Beyoncé has removed an interpolation of Kelis’ song Milkshake from her new song Energy, days after removing an ableist slur from another song on her latest album Renaissance.
At the end of the original version of Energy, Beyoncé sang a series of “las” to the tune sung by Kelis in the 2003 hit song Milkshake. Even before the official release of Beyoncé’s highly anticipated album on July 29, Kelis openly expressed her displeasure that she had not been consulted on the decision, calling it an act of “theft”.
But by Tuesday night, the version found on the Tidal and Apple Music streaming platforms had been updated to remove the tween. Interpolation involves modifying an existing sound, while sampling directly takes part of a song without modifying it.
Kelis was not a writer or producer on Milkshake, with Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, also known as the Neptunes, officially credited as songwriters.
Williams and Hugo were previously on the list of composers for Beyoncé’s song Energy, but appears to have been removed from the song’s listing on its website early Wednesday once the track was updated.
In a 2020 Guardian interview, Kelis claimed she had been “lied to and blatantly deceived” by the Neptunes and, as a result, “made nothing from the sales of her first two albums”. In a Interview with the vultures earlier this year, Hugo brushed off the comments: “I heard about his feelings on this. I mean, I can’t handle it. I usually hire business people to help me with this stuff.
Using Milkshake was a “trigger” for her, Kelis wrote on Instagram after Energy’s release, and her comments reflected her larger dispute with Williams and Hugo. “It’s beyond this song at this point,” she wrote, adding, “It’s not about me being crazy about Beyoncé.”
The Guardian has contacted Beyoncé’s spokesperson for comment.
This is the second change to Renaissance after its July 29 release, with Beyoncé also changing a line in her song. Hate to remove a word that is considered ableist.
“The word, not intentionally used in a harmful manner, will be replaced,” a rep for the musician said in a statement.
On Tuesday, after Heated’s lyrics were changed, Monica Lewinsky, the activist and former White House intern who had an affair with US President Bill Clinton, tweeted “uhmm, while we’re at it.. . #Partition”. The hashtag referred to Beyoncé’s 2013 song which includes the lyrics “He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown”.
Musician Lizzo removed the same ability slur from her song Grrrls last month.