Beyonce has made a notable edit to Energy, a track from her new album Renaissance, removing a vocal part that interpolated Kelis’s Milkshake.
Kelis had previously complained on Instagram that she didn’t give permission for her 2003 hit to be used on the song. Milkshake’s songwriters are listed as Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo (AKA The Neptunes), who produced it.
However, discussing her work with The Neptunes in an interview with The Guardian in 2020, Kelis alleged that she was “blatantly lied to and tricked”, having been told that she, Williams and Hugo “were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do”.
Of her contract at the time, Kelis said: “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.’”
When quizzed about these comments by Vulture earlier this year, Hugo commented: “I heard about her sentiment toward that. I mean, I don’t handle that. I usually hire business folks to help out with that kind of stuff.”
The original version of Energy - still available as a YouTube lyric video - features a ‘la-la’ vocal refrain in its outro - similar to the one in Milkshake - but this has been removed in the edit that’s now available on streaming services. What’s more, Williams and Hugo are no longer credited as co-writers of the song on Beyonce’s website.
This is the second edit that Beyonce has made to Renaissance - Heated, another track from the album, was tweaked earlier this week to remove an ableist slur. Lizzo recently made a similar edit to her track, GRRRLS, following complaints from disability advocates.