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What Is Erykah Badu’s Beef With Beyoncé?

Billboard/Getty, Kevin Mazur/Getty
Billboard/Getty, Kevin Mazur/Getty

Erykah Badu has poked the BeyHive once again.

The Love of My Life singer took to Instagram on Wednesday to post a photo of Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter cover art, captioning it only, “Hmmm.” The newly released image shows Beyoncé wearing only a sash featuring her mother’s maiden name, Beyincé, as she rocks a beaded braids look.

Badu’s cryptic comment was instantly taken as more shade from the R&B legend, who’s been known to wear beaded braids in some of her most iconic looks. The response was swift, with Beyoncé’s notoriously protective fan “hive” immediately rushing to shade Badu in retaliation for the comment.

Beyoncé’s publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, chimed in with her own subtle response on Wednesday when she posted a video compilation of Beyoncé incorporating braided styles in many of her looks throughout the years. She captioned her post, “She slays. She slays. Now. Then. Always. act ii COWBOY CARTER 3.29 #criticswithoutcredentials.”

This wasn’t the first time Badu seemed to imply that Beyoncé was copying her. Back in July, Badu posted a photo of Beyoncé wearing a wide-brimmed chrome hat during her Renaissance tour, which Badu had previously worn at the official Met Gala after-party and called her “fave chrome mirror hat.” Badu shared a photo of herself wearing the hat next to a photo of a Bey wearing hers, with the caption, “I guess I'm everybody’s stylist.”

Beyoncé didn’t directly address the hat comment at the time, but during a concert just days later, she name-checked Badu while performing “Break My Soul (The Queens Remix).” Instead of singing the usual lyrics, where Bey acknowledges “Badu, Lizzo, Kelly Rowl,” she changed it to “Badu, Badu, Badu, Badu.” Her cryptic emphasis of Badu’s name was interpreted as both shade and admiration for the musician.

This time around, Badu was clearly feeling the heat after her comments about the Cowboy Carter artwork, as she took to Twitter to summon Jay-Z for help: “To Jay Z . Say somethin Jay. You gone let this woman and these bees do this to me ??” she posted.

Despite this apparent beef, there hasn’t always been animosity between the two Houston natives. Badu praised Beyoncé’s lyricism on Lemonade in 2016, tweeting, “Bey tapping into that ‘artsy poetic’ market. Texas GOLD.” Badu also attended Beyoncé’s Formation Tour that year, and has shared photos of the two stars hanging out together.

As for Beyoncé, she’s expressed admiration for Badu in the past, the most blatant example being her aforementioned inclusion of the singer on the celebratory “Break My Soul (The Queens Remix).” But whether or not her patience is running out with Badu’s shady comments is still anyone’s guess. And judging by Bey’s typical unwillingness to engage with her haters (besides the Country Music Awards, apparently), we might never know for sure.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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