Fresh from her stint as a contestant on The Masked Singer, Kelis did an interview with The Guardian to discuss a few important topics. The “Trick Me” hitmaker will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of her debut album, Kaleidoscope, with a tour and has admitted that reflecting on that era hasn’t been easy.
Kelis made the record with her then-close friends Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, also known as The Neptunes. She met them through a mutual friend at a performing arts school and decided to start working with the duo. She was 19-years-old at the time and was oblivious to a lot of the politics surrounding the music industry.
“I thought it was a beautiful and pure, creative safe space,” she said.
“But it ended up not being that at all,” Kelis continued.
“I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do.”
Kelis stated that she had been blatantly lied to and tricked by The Neptunes, their managers, and their lawyers. Williams and Hugo also produced her second album, Wanderland.
While the “Caught out There” songstress may have been achieving commercial success worldwide, she wasn’t actually making any money from her first two albums, she alleged. She also expressed that her income only came from touring.
“And just the fact that I wasn’t poor felt like enough,” she recalled.
The singer was allegedly made to feel like it was her fault this all happened because she signed an agreement.
‘Yeah, I signed what I was told, and I was too young and too stupid to double-check it.'”
When she decided to work with other producers on her third studio album, Tasty, she felt they were offended.
As of this writing, Williams and Hugo have yet to comment on their former protege’s statements.
A few years back, Kelis was in the audience of one of Williams’ sets. The “Happy” chart-topper nodded at her from the stage, which made it seem like there was mutual respect. Kelis kept it chill and ended up nodding back — which probably had everyone assume everything was great between the two. However, the singer said she felt the interaction was fake as they are no longer friends and she believes he stole a lot of money from her.
Another thing Kelis has had to face is the purported physical abuse from her ex-husband, Nas. The rapper has continued to deny these allegations since his ex-wife opened up about it in 2018. The “Get Along With You” entertainer left him while seven months pregnant with their son, Knight.
After seeing the photos of Rihanna after Chris Brown allegedly assaulted her in 2009, she realized that she had to get out of the marriage.
“I thought, you know, I can endure a lot, but I’m not prepared to bring someone else into this. So I’m done,” she explained.
Years later, Kelis remarried and had another son, Shepherd. The “Milkshake” songstress now lives on a farm and is in a much better place.