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Rediscovering Kelis

Kelis – 4th Of July (Official Music Video) from house selections on Vimeo.

At last week’s several sold out Robyn/Kelis shows here in NYC, admittedly, I was more excited about the Swedish pop princess than I was about Nas’ baby mama. However, when Kelis took to the stage in glitter disco wig and purple latex body suit I knew I’d be pleasantly surprised.

Kelis has always had a difficult time connecting. She was always a bit too odd for mainstream R&B, even with Nas by her side. Her debut Neptunes’ produced record is a unique bag of tricks and of course “Milkshake,” though tiresome at times and a true novelty, has something undeniably catchy about it. Even now.

So in her live show she played some of her hip-hop hits. And she also covered Madonna and Terrence Trent D’Arby. But it was when she channeled Donna Summer singing the empowering, shimmering disco off her new underselling and underrated album Flesh Tone, that Kelis’ true genius was apparent. “Acapella,” “Brave,” and “4th of July (Fireworks)” should not go unheard. Her breathy delivery against a dance beat is the stuff (gay) dreams are made from.