It’s been an absolutely exhausting week for the Beyhive. In the five days since their queen, the one and only Beyoncé, released Renaissance, the fandom has fielded an onslaught of critique — some warranted, some petty — regarding the virtually perfect album.
Between swatting down leaks, swarming Diane Warren, and stinging Monica Lewinsky, the Beyhive has been hard at work defending the honor of their leader and her latest outing in aural bliss. (Busy bees, do you need anything? Snacks? Water?)
For those unfamiliar with the trials and tribulations of being a Beyoncé fan, dig in — here’s everything that’s gone down since Renaissance dropped.
On July 27, two days before the album’s official release, Renaissance (inevitably) leaked. As MP3s proliferated across social media, the Beyhive was put on red alert, reporting posts containing the illicit audio and encouraging other fans to do the same.
Their hard work didn’t go unnoticed. On release day, Beyoncé thanked her loyal followers in an Instagram post.
“So, the album leaked and you all actually waited until the proper release time so you all can enjoy it together,” she wrote. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I can’t thank y’all enough for your love and protection. I appreciate you for calling out anyone that was trying to sneak into the club early. It means the world to me.”
On August 1, a representative for Beyoncé confirmed that the artist will remove an ableist slur used in the song “Heated.”
The decision came days after fans and disability advocates voiced their totally understandable disappointment with Bey’s use of “spaz,” derogatory slang for spastic. Lizzo used the same word — and promptly removed it — from “Grrrls” in June.
“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” a rep told The New York Times.
Songwriter Diane Warren decided to throw shade — and subsequently deny the shade thrown — at “Alien Superstar,” a crown jewel of a track.
“How can there be 24 writers on a song?” she tweeted, adding the clearly sassy eye-roll emoji to her pointed question. “This isn’t meant as shade, I’m just curious,” she followed up in a separate post.
The Beyhive quickly schooled Warren on the fact that Beyoncé’s recordings often sample other songs— so, for example, if Bey samples five songs, she must credit the writers of all five of those songs.
Warren subsequently apologized.
Another random celebrity to come out of the woodwork post-Renaissance, Monica Lewinsky asked Beyoncé to remove her name from “Partition,” her 2013 hit that contains the lyrics: “He Monica Lewinsky’d all on my gown.”
To be fair, Lewinsky previously took issue with the song in a 2014 Vanity Fair essay:
“Thanks, Beyoncé. But if we’re verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown,” she wrote.
Has Lewinsky been the undeserving target of harassment and vitriol? Absolutely. Is Bey going to change “Partition?” Probably not.
On August 2, Beyoncé removed an interpolation of Kelis’ “Milkshake” from “Energy,” the fifth track off Renaissance.
The edit came after Kelis called out Bey for failing to credit her on the song and notify her of the interpolation beforehand. Beyoncé’s omission of Kelis is likely a technicality, as she is not an official writer or producer of “Milkshake” — her Neptunes collaborators, Pharrell and Chad Hugo, are.
“My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding,” Kelis commented from the official account for her company, Bounty & Full, on a fan post announcing the artist’s now-removed sample on Renaissance. “It’s not a collab it’s theft,” she wrote in a second comment.