Beyoncé Removes Unauthorized Kelis Sample from New Album

John Cameron

2 min read

Beyoncé Removes Unauthorized Kelis Sample from New Album

Beyoncé’s new album Renaissance included a song titled “Energy” that sampled Kelis’ 2003 smash hit “Milkshake.” Kelis claimed she was neither approached nor credited for the sample. It is now no longer included in the version currently available on TIDAL or Apple Music.

Hours before the July 29 release of the album, Kelis (full name Kelis Rogers-Mora) aired her grievances in a comment on an Instagram post about “Energy.” She pointed out that while Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (who produce music together as The Neptunes) are credited as writers, she is not. Williams and Hugo were also credited on the original “Milkshake.”

In a follow-up Instagram post, Rogers-Mora said that “this is really not about Beyoncé,” although she remarked that she would have appreciated the superstar reaching out to her directly. She instead brought up how Williams has been outspoken about artist rights but has writer credits on her records despite allegedly having never written any of her lyrics. She feels that his sampling of “Milkshake” was a deliberate slight.

“Pharrell knows better,” she said. “This is a direct hit at me [and] he does this stuff all the time… The reason I’m annoyed is because I know it was on purpose. This is not like some, ‘Oh, they were in the studio…’ No. No, this was an on-purpose, direct hit, which is very passive aggressive, it’s very petty, it’s very stupid…”

Renaissance caught the attention of dance music fans thanks to artist features like Honey Dijon, Nile Rogers, and Green Velvet. Other high-profile collaborators included Labrinth, Raphael Saadiq, Luke Solomon, and Kelman Duran. Its lead single, “Break My Soul” — which came out a month prior — prompted articles misguidedly praising the track for “resurrecting house music.”

Earlier this week, the track “Blast” off Renaissance was also changed to remove an ableist slur following online backlash.

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