Queen Bey said no, not today, chile.
Beyonce has been in the headlines over RENAISSANCE samples again, after 90s band Right Said Fred claimed she didn’t ask permission before sampling their 1992 song, “I’m Too Sexy”, on “Alien Superstar.”
The British brother duo of Richard and Fred Fairbrass reportedly told The Sun that “normally the artist approaches us, but Beyoncé didn’t because she’s such an arrogant person.”
Right Said Fred‘s two members have attracted attention in recent years, only for their anti-mask and anti-lockdown comments, as well as supporting some right-leaning news outlets and wading into the online debate around trans rights.
In a tweet shared in June, they posted a Daily Wire article, captioned: “The war on women continues, I’m sick to death of this bs”.
Speaking to The Sun about the Beyonce sample, the two reportedly said:
“She just probably thought, ‘Come and get me,’ so we heard about it after the fact.”
“But everyone else, Drake and Taylor Swift, the came to us,” they added, referencing Drake’s usage of the song in his 2021 song Way 2 Sexy and Taylor Swift’s with her 2017 single Look What You Made Me Do.
“To use our melody, they need our permission, so they send us the demo and we approve it, and if so, we get a co-write credit. With this Beyoncé thing, there are 22 writers. It’s ridiculous.”
As the internet began debating Right Said Fred’s comments, Beyonce was pretty quick to get ahead of the rumormill.
And they didn’t stutter in the reply:
“Permission was asked of their publisher on [11 May] 2022 and the publisher approved the use on [15 June] 2022. They were paid for the usage in August 2022. Furthermore, the copyright percentage of the Right Said Fred writers with respect to the use of I’m Too Sexy is a substantial portion of the composition.”
“Permission was not only granted for its use, but they publicly spoke of their gratitude for being on the album,” Beyoncé’s people told E! News in a statement on Thursday (October 7).
“For their song, there was no sound recording use, only the composition was utilized. Permission was asked of their publisher on May 11, 2022 and the publisher approved the use on June 15, 2022.”
Then adding, “They were paid for the usage in August, 2022.”
In fact, days before the album dropped, the duo tweeted, “it’s nice to get a writing credit on the new ‘Beyonce’ album. ‘Renaissance’ Credits: Drake, A.G. Cook, Syd, Right Said Fred, & More.”
— Right Said Fred (@TheFreds) July 22, 2022
Which seems somewhat of a contrast to what they are saying now:
— Right Said Fred (@TheFreds) October 5, 2022
Of course, it’s not the first bit of controversy to hit the record.
Shortly after it dropped, singer Kelis accused Beyoncé – along with Pharrell Williams – of thievery after discovering that “Energy”, featuring Jamaican-American rapper and producer BEAM, includes an interpolation (interpolating differs from sampling by tweaking a portion of an existing song for a new sound, whereas a sample lifts directly from a track) of Kelis’ 2003 signature hit “Milkshake”.
Kelis called Beyonce and Pharrell out, and subsequently received a fair bit of backlash online for doing so.
The war on women continues, I’m sick to death of this bs. Outrage As Trans Woman, 29, Defeats 13-Year-Old Girl In NYC Skateboarding Championship | The Daily Wire https://t.co/8rj1IMEcQS
— Right Said Fred (@TheFreds) June 27, 2022