Beyoncé Will Replace an Ableist Lyric from Her New Song ‘Heated’ Following Backlash

·7 min read
Beyoncé Will Replace an Ableist Lyric from Her New Song ‘Heated’ Following Backlash

Update: Beyoncé will be removing a lyric from “Heated” following backlash for using ableist language. In the original song, she says the line, “Spazzin’ on that ass, spazz on that ass.”

Spasticity, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, is a muscular condition often seen in people who have cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injury, and others. Following the release of Renaissance, writer Hannah Diviney, who has cerebral palsy, called out the ableist slur in “Heated” in a piece for The Guardian. She had previously pointed out Lizzo’s usage of the term in her song “Grrls,” which was then removed after the backlash. Bey will be making a similar change for her song.

“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” Beyoncé’s team told Variety in a statement.

Original story, 7/29: Just weeks ago, music lovers were buzzing about, and perhaps even comparing (imagine!), Beyoncé and Drake’s newest releases. Arriving just days apart in June, her single “Break My Soul” and his surprise album Honestly, Nevermind made splashy debuts, both steeped heavily in dance and house music influences. Coincidental or not, the two sparked conversations about the genre’s revival (though many would argue it never died) and how it has historically been shaped by Black artists, especially Black queer artists.

In a fitting follow-up, Beyoncé and Drake have just released a new song together—kind of. The rapper, born Aubrey Drake Graham, is credited as one of the writers for “Heated,” a track on Bey’s new album, Renaissance. Other writers include Britney “@Chi_Coney” Coney, Denisia “Blu June” Andrews, Jahaan Sweet, Matthew Samuels, Oliver Rodrigan, Ricky Lawson, Rupert Thomas Jr., and Sean Seaton.

This, of course, isn’t Bey and Drake’s first time working together. The rapper famously appeared on “Mine” from Beyoncé’s self-titled album in 2013. And she lent her vocals to the backing track on “Can I,” from Drake’s Care Package in 2019, per GQ. Though he doesn’t sing on “Heated,” Drake’s influence is obvious in Bey’s melody and flow. The fact that his frequent collaborator, Boi-1da, produced the song only bolsters this observation. (Beyoncé, Neenyo, Sevn Thomas, and Jahaan Sweet are listed as producers too.) A demo with Drake’s own vocals may or may not be out there on the internet.

“Heated” is an undeniable bop, perfect for those for sweaty summer nights at the club (I’m going to need a cold drink just thinking about it.) But in addition to the party vibes, Beyoncé also includes a touching and cheeky tribute to her Uncle Jonny, who passed away from HIV, at the end of the song. “Uncle Jonny made my dress / That cheap Spandex, she looks a mess,” she raps.

Beyoncé’s mother Tina Knowles-Lawson explained on Instagram that her nephew Jonny was a designer and made Beyoncé’s prom dress. He helped raise Bey and Solange, “influenced their sense of style and uniqueness,” and was a lover of house music. Beyoncé shared on her website that he exposed her to “a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album.”

Even if “Heated” came from big-name collaborators like Drake, Beyoncé was sure to bring it back home.

Listen to “Heated” and read the full lyrics below, courtesy of Genius.

[Intro]
(Got a lot of bands, got a lot of Hermès on me)

[Chorus]
Got a lot of bands, got a lot of Ivy on me
I gotta fan myself off (Fan me off)
I gotta fan myself off (Fan me off)
I gotta cool down, heated (Fan me off like hot, hot, hot)
(Like Coco Chanel, put me up in jail)
I gotta cool it down, heated (Cool it down, hot, hot, hot)
Yeah, yeah (Like stolen Chanel, put me up in jail)
(Tip, tip, tip)
It’s been a lot of years, really think you gettin’ one past me? (Tip, tip, tip)
I gotta fan myself off
I gotta fan myself off
I gotta cool it down, heated (Oh)
You got me heated
Heated, oh
[Refrain]
Never met a girl with a mind like this, no, no
To give you space and timе like this, my love
Nevеr met a girl so fine like this, no, no, no, no, no
With a waist that wine like this, my love

