
However, the singer Kelis was unimpressed with an interpolation of her hit “Milkshake” on the song “Energy”. She claimed Beyoncé hadn’t contacted her before releasing the song, which she said was disrespectful, and called it “theft”.
Seemingly in response, the track has been updated on streaming services Tidal and Apple and no longer features the “Milkshake” reference.
However, there was a brief glitch on Tidal where “Energy” was replaced with just the isolated vocals of the interpolation rather than the new version, as reported by Rolling Stone.
It is unclear whether other streaming services will fall in line, but the original version of “Energy” remains on Beyoncé’s YouTube channel.
The Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, the credited writers of “Milkshake”, were noted among the composers of “Energy” on Beyoncé’s website. Their credit has now been deleted.
The edit comes after Beyoncé announced that she would remove an ableist slur from the track “Heated” following criticism of its usage.
Kelis has long-standing beef with Pharrell
In an interview with the Guardian in 2020, Kelis claimed that Williams and Hugo, her former close collaborators, had “lied and tricked” her into a bad deal which meant that she made no money from her first albums.
“I thought it was a beautiful and pure, creative safe space, but it ended up not being that at all,” she said.
Williams and Hugo have not publicly commented on the claims.
Kelis called the duo out again, along with Beyoncé, after fans alerted her to “Energy” using “Milkshake”.
“My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all three parties involved is astounding,” she wrote.
“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.”
The singer blasted claims she was “jealous” of Beyoncé, but said it would have been polite for her to have given her a head’s up.
“The issue is that not only are we female artists, okay, Black female artists in an industry [where] there’s not that many of us. We’ve met each other, we know each other, we have mutual friends. It’s not hard. She can contact, right,” she sad.
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“It’s not about me being mad at Beyoncé. Pharrell knows better. This is a direct hit at me. He does this all the time, it’s very petty.”
Kelis later said she would seek “reparations”.
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“I just heard the record everyone is saying has my sample,” she said “But it’s beyond this song at this point .This was a TRIGGER for me. ‘Milkshake’ alone is one of the most licensed records of our generation. I am a creator , I’m an innovator, I have done more then left my mark on an era of music and style that will go down in history.”
Kelis added: “But there are bully’s [sp] and secrets and gangsters in this industry that smile and get away with it until someone says enough is enough. So I’m saying it today. I’m coming for what’s mine and I want reparations. Peace.”