Last week, we told you about how “Bossy” singer Kelis called out Beyoncé and former music manager Pharrell Williams for interpolating her 2003 hit song “Milkshake” on Bey’s newly-released Renaissance album without her knowledge. Now, it appears all that hubbub was for nothing as Beyoncé has taken the usage of the song off the album in its entirety.
Per Billboard, the usage of the song appeared on the fifth song on the album, “Energy,” and has now been removed on both Tidal and Apple Music. Subsequently, the move was met with much fanfare online, with many applauding the “Black Parade” singer for removing it outright so as not to further feed into any drama.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Queen Bey has post-audited the album since its release last Friday. As previously reported by The Root, after receiving backlash for her song “Heated —which featured the word “spaz” and was quickly met with disdain from disability advocates who claimed the lyrics were “offensive and ableist,”—the multi-Grammy-winning artist later confirmed in a statement that it would be replaced.
And while those in the community raised a valid point, someone else decided to hop on the bandwagon in an attempt to get Bey to remove or change lyrics from a different song she put out nearly 10 years ago. As EW notes, on Tuesday, Monica Lewisnky (yes, that Monica Lewinksy) sent out a tweet that seemingly suggested that she wanted her name replaced in Beyonce’s 2013 hit song “Partition.”
The particular line in the song, Bey is referring to a man who “Monica Lewisnky’d all on my gown.” However, folks online were quick to call out her hypocrisy, noting that she has “rap song muse” in her Twitter bio while others cited a 2014 Vanity Fair article she wrote in which she thanked Beyoncé for including her on the song but quipped about how it was used incorrectly.
“Miley Cyrus references me in her twerking stage act, Eminem raps about me, and Beyoncé’s latest hit gives me a shout-out. Thanks, Beyoncé,” an excerpt from the article read. “But if we’re verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown,’ not ‘Monica Lewinsky’d.’”
She later clarified that in that moment, she was using humor to deal with “painful or humiliating things” as she often does, and that she had not “directly” reached out to Beyoncé’s camp to have the lyrics officially changed.
Monica aside though, if artists are going to start editing their albums due to some people’s disdain of them, whether warranted or not, they have to be very careful of the slippery slope they may end up embarking on if this becomes precedent. Any person, brand, or entity could then cause an uproar all in an attempt to get lyrics changed and I shouldn’t have to tell you how dangerously close that comes to censorship if that kind of thinking and action gets enacted by the wrong party.
What do you think? Should Beyoncé have removed Kelis’ sample? Should she change her 2013 lyrics and edit out Monica’s name? Let’s chat about it in the comments!