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Back away from Beyoncé: Why the 'thievery' accusation against Houston's queen is totally unfair

Back away from Beyoncé: Why a 'thievery' accusation is totally unfair

Beyoncé Renaissance album cover
Beyoncé is being accused of not crediting an artist on her new album.  Beyoncé/Instagram
Kelis singer
Kelis has beef with Queen Bey, but is this really about someone else?
Beyoncé Renaissance album cover
Kelis singer

It seems Kelis hates Beyoncé so much right now.

The R&B/pop singer, best known for the early-aughts hits  “Caught Out There” and  “Milkshake,” has beef with the one-and-only Queen Bey. On Thursday, July 28, she went on social media to voice her displeasure with not being notified that her song “Milkshake” (from her 2003 album Tasty) was sampled on  “Energy,” a song off Beyoncé's latest and wildly anticipated new album Renaissance.

Queen Bey's album dropped on Friday, July 29 — complete with a tsunami of fan challenges on an TikTok and a custom and official Twitter emoji.

Kelis was notified of the usage on a fan's Instagram page, eventually commenting on the  “level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved” — referring to Beyoncé and the song's writers/producers, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (aka The Neptunes).

She later dropped a couple of Instagram videos where she expounded even further. “It’s not a collaboration,” she said. “It’s called thievery because the definition of collaboration means we are working together. There’s no working together if you are not checking in to see if everything’s cool.”

Here’s what’s important: While it is debatable whether or not Beyoncé should've given Kelis a heads-up about the sample, Sasha Fierce isn’t legally required to do it. Hugo and Williams are the only credited songwriters on “Milkshake,” which makes them the only people who should be notified and credited on “Energy.” 

Seemingly, this has more to do with Kelis's beef with Williams and Hugo than with her issue withd Beyoncé. A couple of years ago, Kelis did an interview with The Guardian where she stated how much the superstar beatmakers, who produced all of her first two albums and some songs on Tasty, and their management lied to her during those days. 

“I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do,” she said, also mentioning that she made no money off her first two albums. “Their argument is: ‘Well, you signed it.’ I’m like: ‘Yeah, I signed what I was told, and I was too young and too stupid to double-check it.’”

Kelis isn't the only Black singer to be surprised that one of her hits has been recently sampled by Beyoncé. Robin S. found out from her son that her 1990 dance hit “Show Me Love” was sampled on “Break My Soul.”

However, unlike Kelis, Robin (who didn't write or produce the song) wasn't offended by the lack of notification. In fact, she was pleased that Beyoncé, well, showed her love. “Thank you so much for giving me my flowers while I’m still alive,” she said in an interview.

Sure, Kelis has every right to be upset with collaborators who screwed her over in the past. But, she shouldn't be mad at another artist — namely The Queen — for sampling one of her songs and properly crediting the writers and producers, so all of this won't legally blow up in her face.

Besides, Kelis really doesn't want any smoke with the BeyHive. (Does someone need to remind her of Keri Hilson?)