Kelis broke into the music industry on the strength of her connection with the recently-reunited production duo, The Neptunes, but that relationship is now strained. The singer and chef shared in a new interview that she was stiffed out of money due to her from her time with The Neptunes and shared other details of her life.
Sitting down with The Guardian, Kelis, 40, opens up about uprooting from Los Angeles after realizing she no longer enjoyed the bustling city outside of her duties as an entertainer and decided to move well over two hours away to a 24-acre farm with her husband and two sons. The interview opens with her duties on the farm while aiming to open a restaurant but the conversation was mostly centered on the 20th anniversary of her debut album, Kaleidoscope, which was released in December 1999.
A portion of the interview that turned heads on Twitter was the fact that Kelis claims Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo promised a 33/33/33 split of profits but that it never materialized.
From The Guardian:
“I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do,” she says. Instead, she says, she was “blatantly lied to and tricked”, pointing specifically to “the Neptunes and their management and their lawyers and all that stuff”. As a result, she says she made nothing from sales of her first two albums, which were produced by the Neptunes. But she did not notice for a few years, because she was making money from touring, “and just the fact that I wasn’t poor felt like enough”, she says. She sighs: “Their argument is: ‘Well, you signed it.’ I’m like: ‘Yeah, I signed what I was told, and I was too young and too stupid to double-check it.’” (Pharrell and Hugo did not respond to repeated requests for comment.)
And they were your friends so you trusted them, I say.
“Yeah, it’s amazing,” she shrugs.
On Twitter, folks have been chiming in about the allegations that The Neptunes froze out Kelis from earning promised money from her recordings. She also goes into great lengths about her former marriage to Nas and the physical abuse she allegedly said she suffered while with him. The two are parents to Kelis’ oldest son, Knight, who lives at the California farm as well.
In case anyone thinks Kelis will work with Pharrell, think again. The article clearly highlights that it would take a miracle for that to happen.
Check out the reactions to Kelis saying The Neptunes owe her some bread below. For balance, we added some comments that show the other side of the argument as well.