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KELIS
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PEBBLES



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Her album Wanderland will not be released in the U.S. She'll be re-recording seven songs from those sessions with live instruments for a new album called Amphibious.


Kelis just recently quit smoking weed, a habit she cultivated over the years. "I quit because it became so predictable. It became a lifestyle for me. Everywhere I went, people were like, 'Where's your blunt?'"

Kicking herb is part of Kelis' broader spiritual awakening. Last year, she became a born-again Christian, a tribute of sorts to her father's legacy. Purifying her soul came in concert with purifying her body. She'd already stopped having casual sex before her conversion, largely because she realized that the act involved carrying the burden of another in the most literal way. "Women are receivers," she says. "You actually agree to intake somebody else's being. Every stress or impurity of that guy's day, life, whatever, is now in your body. It takes a lot of energy out of me. I was able to have sex for fun at one point in my life, but then you get older and realize it's exhausting!"

But old-time religion has curbed only Kelis' self-destructive instincts, not her creative ones. During our visit, she opens up her three mega-sized closets to reveal endless racks of pants and tops in blaringly loud colors, rows of shoes in the spirit of Imelda Marcos and a sneaker collection to rival Michael Jordan's. "I used to work at this clothing store and get in trouble because I wore these bizarre motifs of fabric, and now I'm in Vogue for best-accessorized woman!"

In the coming months, Kelis' fashion instincts will be put to a more public test. She's teamed up with vintage-clothing outfit What Comes Around Goes Around on a line of bags made from reconstituted sports jerseys and rawhide belts with braille-embossed buckles bearing messages like "Fuck Me Here" or "Kiss That." Like the woman herself, the bags "take new shit and add old shit and make it even newer shit."

Kneeling in front of her hyper-glitzy limited-edition footwear, Kelis reaches for one particular pair: a set of tattered low-top Chuck Taylors with new shoestrings. On the laces is a motto, repeated ad infinitum: Boys Lie. "It's true," she says.

Wanderland was, by many accounts, a messy affair. Recorded while Kelis was ending a bad relationship, the material sounds raw and untested. "I was going through all these things at the time," she concedes. "I was in love, and I was being treated like shit and allowing myself to be because I felt like there's no one more interesting. I'll date a toad if he has a brain, and this guy is such a smarty-pants. He would play mind games with me. It really fucked me in the head."


The variety doesn't stop there. Panthers is a politically minded five-piece with It's been speculated in industry gossip for the past few years -- and even on Kelis' Web site -- that her romantic partner was none other than Pharrell Williams, the Neptune who's supported her career from the very beginning. Kelis won't say either way. "He's in the spotlight, and everyone loves him. He just totally took for granted the type of person that I am," she continues, "and he would feed off of me because I have a lot to give. I think everybody's looking for someone like them. I need a man who's like me, who's funny and charismatic and talented. It's rare to find all these things, and he has them, except for the fact that he has problems with women."

When asked for comment, Williams is vague: "I don't like to talk about shit like that. I like to talk about positive things. She wants what's best for me, and I want what's best for her. She really deserves to be happy. And I'll say this: She's gonna make someone a happy-ass man someday." When pressed to name names, Kelis demurs. "I can't tell you who it is, but it's definitely someone I still see and spend time with. I spent so much of my life with him, four years, and we're friends. It was hard because I totally loved him and I gave everything, so it was hard for me to pull back. I loved him. I still love him, but I had to be smart."

With an abundance of free time, Kelis is channeling her energies into more fulfilling outlets. She's opening a bakery on 135th Street, to be run by her mother. She's going to get around to reading more of the books on her shelf -- volumes about psychology, art and maintaining the body. She's going to take care of her voice, attending to the vocal-cord problems she's been singing over for the past two years. And she's going to get back to herself.

"It was a good process of, like, a year of me saying, 'I'm not going back, I'm not going back.' I had to stop saying it and just do it," she muses. "But I did it. I'm lonely and whatever, but I'm proud of myself. And that feels really good. I can look at myself and say I am who I say I am, and that's the most important thing for me."

-Article from Papermag Magazine
Thu Jun 06, 2002 11:15 am View user's profile Find all posts by PEBBLES Send private message
Derek



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I'm a die-hard Kelis fan, so I liked [i]Wanderland[/i] anyway. (I ordered it from amazon.com's UK site) But, yeah, it needed more work. Quite a few songs needed the ol' heave-ho. Especially "Digital World". What the hell was that?


My fascination and admiration of the chick ends and begins with her music. Thus far, it's been pretty good (with some of those tracks on [i]Wanderland[/i] being an exception). I don't really care to hear about all her personal shit. Just put out the good music, and I'll be a fan (unless you do something really terrible that I find out about).


But, good for her for making positive changes in her life. Hopefully, her music will reflect that by becoming even better than it has been in the past. Speaking of her music, I wonder what she would sound like on something that is NOT produced by the Neptunes. Kelis, if you can read this, diversify a li'l, hon. Wink
Fri Jun 07, 2002 6:49 am View user's profile Find all posts by Derek Send private message
PEBBLES



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Post Reply with quote
Kelis & Nerd had a show in Ny on the 4th. I didn't find out until it was too
late.
Sun Jun 09, 2002 12:29 am View user's profile Find all posts by PEBBLES Send private message
QTPie



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She's looney, but she has mad flava, I like her style a lot.
Mon Jun 10, 2002 9:35 pm View user's profile Find all posts by QTPie Send private message
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