Kelis Calls Out Beyoncé For Allegedly Sampling Her on 'Renaissance' Album Without Permission

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Kelis
Prince Williams/Getty Images

Kelis is not happy with Beyoncé after the 40-year-old singer allegedly sampled Kelis' song "Get Along With You" on her upcoming album, Renaissance.

After an an internet leak of the album made its rounds online Wednesday, a Kelis fan page claimed that one of the 16 tracks on the album, "Energy," samples the song off Kelis' 1999 album, Kaleidoscope. Kelis commented, saying that she was not made aware that "Get Along With You" was going be used on the project.

While the full credits for "Energy" have not yet been revealed, the composers reportedly credited on the track include Pharrell Williams and Chad, presumably Williams’ Neptunes bandmate Chad Hugo, who along with Rob Walker and the Neptunes, are listed as the producers for "Get Along With You." Hugo and Williams are also listed as lyricists of "Get Along With You" while Kelis meanwhile is not listed as a producer, composer or lyricist on the track.

Kelis shared her stance about the alleged sample via her company's page, Bounty & Full, by commenting on the fan account's post on Instagram.

"My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding," Kelis wrote. "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."

In another comment, Kelis wrote, "it’s not a collab it’s theft."

Kelis
Instagram/kelistrends

Kelis then took to her personal Instagram to address the issue, where she claimed that this was not the first time Bey has "copied" her.

"So, here's the first thing," the 42-year-old singer began. "Number one, so I'm a human being so I get pissed off and I get ticked off. I'm an artist, so I am as Erica said 'I'm sensitive about my s**t.' The real beef, is not only with Beyoncé because at the end of the day, she sampled a record, she's copied me before, so have many other artists, it's fine, I don't care about that."

She continued, "The issue is, that not only are we female artists, ok? 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? Ashniko, who's what, 20? She's a young white girl, she reached out when she freakin' like, it's just common decency. It's common decency. Especially because, as so many of you pointed out -- I know what I own and what I don't own. I also know the lies that were told. I also know the things that were stolen. Publishing was stolen, people were swindled out of rights. It happens all the time, especially back then. So, it's not about me being mad about Beyoncé."

Kelis went on to say that Bey is just "one issue," adding that she wished Beyoncé would have just reached out to her if she wanted to sample the song.

She then turned the conversation to Williams and Hugo, calling the alleged sampling of her song on "Energy" a direct hit at her.

"Pharrell knows better. This is a direct hit at me," Kelis added. "He does this stuff all the time. It's very petty....The reason that I'm annoyed is because I know it was on purpose," she continued. "This is not like some 'oh, they were in the studio,' no. No, this was an on-purpose direct hit, which is very passive-aggressive. It's very petty. It's very stupid."

Noting that she doesn't "mince" her words, Kelis clarified that she's not mad "like that" and not "jealous" of Bey using her song.

"I'm not mad like that. It's not about me being jealous. Jealous of someone using my song? That's the dumbest most ignorant thing I've ever heard," she said. "Grow up. I was not thinking about her or no one else. Not even on no shade, just not thinking about it. Just living my greatest, best life, as I always do. It has to do with the fact that from one artist to another, you should have the decency, common sense and courtesy to call, reach out -- a manager, an agent, anybody, just to be like, 'Yo, heads up, this is what we're doing.' Even if you're gonna do it anyway. Just common decency."

After claiming that she listened to the track herself, Kelis posted a second video where she continued to call out the hypocrisy in the music industry, alleging that Williams, who has called for artists' rights in the past, has "never written a lyric in his life" despite being listed as a lyricist on all her singles. She also asked Beyoncé to "walk the walk" when it comes to preaching girl power and female empowerment.

She then added that she would "never do this" to another artist and asked for something to be done about the issue.

ET has reached out to both Beyoncé and Kelis' reps for comment.

Kelis' comments come on the eve of Beyoncé's Renaissance release, which despite her single, "Break My Soul," and a teased tracklist from the singer, has been kept largely under wraps.

On Thursday, just hours ahead of the album's release, the 40-year-old published a letter on her website, sharing some personal insight into the inspiration behind her new music and thanking the support system that "held me down" during her creative process. 

"This three act project was recorded over three years during the pandemic. A time to be still, but also a time I found to be the most creative," Beyoncé wrote. "Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world. It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving. My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration."

The letter was published alongside two images, one featuring 10-year-old Blue Ivy and five-year-old twins Rumi and Sir sleeping in bed while snuggled up close to their mom, and the other showing a young Tina Lawson sitting beside Beyoncé's "Uncle" Jonny -- who Beyoncé has spoken openly about drawing inspiration from.

She continued, "I want to give a special thank you to Rumi, Sir, and Blue for allowing me the space, creativity, and inspiration. And a special thanks to my beautiful husband and muse, who held me down during those late nights in the studio. A big thank you to my Uncle Jonny. He was my godmother and the first person to expose me to a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album. Thank you to all of the pioneers who originate culture, to all of the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized for far too long. this is a celebration for you. Thank you to my Parkwood crew, my slab, Dream, and all of the talented producers involved. Mama, I luhhhh you. To my father, my O.G., my first teacher: you inspire me in every move that I make. I love you."

She ended the note, "To all of my fans: I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are. Love y'all deep, B."

Renaissance drops July 29.

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