Taking a cue from Lizzo, Beyoncé will remove offensive word “spaz” from Renaissance track “Heated” after ableist backlash.
One “Heated” lyric left Beyoncé fans offended after the July 29 release of her seventh album Renaissance. On 11th track “Heated,” while rapping in Jamaican patois, Bey included the word “spaz” during a verse where she rhymes “Spazzin’ on that ass, spazz on that ass.” Along with Bey, “Heated” was produced by Boi-1da, Jahaan Sweet, Neenyo and Sevn Thomas. Following the album’s release, some Renaissance listeners took to social media with their thoughts on “Heated.”
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 ?
— Hannah Diviney (@hannah_diviney) July 30, 2022
New Beyoncé so good. But from my perspective I still would appreciate if artists stop using spaz as a synonym for crazy. While it’s undeniable that AAVE can only be understood by Black people I worry about its mainstream implications
— caden (@legzflynn) July 29, 2022
I find it funny (weird) that Beyoncé also used the word spaz/spazzin on “Heated” and I’ve only seen a pinch of a drop in the bucket compared to what Lizzo got when she made the mistake.
— Katherine C. Gilyard (@K__Gilyard) July 31, 2022
— Mike Smith (@mikedgsmith) August 1, 2022
The ableist word “spaz,” short for ‘spastic,” refers to spastic diplegia, a condition that affects motor control in the arms and legs and occasionally associated with mild brain damage.
Since the “Heated” outrage, the singer’s team has confirmed that the lyric will be removed.
“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” a statement from Beyoncé’s team reads. “The road to success is always under construction.”
Like Bey, in June, Special artist Lizzo changed the lyric to her song “Grrrls” which also contained the word ‘spaz.’
“Let’s make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language,” Lizzo wrote on social media during her lyric change announcement. “As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had many hateful words used against me so I understand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case unintentionally). I’m proud to say there’s a new version of GRRRLS with a lyric change.”