Beyonce’s new album Renaissance is receiving flak for some of the wordplay used, but now her past song “Partition” is being targeted by Monica Lewinsky.
.Just days after R&B singer Kelis accused Jay-Z’s wife and producers The Neptunes of theft for sampling her 2003 hit “Milkshake” without notifying her, Beyoncé has now removed an interpolation of the track from her song “Energy” on the music streaming service TIDAL.
“Energy,” co-produced with Skrillex, Al Cres, BEAM and Nova Wav, did not feature Kelis in the songwriting and production credits. However, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes are credited. Kelis is also not credited as a songwriter or producer on 2003’s “Milkshake.”
“The reality is that my real beef, is not only with Beyoncé, because at the end of the day, she sampled a record, she’s copied me before, so have many artists, it’s fine, I don’t care about that,” Kelis said in her video. However, she added it would have been “common decency” if Beyoncé had informed her of using the sample beforehand.
NOT BEYONCÉ GETTING RID OF THE SAMPLE AND REMOVING KELIS’ NAME FROM THE CREDITS!!! pic.twitter.com/JGe58Qpje3
— Eva Styles (@MissEvaStyles) August 2, 2022
On the track, co-written by Drake, Beyoncé sings the line: “Spazzin’ on that ass, spazz on that ass.”
Although the word “spaz” is often used colloquially to describe “freaking out” or “going crazy,” it is derived from the word “spastic,” which is considered demeaning to people with spastic cerebral palsy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) the disorder affects a person’s ability to control their muscles, especially in their arms and legs.”
“So @Beyonce used the word ‘sp**’ in her new song ‘Heated’. Feels like a slap in the face to me, the disabled community and the progress we tried to make with Lizzo,” disability advocate Hannah Diviney wrote on Twitter.
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“Guess I’ll just keep telling the whole industry to ‘do better’ until ableist slurs disappear from music.”
Another commentator tweeted: “Screw you @Beyonce. You should be a role model, not making money from the lazy use of derogatory language. Shame on you.”
Representatives for Beyoncé confirmed on Monday that the lyric would be removed, telling CNN in a statement that “the word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced.”
“Partition,” the third single from Beyoncé’s self titled fifth studio album, features Lewinsky’s name towards the end of the track’s first verse: “Oh, me so horny, yeah, he want to f–k/ He popped all my buttons, and he ripped my blouse/ He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown,” Bey sings on the sultry R&B track.
A Twitter user then asked Lewinsky, “Have you reached out to Beyoncé or her team before you saw all the heat? I am curious.” Lewinsky replied, “No, I haven’t. I did mention it in the first vanity fair article I wrote in 2014… which was the first public thing I’d done in 10 years. but you make an interesting/fair point…”
“Now my mascara running, red lipstick smudged
Oh he so horny, he want to fuck
He popped all my buttons, and he ripped my blouse
He Monica Lewinski’d all on my gown”
The 49-year-old — who infamously had an affair with former President Bill Clinton while working at the White House in 1995 and 1996 — very briefly referenced the line in “Partition” in her 2014 Vanity Fair feature and said, “Thanks, Beyoncé, but if we’re verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown,’ not ‘Monica Lewinsky’d.’”
While Beyoncé’s team has yet to comment on Lewinsky’s request.
See Lewinsky’s tweets below.
uhmm, while we’re at it… #Partition
Beyoncé to Remove Renaissance Lyric After Outrage: Ableist, Offensive – Variety https://t.co/DzN80FdzPB
— Monica Lewinsky (she/her) (@MonicaLewinsky) August 1, 2022
no, i haven’t. i did mention it in the first vanity fair article i wrote in 2014… which was the first public thing i’d done in 10 years. but you make an interesting/fair point…
— Monica Lewinsky (she/her) (@MonicaLewinsky) August 2, 2022