- 03 Aug 22
Kelis has accused Beyoncé of "thievery," claiming she was never informed about the sample being used on Renaissance track 'Energy'.
Beyoncé has reportedly removed a sample of Kelis' 2003 hit song from her Renaissance album following objections raised by the 'Milkshake' singer. The news comes just days after Kelis accused Beyoncé and producers The Neptunes of theft for sampling her 2003 hit 'Milkshake' without notifying her.
The 'Milkshake' interpolation has been removed from Beyoncé's 'Energy' on music streaming service TIDAL. However, the sample could still be heard on both Spotify and Apple Music as of Tuesday afternoon.
Kelis was named as a performer on the sample, but does not feature in the songwriting and production credits on 'Energy'. Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes are credited, as owners of her masters. Kelis is also not credited as a songwriter or producer on 2003's 'Milkshake'.
In videos posted on Instagram, Kelis opened up about a contract she signed in the early 2000s with Pharrell Williams, which she claims gave the performer and producer publishing rights to a number of her early projects, despite not having written her songs.
In 2020, the R&B singer publicly stated that she did not make any money from her first two albums after being "blatantly lied to and tricked" by the Neptunes.
Kelis took to Instagram to call out Beyoncé and The Neptunes for using her work without her permission prior to the July 29 release of Renaissance. "My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding," she wrote in response to a fan Instagram post which mentioned a "Beyoncé/Kelis collaboration".
"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."
"It's not a collaboration. It's called thievery," she later said in a video posted to her Instagram account.
"The reality is that my real beef, is not only with Beyoncé - because at the end of the day, she sampled a record, she's copied me before, so have many artists, it's fine, I don't care about that," Kelis said in her video. However, she added it would have been "common decency" for Beyoncé to inform her of using the sample beforehand.
"Especially because, as so many of you pointed out — I know what I own and what I don't own. I also know the lies that were told. I also know the things that were stolen. Publishing was stolen, people were swindled out of rights. It happens all the time, especially back then," Kelis said. "So, it's not about me being mad about Beyoncé."
This is the second change Beyoncé has made to her album Renaissance in the days after its release. On Monday, a representative for the singer announced that she would be removing a derogatory lyric from her track 'Heated'. The slur, originally used to discuss spastic paralysis, resulted in backlash from disability charities and advocates who labeled the lyric "ableist" and "offensive."