“Why is every movie you’ve ever seen about an artist the worst, most depressing thing?” asks Kelis. When watching Judy—which depicted the ill-fated life of Judy Garland and earned star Renée Zellweger the Best Actress golden statuette—Kelis can’t help but think about the artist’s story, in retrospect at least. Why is it always so sad? “There are so many elements that can be that way if you allow them to be,” says the artist, who has carved out a less dismal existence as a singer, songwriter, author, chef—and, yes, farmer.
Half a decade before her “Milkshake” brought all the boys to the yard, her 1999 debut Kaleidoscope set the scene. Kelis was a true artist. It was as simple as that. She had something to say, and damned if she wasn’t going to get it out from the epic roar of I hate you so much right now and subsequent Aaaaaaaaaaaah of “Caught Out There” through other empowered singles “Get Along With You” and the Pusha T-featured “Good Stuff.”