K. Michelle In Concert - Atlanta, Georgia
Getty Images

For K. Michelle, ‘The People I Used To Know’ Is A Vocal Diary Where Anyone Can Become Her Muse

The Memphis singer takes us on a journey with her fourth studio album. 

K. Michelle is a trailblazer in her own right.

Before Cardi B became the biggest name to come out of Love & Hip Hop, Michelle laid the groundwork becoming the first in the LHHH franchise to successfully use the show to revive her career.

Now that she's reached album no. 4, the Memphis native is kicking off a self-proclaimed “new era” with, Kimberly: The People I Used to Know.

On Thursday (Nov. 30), Michelle invited a group of her “Rebels” to an intimate listening session at NeueHouse in Los Angeles, Calif. where she indulged in a track-by-track breakdown of the project which drops Friday (Dec. 8).  The songstress also went on the record about the insecurities that drove her to change her body, and shared the frustrations of being a black woman in the entertainment industry.

Her upcoming album, The People I Used to Know, is a nicely packaged vocal journal of love, sex, relationship moods, and more. On “Kim K” -- which is obviously named after the ubiquitous reality star but is far from a Kardashian diss record (despite the Blac Chyna shout out) -- Michelle speaks on cultural appropriation, feeling unaccepted by other black women at times, and being overlooked in the realm of mainstream artists.

“Black girl who's angry, media can't stand me," she sings on the track. "I may never get this Grammy, but I’mma feed my family.”

Like Kardashian, the 33-year-old singer knows a thing or two about flaunting her infamous curves, but her personal quest for a“perfect body” came with a hell of a price.

A post shared by K. Michelle (@kmichellemusic) on

While other celebrities might not be as forthcoming about the dangers of plastic surgery, Michelle had no problem coming clean about her butt enhancements and the struggle of getting them removed.

“I wanted an a** larger than my personality, and it became heavy. Very heavy,” she told the audience in explaining how the illegal butt injections continue to cause her health problems. “People really don’t talk about it. Like today alone, I had to be at the orthopedic surgeon. I’ve just been having health issues, all because I wanted something that God did not give me.”

“I wanted what was in, I wanted the trend. I wanted a big a** and a little waist,” she confessed. “That’ll make every ni**a want you, but that won’t make them stay.”

And the process of removing the “foreign objects” from her body has been tedious. “I did this sh*t in a hotel room and now I’m at the doctor,” she recalled of a passing thought that inspired the “Kim K” track. “And so I said, ‘I wish I could be a Kardashian so I could be black.’ Because they get to be black, I can’t be black. I can’t wear braids in the workplace. When I wear cornrows, I’m ‘ghetto.’"

Moments of said frustrations are entwined throughout The People I Used to Know, an album where anyone can become her muse. “Make This Song Cry,” for example, is a not-so-gentle reminder to her current boyfriend that she dropped all of her “h*es” for, while “Brain On Love,” penned by Priscilla Renea, is a dreamy ballad that Michelle intends on playing at her wedding (which fans will “get to see,” she teased).

The project also includes guest appearances from Chris Brown on “Either Way,” and Jeremih who joins her on “Takes Two.” And with each cut from the album, Michelle further showcases her ability to step outside of the box of what is expected of, and accepted from, an artist confined to R&B. On “Alert,” the album’s lead track, Michelle raps for the entire record, takes aim at "mumble" rappers and boasts: “I am K. Dot, last name not Lamar.” She merges back into a traditional R&B lane on “Crazy,” transforms into a jazz vocalist for “[I Should] F*ck Your Man,” and gets coquettish on the sexually altruistic, “Birthday.”

A post shared by K. Michelle (@kmichellemusic) on

But the star of the album is “God, Love, Sex & Drugs,” a song that Michelle described as being closest to her personality. The vocally robust track finds a safe space between the worlds of country and soul music, though it may be a little too unconventional for radio. When fans asked if she’d drop the track as a single, Michelle replied that the record would be too expensive and too risky to release, and better suited for an artist who has played by all of the “rules.”

Though it seems that Michelle feels like an outsider in an industry that she has worked hard to be accepted by, The People I Used to Know, adds another argument to why she deserves a seat at the table of mainstream artists.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

T.I. And Joyner Lucas Defend Chris Brown Amid Rape Allegations

Artists are stepping up to defend Chris Brown after the singer was recently accused of raping a woman in Paris on Monday (Jan. 21). Both T.I. and Joyner Lucas are two of the first rappers to voice their opinions about the alleged incident on social media.

While T.I. did not comment on Brown's innocence directly, he did question the timing of the news report. The rapper shared a headline from a past article, in which Brown was being celebrated for becoming the youngest artist to own his own masters recordings. "First this... then RAPE allegations," he questioned, suggesting that the accusations were released as a ploy to put a negative spotlight on Breezy.

Joyner Lucas also joined the conversation on Instagram. "Bro seriously?!! Smh GET THE F**K OFF MY N***AZ D**K BRO," he wrote. "@chrisbrownofficial ain’t rape nobody. Any and every way someone gets the opportunity to create a story and try to ruin my n***az legacy they take it. It won’t happen tho. Anybody who actually thinks breezy needs to take some p*ssy got issues. Trust me when I say it doesn’t matter what city, state, country, or continent this n***a goes to, he can literally pick like a flower from a garden of bad b***hes who wanna f**k and it’s that simple. Nobody bout to make me believe this n***a is a rapist."

