Songs You May Have Missed #164


Kelis: “Lil Star” (2006)

The R&B singer and rapper best known for “Milkshake” (search “Spock” on this site for a unique take) released Kelis Was Here in 2006, an album that debuted at #10 but sold relatively disappointingly. However, the album contained a Cee Lo Green-produced gem called “Lil Star”, which never charted as a single in the U.S. although it did peak at #3 in the UK.

Refreshingly not the usual subject matter of R&B diva fare (man-does-diva-wrong, diva-wants-ranchy-sex-as-much-as-man, diva-is-too-good-for-underachieving-man, etc. etc.) “Lil Star” finds the typically brash Kelis putting the sauciness (and vulgarity) aside in favor of actual humility. As she sings about her own imperfections and being a small part of a bigger picture in the verses, Cee Lo takes over in the chorus with almost-fatherly exhortations to “keep tryin’ and tryin'”.

Like I said, refreshing. And the fact that a song like this can’t be a hit in the U.S. is part of what’s wrong with R&B in the Nicki Minaj era.

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