Mainstream radio will nev... 

Mainstream radio will never be ready for a hot black chick that hyperbolizes sex more than America hyperbolizes war. OK, maybe that's exactly what mainstream radio depends upon, but Kelis is another story altogether. Exploding with hypersexed mumbo jumbo and lollipop-sucking flamboyance, Kelis also just happens to be filled to the brim with the smoke-voiced charisma of a dead fish. She explains most things in less than six words. "The tour with Britney `Spears` is great." "I really like performing." "My audience is constantly changing." "My performance just depends on the night." Blah, blah, blah. All the elucidation you need is in the tune.

And the tune is "Milkshake," this chanteuse's half-mantra, half-techno commercial monster. The song is coating airwaves and high school half-raves while Kelis spends her time knitting on the tour bus -- Yes! Really! Knitting! -- and half the planet is scratching their heads to her "huh" factor.

"I dunno about 'Milkshake,'" explains Kelis. "Maybe it's the chanting and the hook. I don't get it caught in my head anymore, I used to, but I'm pretty much tired of it. I've heard it enough." (So have we, but there's no break in sight.)

Kelis sells her package nicely. With a robotically stylized synth leading into the song's stop-and-go beat, her clunky voice chimes in to announce just how the boys in the yard feel about her boobs or her cooch or whatever the hell she's singing about.

"It was my first single and its theme was important to me," she says, seemingly unaware of just how singularly unimportant the song's theme is. "I wanted it to sound a certain way and I wanted it to go along with the album's title, "Tasty." I knew it was my first single when I heard it. I loved it."

Though she heaves and moans through her first megapopular limerick, Kelis is either too squeaky clean or too marketable to jack her mojo off near the dank basement of Janet's boob or Christina's fem-olution. So good God, don't tell her she sings about sex.

"I think that, honestly, out of the record I only have two songs that are really sexually referenced out of my whole album," she insists, then adds (referring to Spears?), "and I don't really think I'm the most sexual person in this situation, really."

While "Milkshake" is, of course, about doin' it, Kelis doesn't spell it out. She grins through it -- like an ingénue who knows something you don't, but definitely should. Dessert will never be the same.

More by Caley Cook


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