The BeyHive (and much of the music Twitter) took over songwriter Diane Warren’s account on Monday after she asked, “How can there be 24 authors on a song?” accompanied by rolling eyes emoji. The tweet referenced Beyoncé’s credits Renaissance standout, “Alien Superstar”, which has the same number of credited writers.
Aside from some pointed answers about him age and a red carpet Moment with Mariah Carey that clearly stung (no pun intended BeyHive), what resulted from Warren’s shadow — intentional or not — was a public education about the history of black music, the art of collaboration, and why the concept of artistic brilliance being a strictly solo business is a “white idea, capitalist, patriarchal.”
“I meant no disrespect with my tweet. I love Beyoncé’s new album,” Warren said. rolling stone. “She’s an incredible groundbreaking artist that I’ve worked with and admire immensely.”
She adds, “Every collaborator who worked on this record should be celebrated.”
At first, replies to Warren’s initial tweet called out the veteran songwriter — who worked on Beyoncé’s “I Was Here” — for not understanding how sampling and credit work. Warren would respond that, despite his eye-rolling emoji, his tweet was “not meant as shadow» and that she understood that «these are prob samples that add up» the number of writers.
But, like the number of songwriters credited to Beyoncé’s song, replies to her tweet also started piling up. And hours later, after arguing with stan accounts, Warren tweeted: “I meant no disrespect to @Beyonce, who I have worked with and admire. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding .
Ok, I didn’t mean to disrespect @Beyonce, with whom I have worked and whom I admire. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding
— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) August 1, 2022
You mean how did our (black) culture have so many writers well it started because we couldn’t afford certain things initially so we started sampling and it became a form of art, an important part of black culture (hip hop) in America. If that time hadn’t arrived, who knows. You’re okay ?
— THE-DREAM MUSIC ICON (@TheKingDream) August 1, 2022
But Twitter didn’t have it. And neither are some black creatives – including RenaissanceThe-Dream’s co-lead writer – who found a problem with what he felt was a direct attack on Beyoncé.
“You mean [how] does our (black) culture have so many writers,” The-Dream replied. “Well, it started because we couldn’t afford certain things initially, so we started sampling and it became an art form, a big part of black (hip hop) culture in America. . If that time hadn’t happened[ed], who knows. How are you ?”
He then challenged her to a one-on-one writing contest, saying she “wouldn’t want that smoke” if it came from it. “You know I love you, but come on,” The-Dream wrote. “Stop pretending your records haven’t been sampled.”
Warren admitted to not knowing the history of sampling black music, write to The-Dream“I didn’t mean that as an attack or disrespect. I didn’t know that, thanks for letting me know. No need to be mean about it.
The Twitter uproar also led Raquel Willis, activist and former editor of Our magazineto tweet a thread about the art of collaboration, a skill, she says, “many can’t master.”
“It’s a white, capitalist, patriarchal idea that genius only happens in isolation,” Willis wrote. “We see what happens when people feel their work has been lifted without proper credit.”
We see what happens when people feel their work has been lifted without proper credit. We should be as transparent as possible about all the forces involved in what we are creating and when we are not, it may mean that we are not as competent as we think.
—Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) August 1, 2022
She then opened up about the pushback Beyoncé faced from Kelis, who accused the singer of sampling “Milkshake” without permission. “We should be as transparent as possible about all of the forces involved in what we are creating and when we’re not, maybe that means we’re not as competent as we think we are,” Willis wrote. “And, of course, proper credit should always be accompanied by proper compensation.”
Meanwhile, journalist Monique Judge created a Twitter thread criticizing some users’ approach to trying to come out for Warren, in particular her lack of Oscar wins despite numerous nominations.
“People tell her that since she’s priceless, her work isn’t great. It’s a lie, and it contradicts the argument you like to make for your favorite black artists who also don’t have awards,” The judge wrote. “You guys are really mean #OnHere most of the time. Like, was Diane spicy? Probably. But did that justify all of this? Probably not.”
you are really mean #Here most of the time.
— first of all, bitch, … (@thejournalista) August 1, 2022
Regardless of Warren’s intentionality and comment on whether the number of songwriters diminishes the value of good, one thing is certain: Renaissance is a damn good album.
As rolling stone critic Will Dukes said, “Beyoncé is more accessible than ever, giving listeners all the anthems and sultry slaps we love and expect from her, proving that inclusiveness is the new black.”
As for the people credited with writing “Alien Superstar”, they are: Beyoncé, Honey Redmond, Christopher Lawrence Penny, Luke Francis Matthew Solomon, Denisia Andrews, Brittany Coney, S. Carter, David Debrandon Brown, Dave Hamelin, Timothy Lee Mckenzie, Danielle Balbuena, Rami Yacoub, Leven Kali, Atia Boggs P/k/a Ink, Levar Coppin, Saliou Diagne, Mike Dean, Robert Francis Anthony Manzoli, Richard Peter John Fairbrass, Christopher Abbott Bernard Fairbrass, John Michael Holiday, Barbara Ann Teer, Kim Cooper and Peter Rauhofer.