Kelis recently got slammed in The Cut for this seriously ridiculous get-up, and rightfully so. But I had a problem with this:You are not Lady Gaga, and this attempt at avant-garde fashion doesn't compare to her get-ups.
Sorry, but Kelis has been doing "seriously ridiculous" for a minute now.
She didn't get the same amount of press because there weren't as many outlets. Today, thankfully, there is greater opportunity for exposure with the explosion of the internet and blogs especially, for artists who would get scant mainstream media attention if they had to rely on the support of print magazines ten years ago. Nowadays, there are tons of outlets, big and small, desperate for content. In the 90s and early 2000s? Not so much... I remember a big shot publicist, who handled Janet Jackson in the early/mid-90s, telling me that she could not get Janet on the cover of TV Guide! TV Guide!!! This is the same Janet Jackson who was a superstar in her own right by then and selling out stadiums worldwide with tons of #1 hits! TV Guide would not put her on the cover because she was black. I promise you that is a true story - relayed to me by an incredulous white publicist by the way.
One difference with the internet age is the new gatekeepers on influential blogs like The Cut were very likely in grade school in the 1990s and rarely know much about music and fashion history beyond Madonna in the 1980s. Hence, Rihanna getting knocked for aping Lady Gaga instead of Kelis, like she is in today's digital urban press.Now, Kelis is only 30-years-old so, of course, she didn't "invent" anything either...Labelle: Sarah Dash, Nona Hendryx and Patti LaBelle in the 1970s.
The one and only Grace Jones (pictured with the late, great artist Keith Haring). Lady Gaga does name her as one of her inspirations.
David Bowie back in the day.
She is opening the Grammy Awards tonight with Elton John. However, I'm surprised that she doesn't talk about this guy more: