Kelis Gets Bossy


By Dave Hughes

In Out's June issue we caught up with Kelis in the studio while she put the finishing touches on her new album, Kelis Was Here, due out June 13. Here's the rest of the interview.

Is your new glammed-up image reflected in the music on Kelis Was Here?
I don't know that it's necessarily a new glammed-up image. I don't go out very much and people don't often get to see this side of me, but fashion has always been a huge part of my world. I wanted to bring that forward. I'm older now, so I hope that this album is more sophisticated, but still young and fun.

Kanye West recently denounced homophobia in hip hop. Where do you stand on the issue?
I don't really have a stand on homophobia in particular, aside from thinking that any phobia of people is wrong.

Is it difficult to sing with a grille in your mouth?
It depends. If the grille is done properly, it's easy to speak and sing with it in. For two years I was wearing it all the time, but if you stop wearing it, it takes a little time to remember how to speak with it in.

Who are the producers you've been working with for this album?
Will.I.Am, Linda Perry, Raphael Sadiq, Cee-Lo' No Neptunes, though, because I'm not on Star Trak anymore.

Too Short is on 'Bossy.' Who are some of the other guests on the record?
Will.I.Am and Cee-lo, who I worked with, are on there, but I'm not big on featuring other people on my records, because it's my time to shine. You only have 12 songs to tell a complete story, so you have to maintain your focus. When you write a diary, you don't have someone else write pieces in there too.

Do you boss your husband, Nas, around?
People are getting that a little confused. 'Bossy' is not about bossing someone around. It's about being my own boss.

So you didn't tell Nas to get that tattoo [of Kelis, naked, on his arm]?
No, absolutely not, that was all him.