Say it ain’t so; Kelis and Nas are officially divorced. The news about the breakup of hip-hop’s
other power couple was confirmed this week by Nas and Kelis’ attorney, Laura Wasser. As it turns out, the actual divorce papers that are circulating the blogosphere stated their relationship was already south-bound when they separated on April 20th, 2009.
But as their personal lives go through the ringer, both of their careers are also kind of hanging by a thread. Nas may continue to release material to lukewarm responses like he did with his last album, but now Kelis won’t be there to help finish his sentences on his press runs. So where does that leave Harlem’s finest (sorry Teyana Taylor), Kelis Rogers? Kelis hasn’t put out a studio album since Kelis Was Here in 2006, and she’s due with lil baby Nas this July. The former Fader mag cover girl’s hiatus from music isn’t as extreme as say, Lauryn Hill’s, but we’d hate to see her fade into pop/r&b obscurity. So before we cry “the milk’s gone bad,” here are five steps Kelis can take to shake things up again.
#5 USE A MAJOR LAZER
When Diplo and Switch joined forces for their (soon-to-be-classic) dancehall-baltimore-electronica genre-bender, Kelis was rumored to be a featured guest on the album. The tag team known as Major Lazer have had hands in molding the careers of M.I.A., and Santogold. We expected Kelis, who mothered their eccentric style of dress to have the same chemistry. Lo and behold, her song isn’t on the tracklist. Only time will tell if this collaboration will ever see the light of day.
#4 GO M.I.A.
Now that Kelis has shed the dead weight of a relationship with Nas, she’s built for bigger things like motherhood. History has shown us that pregnancy can inspire, like it did on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, to M.I.A.’s string of appearances sporting a baby bump. But while Kelis may not be on every rapper’s radar like Mrs. Paper Planes, her sultry voice is still unmatched in the pop world.
#3 REUNITE WITH THE NEPTUNES
If Nas can make amends with Jay-Z, anything is possible. When Kelis parted ways with the Neptunes, it seemed like she was washed up. Being synonymous with Pharrell though, hasn’t pigeonholed her the way it did the Clipse when they went out on their own. Producers like Polow da Don, Bangladesh, and Will.i.Am prove that Kelis has versatility. Still though, there’s only one way to make a milkshake, and it takes the Neptunes’ ecclectic mix of ingredients to bring out her best.
#2 PLOT A U.K. TAKEOVER
Kelis was already pretty far left when she debuted with “Caught Out There.” It took a minute for folks to grasp a less than traditional, happy I’m raspy voice, especially when aimed over a male-bashing anthem like “Caught Out There.” By the time her sophomore album Wanderland was due, it made a greater impact internationally than it did stateside. Could the U.K. be where Kelis re-establishes herself?
#1 BREAK-UP TO MAKE-UP
Now that Nas and Kelis are trying to annul their marriage, let’s look at the brighter side: they still have to deal with each other because of the baby. While we’re at it, let’s not forget that Nas and Kelis have also made beautiful music together. Ok, maybe it didn’t pop like Jay and Beyoncé’s, but we’re still rooting for them.