Mase isn’t the only celebrity coming forward about not being compensated fairly from a major record label. In an interview with The Guardian, singer Kelis Rogers (most notably known as the electric singer from Harlem named Kelis) opens up about her contract with super-producer Pharrell Williams and his partner Chad Hugo who together are The Neptunes.
The “Bossy” singer says that she wasn’t paid from the sales from her first two albums saying she was “blatantly lied to and tricked.”
“I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do,” she reveals in an interview with The Guardian. Kelis, who was a teenager when she first got down with the production team, says, she was “blatantly lied to and tricked,” pointing specifically blaming the Neptunes, their management, their lawyers and others for the deceit.
As a result, she says she made nothing from sales of her first two albums, which were produced by the Neptunes. She is also not credited as a songwriter or producer.
For a long time, she did not complain or even recognize that she was being duped. As a touring artist, she was making enough money to take care of herself. She confessed to The Guardian, “just the fact that I wasn’t poor felt like enough.”
Eventually, she brought it up to the production team, but was met with what would appear to be typical industry “oh wells.”
“Their argument is: ‘Well, you signed it.’ I’m like: ‘Yeah, I signed what I was told,” the “Milkshake” singer shared, “and I was too young and too stupid to double-check it.’”
She then added that once she ran into Pharrel at an industry event years later. He was performing on the stage and she was in her seat watching. According to the singer, he spotted her in the audience and nodded in her direction but she just kept it cute, “And he did that thing to me that he’s notorious for, which is making a nod from the stage [to someone in the audience], so it seems like there’s mutual respect, when in reality … I’m like, OK, I’m not going to yell back: ‘You stole all my publishing!’ So you end up nodding back and everyone thinks everything’s great. Like, whatever.”
Kelis also opened up about being abused by her ex-husband, Hip-Hop legend Nas. She says that she gained strength to wake up from her abusive relationship in 2009 when the very public images of Rihanna surfaced from her assault case with her then-boyfriend Chris Brown.
It would be nine years later before she publicly addresses it on Hollywood Unlocked.