The beast has again awakened within Kelis regarding her longstanding beef with Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes. The chart-topping singer and songwriter has taken to her social media with a lengthy rant full of claims against the acclaimed producers as she’s been “triggered.” In addition, Kelis is calling Pharrell, a “Happy thief.”
Kelis became very upset upon learning that her 2000 single, “Get Along With You,” was included on Beyonce’s upcoming seventh studio album Renaissance on the song “Energy.” In a video uploaded to her Instagram page, the singer said she was alerted of the news like the rest of the general public. Usually, those involved in a song’s creation are informed if their music will be sampled in an artist’s upcoming work. However, Kelis is noticeably missing on the single’s credits as a writer or producer. In addition, the singer only appears on three of the album’s 14 songs, which were all produced and written by Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo.
According to an MTV report, Kelis met the production duo in 1996. From there, they developed incredible chemistry that ultimately led to many iconic creations for years to come. Together, Kelis and The Neptunes crafted multiple records, including her first three albums. Kelis’s 2003 single “Milkshake,” written and produced by Pharrell and Chad, became a worldwide smash. But when Kelis’s fourth album, Kelis Was Here, was released in 2006, The Neptunes were nowhere to be found in the album’s credits. Additionally, the singer’s follow-up albums did not include contributions from the production duo.
Kelis’s latest succession of Instagram videos details that her relationship with The Neptunes is in terrible shape and that their beef has very much reawakened. In one video, she highlights that numerous “lies have been told” about her career and that she’s also had her publishing stolen. Regarding The Neptunes, she calls Chad Hugo an “amoeba” and says he’s “spineless.” But most of her issues are directed at Pharrell Williams. In addition to claims that many of her rights were taken from her in the past. Kelis states that this particular instance is a “direct hit” by Pharrell. “Pharrell knows better,” said Kelis. She went on to note that the producer repeatedly offends her in this manner and stresses that it’s “petty.”
Kelis continues her barrage on Pharrell and states that him allowing “Get Along With You” to be sampled is a “passive-aggressive” move and feels incredibly disrespected by the producer. But the singer wasn’t done. In another video, Kelis returned with more fire for Pharrell Williams. She highlights a past video clip where the Neptunes producer spoke about protecting artist rights. But in contrast, Kelis details their experience where she reveals alleged shady practices. In addition, she stated that even though Pharrell was credited for her songs, he’s “never written a song or lyric a day in his life.”
Further in her rant, Kelis mocks Pharrell’s worldwide smash “Happy,” stating that she would be as well if she was “stealing” publishing rights and anything rightfully owned by the songwriter or producer. However, she clarifies that she “wouldn’t be happy because that’s evil.” In the caption, Kelis notes, “I am a creator, I’m an innovator, I have done more [than] left my mark on an era of music and style that will go down in history.” And after years of holding back, she promises to take legal action for all that’s owed to her. “I want reparations,” declared Kelis.
This isn’t the first time the singer has aired Pharrell Williams out. Kelis interviewed with The Guardian to commemorate her debut album’s 20th anniversary and revealed that although her initial thoughts of working with The Neptunes were of a “beautiful and pure, creative safe space,” that dynamic soon changed. Kelis shared that instead of what she thought would be a fair split between all parties, she was “blatantly lied to and tricked” by The Neptunes and their team. She eventually came to notice that although she’d been making money from touring, she was receiving no income from her first two albums. This would be the first time Kelis publicly spoke about her issues with the producer.