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'That word...will be replaced': Beyoncé, Drake at centre of lyric controversy in 'Renaissance' song 'Heated'

·Contributing Reporter
·4-min read
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As Beyoncé's latest album "Renaissance" continues to climb the charts, a line from her song "Heated" has fans calling out the artist for singing an ableist slur.

In the 11th track, ‘Heated, “I hate that people are also bringing up that they don’t personally think it’s offensive or don’t think it has bad connotations. Cool. But the disabled community, especially those with conditions who’ve had it weaponized against them abusively have disagreed. Listen to them.”

The song uses the word "spaz," to describe "freaking out" or "going crazy." However, the term is considered derogatory towards those with disabilities, as it is used medically to describe spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy. The song is released a month after Lizzo's recent backlash for using the same term on her Album, Special.

Some listeners, including disability advocates, are unhappy with "Heated."

Hannah Diviney, a disability advocate, took to Twitter and wrote, "So @Beyonce used the word 'spaz' in her new song Heated. Feels like a slap in the face to me, the disabled community & the progress we tried to make with Lizzo. Guess I'll just keep telling the whole industry to 'do better' until ableist slurs disappear from music"

Many others were not happy with the ableist slur either.

Another Twitter user wrote, “I hate that people are also bringing up that they don’t personally think it’s offensive or don’t think it has bad connotations. Cool. But the disabled community, especially those with conditions who’ve had it weaponised against them abusively have disagreed. Listen to them.”

One listener took to Twitter in defense of the singer, arguing that ‘Heated’ was likely finalized before Lizzo's 'Grrls' was released.

“I promise you, that just because she is Beyoncé, doesn't mean she can move mountains. There are a lot of livelihoods involved in manufacturing physical releases, even more so when there's a vinyl release.,” the Twitter user concluded.

Following the controversy, Beyoncé’s team confirmed to Variety that the ableist slur will be removed from ‘Heated,’ and will be replaced with “Blastin’ on that a—, blast on that a—.”

“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” a statement from Beyoncé’s team reads.

Beyoncé fans, also known as the Beyhive thanked Beyoncé for taking action and removing the slur.

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