The music industry is full of scandal and controversy, and it seems no one is above. The latest scandal involves Kelis accusing the producer duo, The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) of stealing profits from her first two albums!
“I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do,” she tells the U.K. newspaper, saying she was “blatantly lied to and tricked” by “The Neptunes and their management and their lawyers and all that stuff.”
Kelis claims she saw no money from the sales of her first two albums, which were produced by The Neptunes. It took her a few years to realize it because she was making money from touring, “and just the fact that I wasn’t poor felt like enough.”
She admits that she signed the contract, but was inexperienced at the time. “Their argument is: ‘Well, you signed it,’” she says. “I’m like: ‘Yeah, I signed what I was told, and I was too young and too stupid to double-check it.’”
While this is the first time she has gone public with the accusations, she did see Pharrell a few years ago while he was performing at an industry event. “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 …” she laughs. “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.”
But she isn’t angry about it. “To be honest with you, I think if it were not for my faith, I feel like that would probably be the case,” she says. “It’s very clear to me, especially being on a farm, that whatever you put in the ground, that is what’s going to come back to you.”
When asked if she would work with Pharrell again, she responds, “Ummm, at that point there’s having faith and there is also just stupidity.”
We really hope this is not true, or some misunderstanding brought on by someone not reading the fine print to their contract. Kelis is so talented and The Neptunes are awesome. Let us hope this can be cleared up or explained. Thus far neither of The Neptunes have responded to Kelis’s claims. We will keep you posted.