Beyoncé Has Been Called Out For Ableism In New Track ‘Heated’

Beyoncé has also been called out for sampling Kelis' music without permission.


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Just six weeks after Lizzo apologised and removed an ableist slur from her track ‘Grrrls’, Beyoncé has been called out for using the same word one in of the tracks on her new album Renaissance.

In the album — released on Friday — Beyoncé repeated the same slur twice in her new track ‘Heated’, co-written by Canadian rapper Drake. The track’s release comes just six weeks after disability advocates called out Lizzo for the lyrics, quickly prompted the artist to re-release the song sans-slur and apologise for promoting the derogatory language.

“I’m proud to say there’s a new version of GRRRLS with a lyric change,” Lizzo announced back in June. “This is the result of me listening and taking action.

“As an influential artist I’m dedicated to being a part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.”

But despite the Lizzo story making headlines across the globe in major outlets like The Washington Post, New York Times and the BBC, Beyoncé has not followed Lizzo’s lead.

Social media users have been quick to call out Beyonce’s use of the slur, asserting that if Lizzo could hold herself accountable and change the lyric, Beyoncé should too.

It is, however, worth noting that the backlash to both Beyoncé and Lizzo’s use of the word has sparked discussion regarding the word and its use in AAVE. A broader conversation must be had here to ensure that music can be expressive and inclusive to all, but it is important that Black disabled people’s voices are at the centre of that discussion.

The backlash is the second time Beyoncé has been called out in relation to the new album, after Kelis — of ‘Milkshake’ fame — criticised her for sampling the hit song on her track ‘Energy’ without permission. 

“My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding. I heard about this the same way everyone else did. Nothing is ever as it seems , some of the people in this business have no soul or integrity and they have everyone fooled,” said Kelis, adding that “it’s not a collab, it’s theft.”

Beyoncé is yet to respond to the criticism.