Artist News Business News Top Stories

Beyonce removes ‘Milkshake’ interpolation from new track following criticism from Kelis

By | Published on Wednesday 3 August 2022

A new version of new Beyonce track ‘Energy’ has appeared on some of the streaming services with an element borrowed from Kelis hit ‘Milkshake’ removed. The rework follows criticism from Kelis last week, who said that she was not aware that a track on Beyonce’s new album ‘Renaissance’ would include an interpolation of her song, even though the writers and producers of ‘Milkshake’ had seemingly signed off on its inclusion.

Kelis recorded ‘Milkshake’ with her frequent early collaborators The Neptunes – aka Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo – for her third album, 2003’s ’Tasty’, which was also released by the production duo’s label.

She has criticised Williams and Hugo before, accusing them of backtracking on commitments regarding who would be credited on, and share in the copyright from, the songs they made together. On many of those songs, including ‘Milkshake’, only Williams and Hugo are credited as writers.

Williams and Hugo were also listed as co-writers on Beyonce’s song ‘Energy’, suggesting they had approved the inclusion of an element of ‘Milkshake’ in the new track. However, in various social media posts last week, Kelis made it very clear she had not been consulted.

And while her grievances over the ‘Milkshake’ element of ‘Energy’ was really part of her ongoing beef with Williams and Hugo, she also criticised Beyonce herself for not reaching out about the interpolation.

Among other things she stated: “It’s not about me being mad about Beyonce – she is one issue because it was stupid and disrespectful, she could have at least reached out – but the real issue is that … this is a direct hit on me, Pharrell does this all the time … and the reality is that it’s frustrating, I have the right to be frustrated”.

Presumably in response to all that, a sneaky edit of ‘Energy’ has now been made removing the ‘Milkshake’ interpolation, with that new version of the track appearing on various streaming services, including Apple Music and Tidal.

It’s actually the second post-release edit made by Beyonce to her new album. She also posted a new version of the track ‘Heated’ which removed the line “spazzing on that ass, spaz on that ass”.

Although ‘spaz’ is an American slang word that means “go crazy” – and that was the meaning intended in the original ‘Heated’ lyric – a number of disability charities pointed out that the word also has a history of being used – especially in the UK – as an offensive slur against people with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy.

Beyonce clearly didn’t intend to use the word in its offensive form, though – given Lizzo was also forced to change a lyric earlier this year after using same slang word in one her songs – you might think that someone on Beyonce’s team would have picked that up ahead of release. But maybe they were too busy not calling Kelis to let her know about the ‘Milkshake’ interpolation.