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Kelis & Pharrell Were Rumored To Be Dating When She Says He ‘Lied & Tricked’ Her Into Giving Up Music Credits

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Kelis, Pharrell, Beyoncé

R&B singer Kelis is calling out both Beyoncé and Pharrell for using an interpolation of her 2003 song "Milkshake," which is featured in a song on Beyoncé's new album "Renaissance."

However, this isn't the first time Kelis and Pharrell have had a run-in when it comes to Kelis' music.

In January 2020, while speaking to The Guardian, Kelis claimed she was ripped off by Pharrell and Chad Hugo, also known as The Neptunes, when she released her first two albums.

Both Hugo and Pharrell helped Kelis produce her debut album "Kaleidoscope," which was released in 1999, along with her second studio album "Wanderland," released in 2001.

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However, the singer, who was reportedly in a relationship with Pharrell, claims she made "nothing" from both releases after being "blatantly lied to and tricked."

Did Kelis & Pharrell date?

Though the two have never confirmed the dating rumors, the collaborators were romantically linked before their working relationship went awry. 

After Kelis signed to Virgin Records in 1999, she went on to meet Pharrell for the first time. 

The two eventually started to work on Kelis’ first solo project, which eventually led to Pharrell co-writing and producing Kelis’s debut album, Kaleidoscope. 

According to Contact Music, Kelis and Pharrell reportedly dated for a brief time in 2001, before Pharrell eventually introduced Kelis to rapper Nas. From there, the couple began dating before getting engaged in 2003, later marrying in 2005.

"Pharrell was one of the people who was always like, 'Nas would be perfect for you,'" Kelis said.

However, despite the overwhelming commercial success of her first and second albums, working with both Hugo and Pharrell hadn't been as easygoing as Kelis' originally thought.

Kelis told The Guardian that when she first started working with The Neptunes, she believed it had been a "pure" and "creative safe space" to produce her first album at age 19.

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"It ended up not being that at all," she claimed. "I was told we were going to split the whole thing [by 33%], which we didn’t do."

It took some time before Kelis realized the money she was supposed to have made from her albums had fallen short, mainly because she had money coming in from touring. Though, when she did finally realize, she claims Hugo and Pharrell quickly dismissed her.

“Their argument is: ‘Well, you signed it.’ I’m like: ‘Yeah, I signed what I was told, and I was too young and too stupid to double-check it.’”

Despite all of that, Kelis revealed that she wasn't angry. "To be honest with you, I think if it were not for my faith, I feel like that would probably be the case. It’s very clear to me, especially being on a farm, that whatever you put in the ground, that is what’s going to come back to you,” she told The Guardian.

Her relationship with Pharrell and Hugo turned even sourer after she made her third album "Tasty," deciding to work with a variety of other producers and not just The Neptunes.

"And I could tell they were really offended," the singer claimed.

In the most recent incident where Beyoncé, Pharrell, and Hugo used an interpolation of Kelis' song "Milkshake," which is featured on Beyoncé's song "ENERGY," off her new album, Kelis spoke out, saying," it's not a collab, it's theft."

The singer made the statement in the comment section of a post made by a fan page. “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.”

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.

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