You don’t have to love her…
You don’t even have to like her…
But you will respect her…..
Ms Kelis Rogers is most definitely a BAWSE. Popping out onto the scene back in ’98 with that big curly multicolored afro, screaming into our faces that she hates us! Well she hated that nigga that broke her heart to be more exact. Who would have thought 20 years later we would still be bopping to the “Weird and Crazy Chick” of the 90’s. There are many facets to Kelis, she’s not just a songstress but she’s a fashionista in her own right. No one at the time looked or sounded like Kelis. No one had the balls to scream on a track (and make it work). No black person dared to step out looking like a Punk Rock Star. It was fate that she started her successful journey with The Neptunes. Kelis, Pharrell and Chad were basically those weird kids in high school that would either be cool with everybody or just never spoke and barely came to class. A kismet pairing to say the least. Most of her notable hits came from that marriage but we cant forget about her completely detouring sounds with Fleshtone and Food. Songstress, Fashionista and can you believe it she’s a friggin chef!! Sis graduated from Le Cordon Bleu (I feel like you have to say that in your most posh accent) and produced her own cookbook, a line of sauces, she had a food truck and had her own cooking show! Did I forget anything? Everybody knows she was married to Nas right? I loved the couple together and was so heart broken when it was over, but thats life right?! Ok lets to get to some of my favorite Kelis tracks and moments!
By now you know I dont like to feature the singles or the hits because whats the point? You guys need to know the B-Sides!
Ole’ Dirty Bastard & Kelis – Got Your Money
Y’all shut up I know everybody knows this song but what a lot of people don’t know is that Kelis sings the hook. Most folks just think its a random female studio singer but NOPE its Kelis. She was even in the video with her big golden fro dipped in pink. Rest In Peace to Ole’ Dirt, the best that’s ever done it!
Foxy Brown & Kelis – Candy
I swear I feel like if I didnt grow up around the hood I would have never heard this song or the previous song. Admittedly I am a fan of Fox Boogie Brown although her career is spotty at best. Wait…lemme back up a bit, so like I wouldnt have heard THIS song played a lot because well it wasnt played a lot. You had to be a devoted fan to have had this in your library. By library I mean that big ass cd case that could fit 50 discs and its full of bootlegs and random mixtapes. Like it? Love it? Hate it?
Lets keep the festivities going shall we?
Kelis – In The Morning
An album cut off her Kaleidoscope album written by the trio (Kelis Pharrell and Chad….they needed a name or something lets just call them KPC for now). Such a mellow groove about waiting to spend time with your baby. Wanting to spend time with your baby. MISS YA DAM FLIGHT!!
Fleshtone had to grow on me Im not going to lie. The direction she went with that project completely missed me at the time. I think I was on another frequency. It wasnt until I saw her live in D.C. that I started to appreciate it. One song in particular was Acapella!
Kelis – Acapella
Now heres the thing, that night was the first time I heard the track so Im thinking to myself….yeah I can get with this Samba sound. Its really cute. Then I got home and listened to the original track. Oddly enough it made me fall in love even more with it and opened my ears to the rest of the songs on the album. BUUUUUUUUUT the live “Samba” mix trumps all!
(see my big head next to the flash!!!)
Kelis – Aww Shit
Ever had that one song that you used to test out your car speakers? Well this was mine back when I first started driving. Now usually I dont gravitate towards the songs of a shit talking variety but this track always made me put a little bounce in my walk. I wish there was a video for it.
Now being that I was young I never really paid attention into the politics of the record industry. I was too busy playing double outside during the summer days. So I had no idea that the industry basically played Kelis. The lack of promotion now thinking on it was very evident. I didnt see lot of Kelis but I knew who she was and I always loved what I heard. Case and point her sophomore album Wanderland didn’t even come out in the states. BUT there was one track that I kept getting glimpses of, I kept seeing the tail end of the video. Eventually while watching VH1 Soul I was able to see the video in its entirety and it has stayed in my top 10 Kelis tracks of all time
Kelis – Young Fresh n’ New
It was when I finally sat down and watched the video that I realized being different is ok. Kelis never fit a mold, she never did what the next person did. She was herself at all times and in all occasions. It was the first time I really saw a black person “Rock Out” and I was totally here for it.
Although Kelis was never really a big seller one cannot deny she was the one of the first “Weird Chicks” of the 90’s. She definitely opened the door for other people of color to come out and be their honest selves…..whether they realize it or not. I always said if Grace Jones had a daughter it would without a doubt be Kelis. Allegedly she has new music in the works but we wont know until next year. Im hoping she’s going to continue to experiment with new sounds and new moods but until then I’ll keep rocking to her art with my fist in the air not giving one fuck about what others think.
PS: GET INTO THESE LOOKS!!!