[Pre-Chorus]
Only a real one could tame me
Only the radio could play me (Uh)
Oh, now you wish I was complacent (Uh)
Boy, you musta mixed up our faces (Uncle, Uncle Jonny)
Oh, now you wanna have conversations (Uncle Jonny)
See, now you’re testin’ my patience (Uncle Jonny made my dress)
Yeah, yeah (Fan me off)

[Chorus]
Got a lot of bands, got a lot of Chanel on me
I gotta fan myself off (Fan me off)
I gotta fan myself off (Fan me off)
I gotta cool down, heated (Fan me off like hot, hot, hot)
(Like stolen Chanel, put me up in jail)
I gotta cool it down, heated (Tip, tip, tip, tippin’ on)
(Tip, tip, tip, tippin’ on)
Got a lot of style, got a lot of Tiffany on me
I gotta fan myself off (Tiffany, Tiffany, Tiffany, Tiffany, Tiffany)
I gotta fan myself off
I gotta cool it down, heated (I’m hot, hot, hot)
You got me heated (Fan me off like hot, hot, hot)
Heated, oh (Like stolen Chanel, put me up in jail)
[Verse]
Whole lotta reservations, whole lotta
Whole lotta textin’ with no conversations (Whole lotta, lotta, lotta)
Whole lotta playin’ victim and a villain at the same time
Whole lotta, huh, money, not a lot of patience
Whole lotta n****s been waitin’
They want some time on it, now I wanna flaunt it
Panty and a bra, we can get involved, boy (Wake up pretty)
If you keep playin’ with my heart, boy
I’m just as petty as you are (Petty, petty, petty, petty, petty, petty)

[Pre-Chorus]
Uh, only a real man can tame me
Only the radio could play me
Only my baby (Oh, yeah)

[Chorus]
Got a lot of bands, got a lot of Chanel on me
I gotta fan myself off (Fan me off)
I gotta fan myself off (Fan me off)
I gotta cool down, heated (Fan me off like hot, hot, hot)
(Like Coco Chanel, put me up in jail)
I gotta cool it down, heated
Heated

[Refrain]
Never met a girl with a mind like this, no, no
To give you the space at a time like this, my love (Oh)
Never met a girl so fine like this, no, no, no, no, no (Fan me off, I’m hot, hot, hot)
With a waist that wine like this (Coco Chanel, put me up jail)

[Outro]
Tip, tip, tip on hardwood floors
Ten, ten, ten across the board (With a waist that wine like this)
Give me face, face, face, face, face, yah
Your face card never declines, my God (Ooh)
Eat it, eat it, eat it, eat it, eat it
Mm, yummy, yummy, yum, make the bummy heated
Make a pretty girl talk that shitty
Whiskey ‘til I’m tipsy, glitter on my kitty (Ooh)
Cool it down, down, down, my pretty
Bad, bad bitchy make the bad bitch glitchy
Fine, fine, fine-fine, fine-fine, fine, fine
Liberated, livin’ like we ain’t got time
Yadda, yadda, yah, yadda, yadda, yah, yah
Yadda, yadda, yadda, bom, bom, ka, ka
Spazzin’ on that ass, spaz on that ass
Fan me quick, girl, I need my glass
Fan me off, my wrist goes click
Dimples on my hip, stretch marks on my tits
Drinkin’ my water, mindin’ my biz
Monday, I’m overrated, Tuesday, on my dick
Flip-flop, flippy, flip-floppin’-ass bitch
Fan me off, watch my wrist go click
Fan me off, I’m hot, hot, hot
Like stolen Chanel, lock me up in jail
Cuff me, please, ‘cause this ain’t fair
Dripped in my pearls like Coco Chanel
Uncle Jonny made my dress
That cheap Spandex, she looks a mess
Fan me off, I’m hot, hot, hot
Like stolen Chanel, lock me up in jail
Fingertips go tap, tap, t-tap
On my MPC, makin’ disco trap
Uncle Jonny made my dress
That cheap Spandex, she looks a mess

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