.

Funk Diva Kelis Gets "Bossy" on New Album

R&B goddess collaborates with Too Short, "the ultimate O.G.," on fourth effort

May 18, 2006 6:11 PM ET

Eclectic R&B singer Kelis -- known for proudly professing her rage on 1999's "Caught Out There" ("I hate you so much right now!") and boasting about her, um, "milkshake" on 2003's Tasty -- is plotting her return this summer. The lady unleashes her fourth album, Kelis Was Here, in August.

The funked-out diva has collaborated with a roster of impressive hip-hop artists in the past, including the late Ol' Dirty Bastard, OutKast, the Neptunes and her hubbie, Nas. But when she was searching for talent for her new single, "Bossy," she wanted to reach into the annals of West Coast rap.

"I did the record, and I thought, 'Who would be perfect for this track? Who's the real boss?' I wanted Too Short, and everybody was saying, 'We can't find him,'" Kelis says of her search for "the ultimate O.G." "No one really supported that move, but when I put him on there everyone thought it was crazy."

Kelis continued to trust her instincts while working on the rest of the album, cross-breeding her diverse inspirations, from old-school R&B to funk punk. "I never do just one thing," she says. "It's from one spectrum to another. It goes from really punk and fun and glam-ish to 1970, Roberta Flack, Chapter 2."

The singer's favorite tracks represent both ends of that spectrum. "'Fire' has, like, a dance-party vibe to it," says Kelis. "But 'Appreciate Me' -- that's a really grown-up, woman's song."

The latter, softer track also finds the feisty performer digging just a bit deeper. "There's a lot of storytelling on the record," she says. "It's just my life."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com