The top R&B tracks of the year 1999 were “No Scrubs” by TLC and “Bills, Bills, Bills” by Destiny’s Child — and although both songs were pretty frank (and let men know that we may want ’em, but we don’t need ’em), they had nothing on Kelis’ “Caught Out There.”
That moment in history is what set the tone for Kelis’ steez when it comes to music, fashion and even food — when everyone’s going right, she’s going left.
Black girls weren’t socially allowed or expected to do anything alternative back in the late 90’s. But Kelis came along, teamed up with the Neptunes and created sonic fire that some ears still aren’t ready to receive 20 years later. But trust me, if you’re a millennial who believes in the power of freedom, creative expression and YOLO, then you need to get in your Kelis bag.
Most of her old jams still sound young, fresh and new — no pun intended.
You can’t talk about Kelis without mentioning her avant-garde, trendsetting fashion sense. While most stars of her caliber opted for safe, fashionable ensembles, Ms. Rogers often tapped into her extremist nature and gave us a full moment with her wardrobe.
Kelis is proof that the music industry doesn’t have to be the peak of success for all artists. The mom of two has expanded her music empire to the culinary arts, and still managed to make it as eccentric and beautiful as she is.
Word to the wise, let’s give our legends their roses while they’re still alive to smell them.