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In case some of you all didn’t know, ever since I caught a glimpse of Kelis in the music video for her debut single Caught Out There 20+ years ago, screaming “I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW” I have been a longtime fan of her work. Though underrated, she has always been ahead of the curve in regards to constantly changing her sound and look.

Another thing that I have always loved about Kelis is that she’s always been outspoken about the truths that goes on behind the scenes in the entertainment industry, which some would say is the reason why her career isn’t as big as it should be. Good on her, though. I rather an artist remain underground and true to themselves than watering themselves down in exchange of mainstream success.

Anyway Kelis, 40, who has been very vocal in regards of her support of the Black Lives Matter movement, took to Instagram yesterday during #BlackOutTuesday to call for widespread structural change in the music industry’s treatment of Black artists.

“If the music industry wants to support Black lives, labels and platforms can start with amending contracts, distributing royalties, diversifying boardrooms, and retroactively paying back all the Black artists, and their families, they have build their empires on,” the R&B singer wrote in a caption-less Instagram post.

When people argued that there are more pressing issues for us to be focused on, Kelis didn’t hold back.

One follower wrote, “That’s for another time. Money gone and life gone two different topics. IMO.”

Kelis responded, “no it’s called reparations sir. The lives can not be brought back but the rest of us who are still here fighting deserve what we were promised.”

Things got real interesting when a follower, who agreed with Kelis brought up Pharrell‘s name.

“Say it louder cuz Pharrell in the back.”

Kelis responded, “thief like the big labels, worse in fact. Black [on] Black crimes.”

For those of you not in the know, Kelis revealed in an interview with The Guardian back in January that when she first started out, and was part of The Neptunes’ Star Trak family, she claims that behind the scenes, she didn’t realize she was being ripped off until it was too late.

“I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do,” she said. The singer says that she was blantatly lied to and tricked,” pointing specifically to “the Neptunes and their management and their lawyers and all that stuff.”

Kelis said with the release of her first two albums she essentially made no profit but failed to notice because she had incoming revenue from touring, “and just the fact that I wasn’t poor felt like enough”, she says.

“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.’”

 Kelis said the betrayal was even that much greater because she felt that The Neptunes were her friends. She said The Neptunes became “offended” when she opted to work with other producers on her third album, Tasty. After that the relationship severed.

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