While Mary J. basks in a blissful existence, Keyshia Cole has become the pretty poster child for a woman scorned. Looking at R&B’s current landscape, nobody articulates love—trusting it, needing it, dodging it, dissing it, falling madly in and out of it—quite like Ms. Cole.
Her discography may not be 100% autobiographical, but the tear-stained pillows, neck rolls, furrowed brows and balled up fists expressed through her sweetly strained runs and climactic notes resonated with women dealing with ain’t-shit significant other drama. Plus her regretful anthems rule.
Nine years and six albums later, Keyshia’s Point Of No Return—her last with Interscope Records—is still schooling us about the L word. We studied it for seven days. Here are seven things we learned about love, how to cope when it fails and the tough Oakland chick behind the music.
See Related Article: Stream Keyshia Cole’s ‘Point of No Return’ Album
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Magnifying glasses permanently hover over celebrities’ romantic lives, so the story of Keyshia’s fallout with her husband of three years, Daniel “Boobie” Gibson, should be familiar. Her feelings toward the failed relationship are well documented. Between broken promises, disappointment, betrayal and forgiving one too many step-out sessions, a girl can only tolerate the turbulence for so long. So it shows when she’s singing about it. You can hear her fatigue right away on the album’s opener. “Don’t wanna be heartbroken no more/Trying to kill me with all this nonsense, but I ain’t having it no more,” she sings flatly on “Intro (Last Tango).”
For Keyshia, it’s all in the cover-up.
Every girl has her own therapeutic methods for getting over her feelings. Keyshia scatters a bit of her own heartbreak remedies throughout the project. Reassigning blame (“N.L.U.”), a knack for seduction (“Believer”), building up walls (“Next Time”) and throwing a fuck you fit (“Rick James”) were quick samples of her expansive stash of coping mechanisms.
No, she doesn’t swing that way.
It looks like Keyshia delved into a little bi-curiosity in her video for “She,” where she gyrates for her masculine alter ego in a sequined bustier. However if you listen to the lyrics, her message skews more towards self-satisfaction. She sat down with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club to clear everything up, assuring Charlamagne Tha God that she’s A, not a lesbian and B, singing about her interpretation of self-love.
Read the rest on VIBE.