Beyoncé Has Removed A “Milkshake” Sample From Her Song “Energy” After Kelis Called It Theft

Kelis then went live on Instagram to call out Beyoncé and former collaborators the Neptunes, who produced Kelis’s first three albums. The Neptunes, made up of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, allegedly “swindled” Kelis out of owning her music, which has fueled a yearslong feud among the former collaborators. (Kelis isn’t credited as a writer or producer of “Milkshake” and so has no legal claim to the song.)

As of Tuesday, both Williams and Hugo were still credited as writers on the “Energy” track on Spotify.

“I know what I own and what I don’t own. I also know the lies that were told. I also know the things that were stolen,” Kelis said on Instagram. “Publishing was stolen, people were swindled out of rights — it happens all the time, especially back then.”

Since Beyoncé released Renaissance, it’s been met with some criticism, not just from Kelis. On Monday, songwriter Diane Warren tweeted and then apologized for her confusion over how “Alien Superstar” credited 24 writers. But having that many songwriters is a growing trend. Beyoncé, along with several other pop artists, has recently turned to songwriting camps to write albums, where dozens of people collaborate on one track.

Beyoncé also faced backlash for using the ableist term “spaz” in her song “Heated,” prompting a representative for the singer to pledge that the lyric would be changed.

Representatives for Beyoncé and Kelis did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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