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Kelis calls out Beyoncé and Pharrell for song sample on Renaissance

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Kelis has claimed that she was sampled on Beyoncé’s new album Renaissance without permission.

The US artist’s new album Renaissance, released at midnight on Friday 29 July, includes a song titled “Energy” that samples Kelis’s 2000 track “Get Along With You”.

The Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo are the officially credited writers and producers of the original song, and are credited on “Energy”. Kelis is not credited.

A recent Instagram post by an account named kelistrends recently shared an old photo of Kelis and Beyoncé together, alongside the caption, “@Beyonce’s Renaissance album will include a @kelis sample on the song ‘Energy’,” followed by the mindblown emoji.

Under her verified account, bountyandfull, the 42-year-old singer and chef commented on the post alleging: “It’s not a collab it’s theft”.

“My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all three parties involved is astounding,” Kelis added in a separate comment.

“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 Independent has reached out to Beyoncé’s representative for comment.

kellistrends and bountyandfull / Instagram

(kellistrends and bountyandfull / Instagram)

Shortly after Kelis’s comment gained traction, she took to Instagram to post two follow-up video statements in response to accusations that 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’s done this before, so have many other artists. It’s fine, I don’t care about that,” she said.

“The issue is that not only are we female artists, okay, Black female artists in an industry [where] 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 contact, right?

“It’s not about me being mad at Beyoncé,” she continued, addressing “ignorant” social media users.

“Pharrell knows better,” she said of her former collaborator. “This is a direct hit at me. He does this all the time, it’s very petty.

“It’s not about me being jealous. Jealous of someone using my song? That’s the dumbest, most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard. Like grow up.”

She said she didn’t earn any money from her first two albums, “where in reality, when I was signed to [Pharrell], I had the same manager he had, and he has writing credits on my records”.

“All my singles coincidentally, and he ain’t never written a song, a lyric a day in his life,” she said.

“The reality is, all of this female empowerment, it only counts if you really do it. If you’re really living it and walking the walk. Don’t just talk the talk.”

Kelis has spoken out previously about not being properly compensated for her early work with the Neptunes, whom she began working with when she was 19: “I thought it was a beautiful and pure, creative safe space, but it ended up not being that at all,” she said in an interview with The Guardian in 2020.

She alleged that she was “blatantly lied to and tricked” by “the Neptunes and their management and their lawyers and all that stuff”.

The Independent has also contacted Pharrell’s representative for comment.

The Independent has contacted representatives for Pharrell for comment.

A week prior to its scheduled release, Beyoncé shared the tracklist for Renaissance, her first solo album since 2016’s Lemonade.

Meanwhile, fans recently urged others not to leak the album after it was spotted in stores two days ahead of its official release.

Renaissance will be released on Friday 29 July.

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