I recently listened to Keri Hilson on power 105.1’s new morning show The Breakfast Club with Charlemagne the God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy. I was amazed at how well Keri handled what could have been a “slanderous” interview; she even discussed her vagina, openly, confidently and most importantly…publicly.
From the onset….Keri has a stellar resume, which includes writing credits for the likes of Mary J.Blige, Britney Spears, The Pussy Cat Dolls, Usher and one of my all time favorite songs “Ice Box” by Omarion. A litany of other artists have enlisted her song writing abilities, because she’s clearly well versed, thoughtful, and can capture the emotions of everyday people, all of which has lead to numerous Grammy nominations and several #1 hits. This is quite possibly, what sets her apart from other artists, and adds to her credibility as a real groundbreaker that’s here to weather the test of time. She’s been around for a minute, and if she plays her cards correctly, will have the type of longevity that’s reserved for our more timeless stars.
KERI…THE BEAUTY QUEEN:
Keri Hilson is undeniably known as one of the prettiest woman in the industry, and I dare say that the word “pretty” is reserved for a delicate few, that have a natural aura, lady like poise, and striking facial features. The word itself “pretty” carries an unspoken connotation that denotes class and culture. I remember when my boy Donwill from the group Tanya Morgan started a debate on twitter over who looked better…Ciara or Keri. The men in that debate unapologetically gushed over Keri in such a fashion, that I wanted to get them all PLATINUM, LIFETIME memberships to her fan club. Someone actually said “when you hear the name Keri, the word pretty should come directly afterwards.” Women can scrutinize all they want, but at the end of the day….chances are…your man, your future man, your brothers and cousins are all proud Keri Hilson card toting members. She’s pretty, she rocks, and they like it, no…they love it.
Every single time Keri dances, for some weird reason, I get uncomfortable. She can definitely dance, but she can dance like the high school popular girl…that we all grew up with, not like a well trained dancer. I remember cringing during every single awkward step of her Michael Jackson tribute. It was like the girl next door was summoned to take the stage, armed only with dance moves from the last high school talent show. Her choreographer should be fired..like uh…last week, and whoever put together that routine for “The Way You Love Me” video, lost sight of what makes an artist truly memorable and classic. All of which leaves me wondering….what she hoped to accomplish with the sexually charged nature of the video which was heavily laden with B level dance moves, crotch popping shots and wall licking. With each crotch pop, I clutched my imaginary pearls and my eyes widened, then quickly closed as she went spread eagle with full pelvic thrusts. I was so confused at the end of her video. I just couldn’t help but wonder “what page have you been studying from?” Where in R&B history has she seen this mode of operation find success? Surely…she watched Christina Aguilera’s career flounder as a direct result of an oversexed image that people weren’t interested in. Now, don’t get me wrong, Keri is 10 MILLION times sexier than Christina Aguilera, but follow me on the comparison for a minute. Christina was known for having the best vocals in the game, her fan base was created and interested in her sound and never her look. The moment she became fixated with her outward appearance, her image and reputation were squandered, because she lost focus on her money maker, which wasn’t her ass, it was her voice. Keri Hilson is gorgeous, an outstanding writer and a good enough singer, to never have to resort to Ciara style videos, not to mention, she just can’t dance like Ciara, not even in her own wildest imagination, so why make a failed attempt…plain and simple, let’s call that spade a spade…shall we?
With over 100,000 albums sold in the first week, I think it’s safe to say that Keri shows real promise. She has a chance to become R&B’s next sweetheart. She’s intelligent, beautiful and exceptionally talented. She’s clearly creating her own lane. My only questions center around where she’s doing her research, which playbooks she visited, and will she accept the overwhelming feedback that came after that sexually charged video. There was absolutely nothing empowering for women in that video or song. It was unattractive and the polar opposite of “pretty”. When you find yourself discussing your vagina publicly, it’s time to self reflect, because that’s not what good music is about, and you’ll never find Alicia Keys, Beyonce, the late Lena Horne or Diana Ross being forced to answer those type of questions in a public forum. People have too much respect for them to belittle them in such slave auction fashion. Feedback is an investment in capacity. It’s the only thing that pushes you towards fulfilling your own dreams, and it takes a level of humility to accept and understand that point. The very minute we feel that we’re above reproach is the minute we risk losing everything. Keri is at a pivotal tipping point in her career, she’s got the cards (talent) in her hands, and her next move is critical. We all know that sex sells, but mystery is also golden. I sincerely hope she finds a way to strike a balance, because she undeniably has a good thing. With the right strategy, she can move from good to great!