Last week 2000s pop star Kelis lashed out at Beyoncé and accused the Queen of using an interpolation of her hit single ‘Milkshake’ on her new Renaissance album.
Many people don’t quite understand what an “interpolation” is – so Media Take Out did some research and here’s what we discovered.
- Beyonce’s song “Energy” used an INTERPOLATION, not a sample, of the song “Milkshake” which was performed by Kelis and PRODUCED by The Neptunes.
- Interpolation – An interpolation is whenever a song copies from another composition and interpolates it into a new composition.
- Sampling – Music sampling is the process by which a musician or record producer uses a portion of an existing song in a brand new recording, looping it and layering it with new music in a new context.
- Beyonce did not use any lyrics or Kelis vocals on “Energy”.
- Kelis does not have any credits on “Milkshake” nor does she have a copyright. Kelis has no ownership of “Milkshake”.
- Anyone sampling or interpolating “Milkshake” needs to go to the owners to get clearance.
- The artist who is using the interpolation or sample is not personally getting clearance. Artists have teams that acquire the clearance.
- It is not the standard in the music business to contact a performer who does not have any ownership as a “courtesy”.
- Nobody was obligated to contact Kelis for anything because she had no authority to clear or deny.
- Kelis did not have writing credit on Beyonce’s album — she was listed as a performer of a song that was interpolated. Kelis was never going to get paid from Beyonce’s album
- Kelis called Beyonce’s interpolation “theft” which doesn’t appear to be based in fact. Beyonce’s team went through the proper channels for clearance.
Whatever the case – Beyonce didn’t want the drama and so she removed the 5 second interpolation from her new song “Energy” after Kelis tore into the singer for featuring the hit 2003 song, proclaiming it to be an act of “thievery.”
Bey’s song Energy is still there, but the 5 second snippet sample has been removed.
And Kelis seems to be pretty happy about the removal. Media Take Out looked on Kelis Twitter, and saw this:
It’s been an unexpectedly rocky release week for Beyoncé, who despite receiving rave reviews for her disco-dance album Renaissance, has had a series of hiccups and post-release modifications to songs.
Days before its drop last Friday, the album leaked online — a rare hiccup for the famously buttoned-up artist. Then on Monday, Beyoncé announced she would be removing the word “spaz” from her song “Heated” following backlash from critics who said the word is an ableist slur. (Lizzo similarly removed the word from her song “Grrrls” earlier this summer.)