Kelis Accuses Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ of ‘Theft’

"It's not collaboration, it's theft," the "Milkshake" hit-maker wrote on Instagram following the album leak.

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Kelis Accuses Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ of ‘Theft’
Photo:Jason LaVeris, Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

Apparently, the power of Kelis is so great, it not only brought all the boys to the yard, it compelled Beyoncé to drop by too. Unfortunately, the former isn’t quite so happy about that.

Yesterday, as news broke that Beyoncé’s highly-anticipated “Renaissance” had been leaked, the BeyHive wasn’t the only party who was pretty pissed off. On Instagram, Kelis vented that a track entitled “Energy” had sampled “Milkshake” without her authorization. While the credits make clear it was, in fact, not a sample and rather an interpolation, The Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo—aka the same writers and producers of the 2003 hit—are credited on the Beyoncé track.

“My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding,” Kelis first commented on a post from @kelistrends, a fan account. “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 case there was any lingering confusion, Kelis continued in another comment, saying, “it’s not a collab it’s theft.”

In two subsequent videos posted by the hit-maker last night, she makes plain her frustration with Beyoncé, Williams, Hugo, and the music industry writ-large, captioning the second video:

I just heard the record everyone is saying has my sample. But it’s beyond this song at this point . This was a TRIGGER for me . Milkshake alone is one of the most licensed records of our generation. I am a creator, I’m an innovator, I have done more then left my mark on an era of music and style that will go down in history . But there are bully’s and secrets and gangsters in this industry that smile and get away with it until someone says enough is enough . So I’m saying it today . I’m coming for what’s mine and I want reparations .

This isn’t the first time she’s spoken out about proper accreditation and artists’ rights. In 2020, she alleged that Williams and Hugo never split the profits with her on a project they’d worked on together.

“I thought it was a beautiful and pure, creative safe space. But it ended up not being that at all,” Kelis told The Guardian. “I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do.”

“I don’t talk about it, I am about it. The reality is: All of this female empowerment stuff only counts if you really do it,” Kelis says in the second Instagram video, directly referencing Beyoncé’s brand of feminism.

Welp! When the world requires a reminder that Kelis was—as “Bossy” makes clear—“the first girl to scream on a track,” trust that she’s going to give it to us. Now all that’s left to do is anxiously await a response from any of the aforementioned offenders.

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