In the lead up to the release of Beyoncé Carter Knowle‘s album Renaissance, Kelis [Rogers] took to social media to blast her inclusion in the project. Kelis was responding to news she was among the musicians whose music was used as part of the 16-song project.
Fresh off of a U.K. performance, Kelis first responded to the news of “Milkshake” being interpolated for the song “Energy” on Instagram account @kelistrends under a post announcing the news. In the comment, Kelis wrote, “My mind is blown to because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding . I heard about this the same way everyone else did . Nothin is ever as it seems , some of the people in this business have no soul or integrity and they have everyone fooled.”
The Harlem-born 42-year-old followed up on her Instagram account where she blasted Beyoncé for not giving her a courtesy call letting her know the song would be included on the album. Chiding her for not walking the walk on uplifting women, she added, “All this empowerment stuff, I don’t just talk about it, I am about it. So the reality is, all 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. It’s real cute and fun to sing all these girl songs. Come on now, let’s be real.”
More so she was infuriated with The Neptunes members Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, who produced the song and own all the publishing, meaning that Kelis isn’t included in the permission process for use of the song. “Milkshake” was included on her third album, Tasty, and was one of four songs on the project produced by The Neptunes.
Reigniting longstanding beef with the production duo, Kelis accused Hugo of being an amoeba with no spine and went on to accuse Pharrell of intentionally locking her out of songwriting credits for her biggest hits, all of which were produced by The Neptunes.
Painting Pharrell as the ultimate hypocrite, she stated, “So we’ve got Pharrell who did an interview, I think last year, talking about artists’ rights and how people should be able to rework their deals and artists should be getting credit for what they’ve done, and all this stuff.”
Once good friends with Pharrell and Hugo, Kelis two years ago spoke about the breakdown of her relationship with them in an interview with The Guardian, which highlighted the 20th anniversary of Kaleidoscope, her debut album recorded when she was 19-years old.
“I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do,” Kelis told The Guardian. Instead, she made no money from her first two albums, both of which were entirely produced by The Neptunes, and neither did she receive any writing credits. In the interview she said she was “blatantly lied to and tricked” by “the Neptunes and their management and their lawyers and all that stuff.”
In the same article, she noted she and Williams shared a manager who was given song writing credits on her songs even though, she alleged, he wasn’t at all involved in song creation.