Beyoncé Removes Renaissance Lyrics After Outrage: Ableist, Offensive

Beyoncé’s seventh studio album Renaissance debuted on July 29 to critical acclaim, but lyrics in the song Heated left many listeners on social media outraged. The song includes the word “spaz” during a verse in which Beyonce sings, “Spazzin’ on that ass, spazz on that ass.” In the medical field, “spastic” refers to a disability that makes it difficult for a person to use their muscles to control, especially in the arms and legs. This was confirmed by the singing team diversity that the text will be removed.

“The word that is not intentionally used in a harmful manner will be substituted,” Beyoncé’s team said in a statement.

The lyrics have been criticized on social media for being outlandish and offensive, and even inspired an essay published in the Guardian, in which author Hannah Diviney wrote: “Beyoncé’s commitment to musical and visual storytelling is unparalleled, as is her power to capture the attention of the public world to the narratives, struggles, and nuanced life experiences of being a Black woman… But that doesn’t excuse her use of ableist language.

Beyoncé’s decision to remove the ableist text follows Lizzo’s decision to do the same. Lizzo used the same term in her song “Grrrls” from her latest album Special. In the original track, Lizzo sang, “Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag/ Do you see this shit? I’m a sparrow.” In the new version of the song, Lizzo sings, “Hold my bag, bitch, Hold my bag/ Do you see this shit? Hold me back.”

“Let’s get one thing straight: I never wish to encourage derogatory language,” Lizzo wrote on social media announcing the lyrics change. The singer added that she was “proud” to have taken the steps to “listen and take action.”

The outrage over the offensive lyrics is far from the only controversy Beyoncé has had to deal with regarding the release of “Renaissance.” The album leaked online two days before the official release date, and then singer Kelis repeatedly criticized Beyoncé for sampling her 2003 song “Milkshake” without informing her. “That’s not collaboration, that’s stealing,” Kelis said. The singer isn’t a well-known songwriter on “Milkshake,” so it’s unlikely that Beyoncé’s team was contractually obligated to notify Kelis of the rehearsal.

Renaissance is streaming and available to purchase now. Beyoncé Removes Renaissance Lyrics After Outrage: Ableist, Offensive

Charles Jones

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