Beyonce’s ‘Renaissance’ Album Is Already Causing Controversy After Sampling Kelis’ Song Without Her Permission

The Beyhive across the globe have patiently waited years for this moment. Finally, their Queen is arriving in full force with her latest album, Renaissance. Already looking like it’s going to be a star-studded affair, Beyonce’s seventh studio album is already causing controversy and it hasn’t been released officially. Although members of the beyhive are rejoicing, singer Kelis has some words for Beyonce.

Fans have been waiting pretty impatiently for this moment once the Lemonade era wore off. If you recall, Beyonce gripped the world with perhaps her most personal album to date in 2016 and the acclaimed stunning visual album to match.   There have been other projects released by the entertainer in the meantime. Along with her husband Jay-Z, their collaborative album, Everything is Love, billed as The Carters, was unleased in 2018. At that year’s ceremony, it went on to nab a Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album.

In 2019, the Beyhive was blessed with a few more projects from Beyonce. First, her Coachella performance not only debuted on Netflix but was also offered as a live album on streaming services. Then, months later, Beyonce released the soundtrack album, The Lion King: The Gift, which also was nominated for multiple Grammys.   Beyonce also blessed fans with the single “Be Alive” from the King Richard soundtrack. The song garnered a nomination for an Oscar in 2022.  

In 2021, Beyonce started dropping hints of a new project on the horizon. While speaking with Harper’s BAZAAR, she began to tease that she was working on an album and talked about what inspired her. After telling the publication that she’d been working on music for the past year, Beyonce said something that fans may have initially missed. “I feel a renaissance emerging,” said Beyonce. She then added that she desires to contribute to “nurturing that escape in any way possible.” Finally, confirmation was given that Beyonce’s seventh studio album, Renaissance, would arrive on July 29th. The singer made the announcement via her website and social media pages. However, instead of the surprise rollouts that spearheaded her self-titled game-changing album in 2013 and its 2016 follow-up, Beyonce has opted for the traditional album rollout this go-round.

On the singer’s official website, she shared a message that also confirmed that Renaissance is part of a “three-act project.” Beyonce added that the album’s creation was a freeing process full of great intentions. “It was a beautiful journey of exploration,” she said of the three-year cycle.  The heat noticeably turned up in June of 2022 when fans became aware of the changes to Beyonce’s social media accounts. Then, social media erupted when “What is a B7” appeared on her official website.  

“Break My Soul,” the album’s lead single, was released on June 20th to rave reviews. The house-flavored track, co-written and produced by The-Dream, has led fans to believe that the upcoming album would lean more in that direction. This belief heightened when Beyonce unleashed the cover art for Renaissance on June 30th. Beyonce glamorously sits atop a stunning and electric horse that also appears to glisten like a disco ball. According to Pitchforkthe cover art is inspired by two iconic photos. More photos emerged around social media showing altnernate cover art for the hardcopy and vinyl editions of the album over the following days. Excited fans were soon gifted with the tracklisting for the 16-song set. Renaissance promises contributions from The Dream, Raphael Saadiq, The Neptunes, Drake, Sabrina Claudio, and more. 

Along with the writers and producers, the credits revealed that the album is equipped with features from Tems and Grace Jones on “Move” and Jamaican artist BEAM on the song “Energy.” Frequent collaborator The Dream is credited on 10 of the album’s 16 songs, including the lead single. In addition, one of the songs that social media seemingly looks forward to hearing based on the title, “Plastic Off The Sofa,” is co-written by The Internet singer Syd and singer-songwriter Sabrina Claudio. And Drake appears in the writing credits for track 11, “Heated.” However, it is unknown if his vocals will feature in the song. 

Big Freedia’s single “Explode” is famously sampled on “Break My Soul,” a life-changing moment for the New Orleans artist. She shared her excitement with Page Sixstating that she was “grateful” and “humbled,” among other things. In addition, “Summer Renaissance” will sample a Donna Summer song. Finally, legendary Gospel artist Twinkie Clark is credited on the song “Church Girl,” eluding to one of her own or The Clark Sisters’ iconic songs being sampled.  

“Energy,” as stated before, credits Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes. According to a fan account dedicated to singer Kelis, the song samples the single from her debut album, Kaleidoscope, “Get Along With You.”   But this news was not welcomed by Kelis, who took to Instagram to share her true feelings.   Noticing the fan account’s posting on Instagram, Kelis offered her take. Underneath her business page’s account, the singer insisted that Beyonce’s actions should be labeled “theft” and responded to another fan that she does not “admire” the singer.” In addition, Kelis also addressed The Neptunes, stating her “mind is blown” by all of their “level of disrespect and utter ignorance.”

Kelis hopped online to accuse Beyonce of stealing, among other things. During a Live, captured by The Shade Room, the “Caught Out There” singer gave a lengthy rant that included her stating that this isn’t new for Beyonce.  “She’s copied me before,” Kelis said. However, she further assures us that Beyonce is not the only person she’s upset with. Kelis went on to detail her issues with The Neptunes. The singer then released another video doubling down on what she said.

Once Kelis videos went viral, fans began to respond and added Rihanna’s name to the mix. In one viral comment a fan claimed Rihanna rode a wave created by Kelis. Kelis responded, “let’s not open that pandora’s box today lol one step at a time friend.

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