Song Of The Week: “Milkshake” by Kelis

If you wish to attain true music geek status, you must know the answer to a thousand musical questions, instantly, and without hesitation. For example…

Query: What brings all the boys to the yard?
Response: My milkshake.

Query: What is my milkshake better than?
Response: Yours.

Damn right.

Didn’t know the answers? That’s okay. Musical geekhood is a lifelong journey of learning, like Zen Buddhism, or poker, or figuring out which way your charger plugs into your tablet.

It will come as no surprise to you that pop singers don’t always write their own material (if this does come as a shock to you, I’m sorry to be the one to shatter your illusions) — instead, they rely on professional songwriters to provide their million-selling hits. Sometimes artists reject a song — maybe because they think the lyrics don’t fit their image, or maybe they simply don’t think it’s a good song — and the tune is then offered up to another artist (e.g. Pink passed on “Since U Been Gone,” which went to Kelly Clarkson, and TLC turned down “…Baby One More Time,” which launched Britney Spears).

In 2003, Kelis found herself in need of a song, and she needed that song to hit big. After a well-received debut in 1999, her second album wasn’t even released in North America due to various music biz machinations. She had something to prove, and this was make it or break it time for the young R&B singer.

For her third album, Tasty, Kelis once again worked with the production duo known as The Neptunes, 50% of which featured Pharrell “I offered the song “Happy” to Cee-Lo Green and he turned it down” Williams. The Neptunes were also in the studio producing Britney Spears at the time, and when she chose to reject one of their song offerings for some reason, they took the tune to Kelis and asked if she wanted to record it.

Damn right she wanted to record it.

Released in the late summer of 2003, “Milkshake” hit #3 on the US pop charts and became an instant classic. Kelis subsequently scored a few other big hits, but none of them bring the boys to the yard like “Milkshake.”

So come on down and shake what your mama gave you. (I hope nobody’s allergic to dairy.) Warm it up … with Kelis.

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