Kelis calls out Beyoncé and Pharrell over uncleared Milkshake sample

Singer Kelis has called out Beyoncé and her team of producers, including Pharrell Williams, for use of an uncleared sample from Kelis’s Milkshake on a song called Energy. The song appears on Beyoncé’s new album Renaissance. Speaking about her frustrations via an Instagram live, Kelis revealed that she learnt of the sample’s use “the same way everyone else did.” 

Both Milkshake and Energy share a producer in Williams, who produced Kelis’s seminal 2003 hit with Chad Hugo as the production duo The Neptunes. While Kelis has expressed disappointment at “the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved,” her feud seems most targeted toward Pharell. Kelis went on to disclose how she ultimately feels taken advantage of by The Neptunes, citing her early career as an example. “Publishing was stolen, people were swindled out of rights. It happens all the time, especially back then,” she said, adding that her not being contacted about use of the sample felt “very petty” and “passive aggressive.” 

In 2020, Kelis opened up about her time with The Neptunes, who produced the singer’s first two albums, telling The Guardian that she felt “blatantly lied to and tricked.” 

Thus far, neither Beyoncé nor Williams have responded to Kelis’s comments.