‘No soul or integrity’: Kelis calls out Beyoncé and Pharrell Williams for song ‘sample’ on Renaissance
elis has claimed she was sampled on Beyoncé’s new album Renaissance without permission – calling it “theft”.
Beyoncé’s latest album was released at midnight on Friday July 29, including a song titled ‘Energy’ which features the use of the music behind Kelis’s hit track, Milkshake.
Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo are among those credited as the writers and producers of the original song.
The credits states the track contains an interpolation of Milkshake, which is where portions of a song’s melody are re-recorded instead of directly sampled. Wiliams and Hugo wrote Milkshake.
Commenting on an Instagram post on fan account @kelistrends, which stated there would be a Kelis sample on Renaissance, the singer said: “It’s not a collab it’s theft.”
The 42-year-old musician said: “My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding.
“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.”
The singer later added to her comments in follow-up videos, denying she was “jealous” of Beyoncé.
“The reality is that my real beef is not ONLY with Beyoncé because, at the end of the day, she sampled a record, she’s copied me before,” she said.
“She’s done this before, so have many other artists. It’s fine, I don’t care about that.
“The issue is that not only are we female artists, okay, Black female artists in an industry, there’s not that many of us.
“We’ve met each other, we know each other, we have mutual friends. It’s not hard. She can [make] contact, right?”
Kelis has previously hit out at Williams and Hugo, who write songs as a duo called The Neptunes, saying she made nothing from the sales of her first two albums which were produced by them.
“I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do,” she told the Guardian in 2020.
She claimed she was “blatantly lied to and tricked”, saying she was “too young” to double-check the arrangement that she signed with them.
The Standard has contacted Beyoncé and Kelis’s representatives for comment.