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Kelis is calling out Beyoncé and The Neptunes for allegedly failing to seek permission to include an interpolation of one of her hits on Bey’s upcoming new album Renaissance, out tonight.
The new song “Energy” on Renaissance features elements reminiscent of her 2003 smash “Milkshake,” written by The Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo. While Kelis sang the tune, only the production duo are credited as songwriters. The Billboard Hot 100-charting artist aired her grievances via Instagram on Thursday (July 28), in multiple comments from her Bounty & Full business account. After a Kelis Instagram fan page announced that “@Beyonce‘s RENAISSANCE album will include a @kelis sample on the song ‘Energy,'” alongside a mind-blown emoji, Kelis commented: “My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding .”
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“I heard about this the same way everyone else did,” she continued. “Nothing is ever as it seems , some of the people in this business have no soul or integrity and they have everyone fooled.”
When another Instagram user commented that they “always felt like Beyoncé really admire Kelis,” the “Bossy” star added, “Admire is not the word.”
Another fan chimed in, “Thats a collab the world really needs,” with Kelis responding, “It’s not a collab it’s theft.”
The new album also includes lifts from Teena Marie, The Clark Sisters and the late Donna Summer, as well as the 1993 Robin S. house anthem “Show Me Love” on lead single “Break My Soul.”
Thursday’s comments aren’t the first time Kelis has called out her frequent collaborators The Neptunes, who produced her debut album, Kaleidoscope, on which “Get Along With You” appears. Due to being “blatantly lied to and tricked” to sign contracts based on “what I was told,” Kelis told the The Guardian in 2020 that she does not make any money from her debut or sophomore album, Wanderland.
“I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do,” Kelis told the outlet then. “Their argument [from The Neptunes and their team] 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.'”
It’s unclear whether Kelis was legally entitled to withhold permission for the lift, and she appears to have indicated in previous interviews that she was not given full credit on the earlier song.
Kelis has appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 chart seven times, including the 2003 top five hit “Milkshake,” and has released five Billboard 200 charting albums. See the Instagram post Kelis’ Bounty & Full account commented on below: