Photo: J.ébey - Own Work

Beyoncé Releases ‘Renaissance’ LP With Controversial Kelis-Infused Song

Released at midnight (7.28,) Beyoncé’s highly anticipated new album, Renaissance, includes the song “Energy” includes an interpolation of “Milkshake” by Kelis who claims that she was unaware that her music was going to be used.

Taking to social media, Kelis made her remarks in the comment section of a post from the @kelistrends fan page stating: “My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding.” From the verified account for her company Bounty & Full she added “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.” In a subsequent comment, Kelis wrote, “it’s not a collab it’s theft.”

While “Milkshake” is formally a Kelis song, the singer is not listed as one of its producers, composers, or lyricists, per Tidal credits. In fact, the track’s producers are Chad Hugo, Pharrell Williams, Rob Walker, and the Neptunes with Hugo and Williams as composers and lyricists. Kelis is only credited as the song’s performer.

In a 2020 interview with The Guardian, Kelis (born Kelis Rogers-Mora) claimed that “she made nothing from sales of her first two albums,” suggesting that she was “blatantly lied to and tricked” by “the Neptunes and their management and their lawyers and all that stuff.” “I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do,” she said. “Their argument 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.’”

Kelis is not the first artist to be surprised at being sampled on Renaissance. “Break My Soul,” the album’s lead single, samples Robin S.’ “Show Me Love,” and, therefore, credits songwriters Allen George and Fred McFarlane (but not Robin S.). In an interview with Good Morning Britain, Robin S. said she had no formal contact with Beyoncé or her team ahead of the single’s release, and that she learned about the sample because her son told her she was “trending all over the place.”

Unlike Kelis, Robin S. (born Robin Stone) thanked Beyoncé for sampling her music: “This is Robin S, and this message goes out to the Queen Bey herself, Beyoncé, to Jay-Z, to the entire team: Thank you so much for giving me my flowers while I’m still alive. I am honored, and I’m excited to see what else can happen.”

Update: Upon the release of Renaissance, the full credits revealed that “Energy’ did not use a sample after all, but an interpolation of “Milkshake.”

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: J.ébey – Own Work