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‘This Was an On-Purpose Direct Hit’: Kelis Slams Pharrell Williams for His Role In Sampling Her Work for Beyoncé’s ‘Rennaisance’

Kelis has a bone to pick with Pharrell Williams after learning her song “Milkshake” was sampled for a record on Beyoncé’s new album, “Renaissance.” 

The highly anticipated album was released on July 29 — although leaked copies hit the internet two days prior to the official release. Among the album’s 16 tracks is a song entitled “Energy” that features production from Kelis’ 2000 hit. 

(From left) Kelis, Pharrell Williams, Beyoncé. (Photos: Kelis/Pharrell/Beyonce/Instagram)

“Get Along With You” is from Kelis’ debut album “Kaleidoscope” which was produced by The Neptunes — Williams and Chad Hugo. The sampled song caught in the crosshairs of controversy was written by Williams and Hugo and performed by Kelis. However, according to the singer, the only people credited for the record are her former collaborators. Here lies her grievance concerning Beyoncé’s new record.

In a video posted to Instagram, the “Milkshake” singer said neither Beyoncé’s or The Neptunes’ teams reached out to notify her that “Renaissance” would feature a sample of her work. On Thursday, July 28, she slammed the “Black Is King” singer and the producing duo — especially Williams. In the video, Kelis said, “It’s just common decency, right? It’s common decency,” that she be notified of the sample.

“Especially because — as so many of you pointed out as though I don’t know but let met help you — 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,” she added.

She went on to say he frustrations regarding “Energy” are mainly targeted at Williams because of the alleged role he played in stripping Kelis of the ability to fully profit from her music. In the past, Kelis has accused Williams of misleading her when it came to the business of crafting her albums “Kaleidoscope” and “Wanderland.”

“I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do. [I was] blatantly lied to and tricked [by] the Neptunes and their management and their lawyers and all that stuff,” she told The Guardian. 

In the recently posted video, the “Caught Out There” singer added, “Pharrell knows better. This is a direct hit at me. He does this stuff all the time, he’s very petty.” She reiterated the point by saying that there was no oversight when it came to contacting her regarding the sample. “No, this was an on purpose direct hit, which is very passive-aggressive, it’s very petty, very stupid, and I’m going to say what I have to say. I’m not going to mince my words,” she said.

Kelis’ grievances were met with an array of reactions online. “She is right. Regardless if Pharrell owns her masters common courtesy would’ve been to call and give her a heads up,” wrote one person.

“I just want Solange to meet her in an elevator,” wrote another.

“You don’t own it so she doesn’t owe you a personal call because Pharrell decided to incorporate it,” wrote a third person.

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