Kelis: The Original Bad B*tch


Crossing over from R&B to pop/techno (was she ever really R&B?)? Check. Cutting off all her hair, going from a bob to a crop? Check. Dressing crazy and rocking unheard of designers? Check. Using rock beats and slaying them with technically R&B vocals? Check. Since 1999 (when her Kaleidoscope album dropped) Kelis‘ style and sound has become synonymous with outright rebellion, edge, and color crazy. Her anomalous sense of fashion caught the attention of spectators and skeptics alike. No matter which side of the fence you were on, you couldn’t help but watch:

Whether her hair was big & curly, with every color of the rainbow, or whether it was the post-“Bossy” short cut, ranging in an assortment of colors, she was always 12 steps ahead of the game:

Can’t think of any Hollywood chickadee that has fearlessly toyed with as many looks as she has. Serving us her fair share of “WTF?!” moments, you have to respect her truculent unwillingness to not conform to what was of the moment or made good business sense at the time. And as far as her style game goes, everything Rihanna is, Kelis was first.

Whether it’s the exposed bra, the caged look, funky architecutre, mixing & matching fabrics, or layering colors that normally don’t go, her style has always been unapolegetically bold and eccentric. Being in a league of her own has been a good and a bad thing for the bad ass rockstar, IMO, Kelis was way ahead of her time. Everything that is being done, the type of music that is topping the charts, Kelis was always making (in collaboration with The Neptunes of course). She was swirving in & out of lanes while everyone was impatiently honking their horn, trying to get her slow down and look long enough so they could point her in a one-way lane. She wasn’t having it.

Kelis is one of the only people I credit for originality. In  a world where A&R exec’s, air tight PR teams and over-paid glam squad’s dictate who you are, how you look and how you conduct yourself, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle and buffle, and everything you promised yourself you would never do, you’re doing. Despite sub-par record sales, and pressure from her label(s) to do what black girls at the time were doing (R&B with a splash of Pop), she continued to be Kelis Rogers- born and raised in Harlem, never gon’ change.

So in celebration of her new single that she just dropped, “Acapella”, here’s an air toast to the original bad b*tch! Glad to have you back! You can check out her new single “Acapella” on her official site or here on YouTube, if her site link doesn’t work [that site has went down due to too much incoming traffic].

Before you, my whole life was acapella/now a symphony is the only song to sing

3 Responses to “Kelis: The Original Bad B*tch”

  1. 1 youngsuccessfulsociety

    YUP! She’s def the original. I love her!

  2. 2 Ren

    i effin love this woman. not really feelin the new hair but if anyone can pull it off it’s her!

  3. 3 Timbra

    i applaud you on recognizing Kelis.. the original bad beeotch! i loved her waaaayyy before Rihanna. Everyone slept on her after she went off and married Mr. Nasir, but you are definetly right about her never changing originality 🙂
    ooh and p.s. i love love LOOOVVVEEE this site!

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