Following some critique and being called out by people in the disabled community (among others), Beyoncé will change the lyrics in her song “Heated,” which was just released on her Renaissance album.
The word in question is “spaz.” The lyrics are “Spazzin’ on that ass, spazz on that ass.”
Spaz, which is short for “spastic,” is associated with spastic cerebral palsy. Black people use the word spaz, but not in a derogatory way, a slang that has been used for past decades.
In a statement from Beyoncé’s team, the lyrics will be changed.
“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” a statement from Beyoncé’s team reads.
This attention to the word comes weeks after Lizzo was also called out for using the same word, again, not in a slur or being intentionally hurtful.
Lizzo had the word in her song “Grrrls.”
The original lyrics were “Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag/ Do you see this shit? Imma spaz.” She changed it to “Hold my bag, bitch, Hold my bag/ Do you see this shit? Hold me back.”
Before changing the lyric, Lizzo made the following statement:
“It has been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song Grrrls. Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language,” she wrote. “As a fat black woman in America, I have had many hurtful words used against me so I understand the power words can have (whether intentionally, or in my case, unintentionally.)”
The statement from Beyoncé’s team was released Monday morning and as of now, the lyrics remain the same.