The controversy over Beyoncé’s hit song “Drunk in Love,” off her self-titled album, has gone international. Bang Radio, a British radio station, is airing only an edited version of the song that features her husband Jay Z, the station announced this week.
“The lyrics controversially imitate a scene of severe domestic violence," CEO Jennifer Ogole said in a statement, referring to Beyoncé’s “Anna Mae” lines. The sexually charged song has been making people talk, primarily due to Jay Z’s rap verse referencing the violent relationship between Ike and Tina Turner. Ike was a musician who famously beat and abused his superstar wife throughout their relationship. A 1993 film was made about the saga, taking the title of Tina Turner's hit “What’s Love Got to Do with It.”
In one scene, Tina, whose real name is Anna Mae, is basking in her success after her first single is played on the radio. She enters a restaurant with a girlfriend to meet up with Ike, who has a cake for her. She does not want the cake, and instead of being OK with that, Ike shoves the cake in her face, yelling, “Eat the cake, Anna Mae.” He then proceeds to slap Tina’s friend across the face when she tries to defend her. “You are dead if you stay with him,” the friend says as she leaves the restaurant.
On Jay Z’s verse in “Drunk in Love,” he raps: “I’m Ike Turner, turn up/Baby know I don’t play, now eat the cake, Anna Mae/Said ‘Eat the cake, Anna Mae!” In the music video, Beyoncé mouths the lyrics as her husband raps them.
In defense of changing the lyrics for Bang Radio, Ogole went on to say, "We believe in the unity of women and music and in no way condone violence, domestic or otherwise, especially not through the power of music.
Therefore, the decision has been made to wipe the stated lyrics from the song ... Respectful of what our audience [wants] to hear on Bang Radio, we feel this is the right action to take in regards to the controversial lyrics of the song and we will continue to serve in social equality for people through music and content on our station."