Beyoncé’s latest album “Renaissance” has attracted more controversy — and it’s getting “Heated.”
Lyrics in the song “Heated” contain the word “sp-z,” and the 40-year-old singer has been criticized by disability advocates as being “ableist.”
A rep for the singer on Monday confirmed to People that the lyric will be changed.
“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” a statement said.
This is the second fracas Beyoncé has faced since her eagerly anticipated project was released on Friday. “Milkshake” singer Kelis accused the 28-time Grammy Award-winning pop superstar of “thievery” after the opus was released. She claimed Beyoncé used elements of her 2003 megahit in the song “Energy” without crediting her.
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In the latest flap, Beyoncé sings: “Sp-zzin’ on that a–, sp-zz on that a–,” toward the end of the song, which was co-written by Drake.
In street vernacular and urban street culture, the word “sp-z” is used to describe “going crazy” or ‘freaking out.” It originates from the word “spastic” which is used medically to describe the spasms a person can experience from a condition like cerebral palsy. Merriam Webster defines the word as “of, relating to, characterized by, or affected with or as if with spasm” and “characterized by hypertonic muscles.”
Los Angeles-based political strategist Jasmyne Cannick publicly criticized the double standard of how one word can be considered offensive and immediately removed, while others continue to exist.
“Beyoncé will remove offensive lyric on ‘Renaissance’ after backlash,” she wrote on Twitter, before adding: “I wish we could get some ✌🏾backlash✌🏾 over the use of b–ch, n–a, and h- in lyrics.”
The decision to change the Beyoncé lyric follows Lizzo’s recent decision to change her use of the same word on a song from her new album, “Special.”
In June, the “About Damn Time” singer announced that she reworked her song “GRRRLS,” and stripped out the offending lyric after she learned it was ableist.
“It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song ‘GRRRLS,’ ” she wrote on Twitter. “Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language.”