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'Fur' lady speaks on music and animal rights

KELIS wants to make you sweat. The 30-year-old singer has had club hits before, but with her latest CD, "Flesh Tone," she's zeroing in on the clubs, hoping to get people moving on the dance floor. Even though it seems like the pop world is engulfed in disco fever, Kelis says people are too cool to groove.

"No one is sweating, no one is dancing," she says. "People don't ever dance anymore."

"Flesh Tone" comes after a turbulent period in her life. She split from rapper Nas, the father of her infant son Knight, and the former couple engaged in a high-profile battle over child support. She also tangled with the animal rights group PETA after she was photographed in fur.

The Harlem native talks about her music, raising her son and her thoughts on People for Ethical Treatment of Animals during a recent interview.

Q: How did you go from creating R&B hits like "Milkshake" to an all-dance album?

Kelis: I felt like everything started to go in the same direction. I hate to toot my horn, but if you look at where music was as far as females and what's Top 40 radio and whatever, where it was before "Milkshake," versus after, you kind of have to be retarded to deny that it literally changed female vocalists ... So for me, it was just about wanting to party again.

Q: It was reported you got a hefty divorce settlement from your ex-husband.

Kelis: No matter what it is that I say, or don't say, people are going to make up their opinion. I have not said anything about my personal life at all ... At the end of the day it has no bearing on me or my kid. Maybe you want to think about that. You are blogging about my life that I am actually living.

Q: Knight is going to grow up with two public figures as parents. What do you want people to know about Nas as a father?

Kelis: My kid is the center of my world. I don't leave him ever. I take him with me everywhere. I was married. It didn't work out. The most amazing thing came out of it. I am good with that ... Knight will never read anywhere that I said anything negative about his father. It doesn't matter whether it's true or not. Because at the end of the day he needs to know he did come from love.

Q: If PETA had said, "Look you have strong fashion cred. Can you help us?" Would you have thought about it?

Kelis: No. Here is the thing. The reason I responded the way I responded is because of the way they came at me, absolutely.

I am not going to be hypocritical, though. The reality is, I get in trouble for stuff I say all the time because I am honest. The reality is there are a lot of causes I do have.

This is not one of them. I am not saying like I don't care about animals and kill them all. That is retarded. It's ridiculous. I have two pets.

My sister is in school to be a veterinarian. My father was a vegetarian my entire life. That is not the case at all. I took my kid to the zoo the other day. The point is, I am not the one that is killing the animals.


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