Trauma is like a pair of glasses. Depending on your experience, living with past pain can potentially change the way you see the world entirely and after giving herself the time and space needed to heal, Kelis says that her vision is 20/20.
Kelis, who has claimed that she was swindled out of royalties and abused by her ex, is a happily married business owner who has found peace after trauma, but according to her, solace didn't come until investing in her spiritual health.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, the Masked Singer contestant reflected on how her past relationships, both personally and professionally, have affected her lens on life, one of which she had with her first friend in the industry, Pharrell.
Way before her milkshake brought all the boys of the yard, Kelis was a 19-year-old performing arts school student who believed that she had just stumbled upon an amazing opportunity. The mother-of-two says that when she first met the Neptunes, they developed a friendship that she initially believed to be solid AF. It wasn't until later she learned that friends and money don't always mix:
"I thought it was a beautiful and pure, creative safe space. But it ended up not being that at all."
While being told that she and her two business partners would split her album royalties equally, Kelis said she ultimately learned that she had been "blatantly lied to and tricked" and would not make a penny from the sales her first two albums. While she noticed red flags early on, she chose not to stir the pot with her former label mates because she trusted them, a pattern that she now also sees was reflected in her romantic relationship with Nas:
"The red flags were there. I was really young and didn't know that love isn't enough. It was crazy from the start, but I think as girls we're taught that that's what love is, like you can't breathe without them. What kind of shit is that? I want to breathe!"
While Kelis prides herself on being a private person, she says that walking in her truth has allowed her to find her voice:
"Well, I'm a very private person, and whether it's the stuff with the Neptunes and being assaulted from a business perspective, to then being assaulted in the home, I fought so hard to have my own voice---even with the umbrella of these men looming over what I was trying to do. I'm not broken, but I don't feel like protecting the sanctity of the black man anymore."
Despite her past trauma, Kelis says that she finds peace in knowing that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When asked why she isn't angry about her experiences, she had this to say:
"To be honest with you, I think if it were not for my faith, I feel like that would probably be the case. It's very clear to me, especially being on a farm, that whatever you put in the ground, that is what's going to come back to you."
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