Kelis’ Beef With Beyoncé Is Really A Beef With Pharrell

Ahead of the release of seventh Beyoncé album Renaissance, Kelis says she didn’t approve  two of her songs being sampled on the album.

Kelis hates Pharrell Williams so much right now. On Thursday, hours before the midnight release of the seventh Beyoncé album, Renaissance, the Kaleidoscope vocalist went to social media and revealed that she didn’t approve elements of her songs “Get Along with You” and “Milkshake” being used on Beyoncé’s track “Energy.” As Kelis Rogers-Mora was once signed to Star Trak entertainment, The Neptunes were credited for the Renaissance contributions as writers and Kelis was not. (In the credits, she’s listed as an “associated performer.” In one of her two IG videos she claims that Williams “never” wrote “a song, a lyric a day in his life.”)

Kelis first caught wind of “Get Along With You” being sampled on Instagram, which she responded to the ‘collaboration’ on her Bounty & Full account.

“My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all three parties involved is astounding,” she 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 a later comment, Kelis added, “it’s not a collab it’s theft.”

The comments stirred a firestorm on social media, to which the Cooked with Cannabis host responded with two videos on her official Instagram account, this time divulging more about her rift with Williams and Chad Hugo. Kelis also went after Beyoncé, saying that her anger “is not only with Beyoncé,” but “that not only are we Black female artists in an industry where there’s not many of us” and noted that the two singers have “met each other, we know each other, we have mutual friends.”

“It’s not hard. She can contact, right?,” she continued, “Ashnikko, 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 call out Williams, one-half of The Neptunes with Hugo, who executive produced the “Milkshake” singer’s first three albums before she left Star Trak Entertainment after the release of her 2003 album Tasty. “Pharrell knows better. This is a direct hit at me,” she alleges, adding, “He does this stuff all the time. It’s very petty.”

Last night wasn’t the first time Kelis has opened up about her aggravation with Williams. In 2020, she spoke to The Guardian about receiving no profits from her first two albums, saying that she was “blatantly lied to and tricked” into signing contracts from “the Neptunes and their management and their lawyers and all that stuff.”

Although Williams hasn’t spoken about Kelis publicly since the article was published, the singer claims the two last encountered each other at industry event in the last decade. While Williams was performing onstage, Kelis said he nodded to her while she was seated in the audience.

“I’m like, OK, I’m not going to yell back: ‘You stole all my publishing!’ So you end up nodding back and everyone thinks everything’s great. Like, whatever,” she said.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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Jaelani Turner-Williams

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