Life comes at you fast. And Kelis might be getting what she wanted.
Last week, when Beyoncé’s Renaissance came out and immediately became the most talked-about album in the world, Kelis made it abundantly clear that she did not grant permission for samples — albeit very brief ones — from her songs to be used in Beyoncé’s “Energy.” Kelis’s anger was directed mostly at Pharrell and Chad Hugo, who as The Neptunes, wrote and produced the two Kelis songs in question, “Milkshake,” and “Get Along With You,” and hence, owned the publishing rights holders who could clear the use of those samples for “Energy” (which they also co-wrote).
“My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding,” Kelis said on Instagram, later adding in a video that, “Chad really is like an amoeba, he’s spineless. It’s a miracle he can keep his neck up, but Pharrell knows better. This is a direct hit at me, he does this stuff all the time. It’s very petty — very, very, very — and the reality is that it’s frustrating.”
Well, the issue looks to be coming to a head, as the Kelis samples seem to be getting slowly removed from “Energy” across streaming platforms from “Energy.” At press time, the end of “Energy” on Tidal was playing just Kelis’ isolated sample. Spotify was having intermittent issues loading both Beyoncé’s Renaissance tracks and Kelis’ discography. Users online are claiming that Kelis’ writing credits are missing, although only Pharrell and Hugo would have had their included, to begin with.
Beyoncé has removed Kelis’ sample from her new song “ENERGY”.
The sampled beat no longer appears on streaming services, and her credits have been removed.
— TheYoncéHub (@yoncecapital) August 2, 2022
Update: According to music industry veteran Naima Cochrane, the drum interpolation still appears on the track, while a vocal section that some fans incorrectly attributed to Kelis has been removed.
Annnnd worth noting (bc outlets aren't being clear), all Beyonce removed today was the "La la la's" at the end of Energy bc Y'ALLLLLLLLL were busy debating about whether that was a Kelis sample (it wasn't). The drum interpolation is still there.
— Naima Cochrane (@naima) August 2, 2022
Editor’s note: This story may be updated as the situation changes.