According to reports, the lyric that received backlash was “Spazzin’ on that ass, spazz on that ass,” with the term “spaz” colloquially used to describe someone who throws a fit and loses physical or emotional control. However, as the word stems from “spastic,” it is looked at as a derogatory term for people suffering from spastic cerebral palsy — a disorder that affects a person’s ability to control their muscles, particularly in their arms and legs.
Bey’s reps told CNN that the lyric will be changed and that “the word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced.” A release date for the new version of the track, which was co-written by Drake, was not announced.
In mid-June, Lizzo also faced backlash for using the same word on her track “Grrls” and she quickly released a statement announcing that she will be changing the lyric. “Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language,” she shared. “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. This is the result of me listening and taking action. As an influential artist I’m dedicated to being a part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.”
Elsewhere in music, Drake had to postpone the Young Money reunion after he tested positive COVID-19.