Lucas then suggested that TV networks were paying people to falsely accuse the R&B crooner. "No way no f**king how. And if anybody is mad at this post and wants to unfollow me then be my f**king guest! 🤷🏽‍♂️... this is the reason why he been in the house for so many years and barely goes anywhere. The Moment the n***a take a vacation to Paris then now he a rapist," he added. "I’m no conspiracy theorist but no bullsh*t, im really starting to believe that TV networks are paying muthaf**kas to false claim allegations just so they can turn it into a documentary."

As previously reported, Chris Brown was arrested in Paris after a woman filed a complaint claiming that he raped her.  The 24-year-old woman alleges that she met Brown at a club on Jan. 14. She claims he allegedly raped her after the two went back to his hotel. Despite the woman's report however, another woman named Kim Ford, who was allegedly at the scene of the incident, claims Brown was nowhere in sight. Brown also claims the allegations are false.

Check out T.I. and Joyner Lucas' full comments below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#TI speaks on the timing of #ChrisBrown’s alleged accusations!

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Jan 22, 2019 at 8:00am PST

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Bro seriously?!! Smh GET THE FUCK OFF MY NIGGAZ DICK BRO!!‼️‼️‼️‼️. @chrisbrownofficial ain’t rape nobody. Any and every way someone gets the opportunity to create a story and try to ruin my niggaz legacy they take it. It won’t happen tho. Anybody who actually thinks breezy needs to take some pussy got issues. Trust me when I say it doesn’t matter what city, state, country, or continent this nigga goes to, he can literally pick like a flower from a garden of bad bitches who wanna fuck and it’s that simple. Nobody bout to make me believe this nigga is a rapist. No way no fucking how. And if anybody is mad at this post and wants to unfollow me then be my fucking guest! 🤷🏽‍♂️... this is the reason why he been in the house for so many years and barely goes anywhere. The Moment the nigga take a vacation to Paris then now he a rapist. 🤦🏽‍♂️ I’m no conspiracy theorist but no bullshit, im really starting to believe that TV networks are paying muthafukas to false claim allegations just so they can turn it into a documentary. Smh FOH‼️‼️‼️‼️

A post shared by Joyner Lucas (@joynerlucas) on Jan 22, 2019 at 6:50am PST

Continue Reading
Joe Scarnic

Cardi B Defends "Twerk" Video Against Conservative

Cardi B teamed up with the City Girls for their sexy "Twerk" video, in which the Miami and Bronx women twerked along the beautiful beaches with other buxom black and brown babes.

Some loved the videos, others not so much. One naysayer conservative Washington, D.C. video columnist took to Twitter to challenge Cardi b and other liberal women on how the provocative video will help during the #MeToo movement.

In the Era of #meToo how exactly does this empower women? Leftists, @iamcardib , feel free to chime in. THX .. pic.twitter.com/59fyDxrYAz

— Stephanie Hamill (@STEPHMHAMILL) January 21, 2019

Cardi B saw the tweet and responded to Hamill directly telling the former Trump national diversity coalition advisor that what a woman wears has no bearing on how much respect she should be given.

"It says to women that I can wear and not wear whatever I want. do whatever I want and that NO still means," the "I Like It" rapper tweeted. "So Stephanie chime in..If I twerk and be half naked does that mean I deserve to get raped and molested? I want to know what a conservative woman like you thinks."

It says to women that I can wear and not wear what ever I want. do w.e I want and that NO still means NO. So Stephanie chime in..If I twerk and be half naked does that mean I deserve to get raped and molested ? I want to know what a conservative woman like you thinks 🤔 https://t.co/8UBQQzO6jK

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) January 22, 2019

Cardi B has been making ground in the political arena after commenting on the U.S. partial shutdown. However, since then the "Bodak Yellow" artist admits she's received negativity ever since. She insists she's not trying to change anyone's political preferrance.

All these conservatives been harassing me and telling me the most disgusting things these past few days.Listen I’m not telling ya to turn liberal all I’m saying is to admit that your president is fuckin up this country right now! Liberal or conservative we ALL suffer as citizens.

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) January 22, 2019

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Not Sicko Mode: Nick Cannon Says Travis Scott Isn't For The Culture

Nick Cannon takes great issue with Travis Scott performing at the Super Bowl but says for Big Boi, it's okay.

During a sitdown with TMZ's Raquel Harper, the host of Masked Singer said "I'm Kaepernick all day," but said Scott doesn't have enough "cultural equity" to perform during Super Bowl LIII halftime show.

"To me, I call it cultural equity. So we're not mad at Big Boi for performing at the Super Bowl. He's for the people," 38-year-old Cannon explained. "[For Scott] he has to walk gingerly."

Harper followed up and questioned Cannon, to which he further explained having a child with Kylie Jenner also reduced his "cultural equity."

"It's more about truly having integrity in your music and in your art form. The people you choose to interact with. The people you choose to procreate with. That decision wasn't for the culture. But we not mad at you," Cannon said.

Harper reminded Cannon he's dated a few white women in his past, to which Cannon then looked into the camera and shouted: "I love white women."

The New England Patriots will face off against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Feb. 3 for Super Bowl LIII. Maroon 5 along with Travis Scott and Big Boi are set to take the stage at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Out of respect for Colin Kaepernick, several artists declined to perform including Rihanna, Cardi B and JAY-Z who reportedly tried to talk Scott out of it.

After Scott agreed to perform, reports revealed he spoke with Kaepernick about the decision. Kaepernick's longtime girlfriend Nessa Diab took to social media to blast Scott and say it was a lie.

Continue Reading

Top Stories