K. Michelle sat down with Billboard to talk about her forthcoming fourth solo album Kimberly: The People I Used to Know. She unveils the album will feature Chris Brown, Jeremih, Yo Gotti and more. She also dropped two new tracks, ‘Either Way’ and ‘Birthday.’ You can read some of the interview below and the full story over at Billboard.
Billboard: “Birthday” is a club record. Is that where you’re leaning with Kimberly: The People I Used to Know?
K. Michelle: No, I wanted to have some fun. But that is a record that is so light and when you catch a vibe on something, it just feels good. So it’s a record that is very, very vibey. The direction of the album is actually, I actually am talking about a lot of people — not bashing them, but speaking on some people who have been influential in my life, whether it was for the good or the bad. Either way, it was a lesson learned. So this is just the fun song going out, but I can honestly say this is my best vocal album and you will get those in ballads like “Bring On Love” and “No Not You.” That speaks to who I am and the person and the woman that I’ve become. So I just say it’s a little piece on this rollercoaster journey that the album takes you in.
Billboard: You’re very explicit about who you’re singing about. Why do you feel comfortable being that explicit with the people you used to know, or the people you do know?
K. Michelle: Because I feel like people need to understand where you started to understand where you’re going. For me, I’ve always drawn inspiration from the people around me. I don’t know how to write about anything else other than what my life is about. And I think I’m a very fair writer because I also write about my fucked up issues. I just write life at all moments. I have a record called “Kim K” that speaks kinda about what’s going on now, like I wish I could be a Kardashian so I could be black. So that’s how I feel [laughing]. So I speak about everything, not just certain people and certain things, anything around me I write about.
Billboard: On “Build a Man,” you talk about your relationship with R. Kelly and in the song, you call him “controlling.” With the recent news about him about him having a cult and controlling people, what do you make of this news in particular? Are you surprised by these allegations?
K. Michelle: I’m not surprised by them, I’m actually going to be speaking more about it because I do feel like it’s my obligation as a woman to tell the truth and to do right by other females that are in the business and all these young women who don’t have a voice. So it’s been something that’s been toying and been really stressing me and I’ve been going back and forth with how to speak about it and how to do right for those girls and read some comments about one of the accusers. I went to a blog and I saw women tearing this little girl up. And it immediately brought tears to my eyes because I remember what that was like trying to tell about my abuse. I’ve dealt with other abuse and I tried to tell but when I was telling people were calling me a liar, they were bashing me, they were telling me I was hateful. To read those comments about these women, these young women, these little girls and how people were so naïve to reality or just didn’t give a fuck about the reality and to call these little girls liars and to really take them down, is something I don’t really know right now if I’m willing to stand aside and watch it happen. But I can honestly tell you right now that I have yet to find the proper platform and the proper way to protect and voice my support for these women. I’m not here to bash but right is right and wrong is wrong. That’s all I can really say right now.