While Keri Hilson was in London she sat down with the folks over at SoulCulture to talk about a few things, The reaction she got from “The Way You Love Me” video, working with Chris Brown and if Sex really does sell.
On collaborating with Chris Brown on “One Night Stand.”
He actually wrote the song. I decided to leave him on it. It was as simple as that. I don’t believe in undermining anyone’s creative efforts for a mistake that they make in their personal life.
In the same way that if you worked at a corporate job and were participating in infidelity, as long as it didn’t affect your work, I can’t fire you. That’s your PERSONAL life, I’m not going to undermine what you bring to the table; what you bring to my business – I take that same view in music. We did this with Michael Jackson; we did this with R. Kelly. I’m not going to kick someone whilst they’re down, I just don’t believe in that. [Chris Brown] is a great artist, and I will continue to collaborate with anyone who I consider a friend.
On if she thought the response to “The Way You Love Me” Was overblown
It probably deserved some criticism. Did it affect me? No. The language deserved the criticism though, absolutely. That wasn’t the version that I sang to. If you look closely, I’m not singing ‘f*ck me,’ I’m singing ‘thug me’. The video I recorded was the album version – somebody decided to sync the other version with the video and put that on WorldStarHipHop. It got 14 million views in less than a week. You can’t really be mad if people want to see something that you do, so I didn’t feel the criticism. I was just happy that people cared.
That video was a decision of mine. I did it because even though I’ve never been that sexual, I am a woman and I do have that side of me. It wasn’t society’s pressures, otherwise I’d do that in every video. But, it was a moment in time and if you write a record like that, certain visuals come along with it.
On whether she’d do another raunchy video
It’s not something I want to make a habit of doing, but I don’t want to make a habit of censoring myself. If it feels right in the moment, I’ll capture that. It may live forever, but whatever you feel in the moment is the right thing to do. I didn’t feel the criticism. I wasn’t as impacted as others were. My intention wasn’t to throw it in the world’s faces, it was to do me. I honestly didn’t feel the criticism too strongly; I just lived through it while others had a problem with it.
On if she thinks “Sex Sells” and if the industry has changed since the days of TLC and Janet Jackson
Of course – all of them went against what society told them to be. When you think about when TLC came out saying, ‘I’m not too proud to beg… if I need it in the morning or the middle of the night,’ it was very sexual and it was everything you weren’t supposed to be as a lady. They wore men’s clothing and condoms all over. They were beautiful girls but they were so tomboy-ish, you didn’t know what to think. That created a lane for them, even though they were just being themselves.
I think that’s the message – Janet Jackson was just being herself. A great performer – people said she’s too sexual but it never stopped her. Even Josephine Baker – they told her she was dancing too raunchy. People felt that she was being exploited but she was just doing what she did. She was fearless, she was bold, she went against the grain and became great. These are the kind of people that I look up to.
On what a “real man” is
My definition of a real man is someone who respects women, someone who knows God and has some fear. You have to fear things in life – if you don’t fear anything… that’s a scary place. Someone who respects their mother, someone who has their priorities in tow. A man who is always forward-thinking and thinks about the future. Boys live for the moment, men live for the future and they’re cognisant of the decisions that they make and how that affects their future. Men are truthful – maybe not right upfront because it’s a hard thing for anybody to do, but if he’s confronted, a man stands up to his mistakes.
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