Kelis surprised everyone on Friday morning when she released her first new single in seven years.
Titled “Midnight Snacks,” Kelis dropped the track alongside a music video from director Adrienne Raquel (whose collaborators include Rihanna and Travis Scott), which finds Kelis crooning about her midnight snacks as gelatin and other sweets wiggle around her to the stripped-down beat.
“I heard the beat, thought it was dope, and the first thing that came to mind was ‘Midnight Snacks,’” Kelis said in a press release of the new joint produced by the FaNaTix. The song is her latest to be focused on food, a trend she said she recognizes. “I was like, do I?” she’s quoted as saying in the release. “I mean, obviously I do. It isn’t intentional, but the idea is just that food is a very carnal thing. Everyone can relate to it. It’s very human, it’s sensual, it’s something that you crave. And it’s sexy. … It’s funny to me, but I like the fact that you can take sex and food, and you can put these two things together, and they’re totally interchangeable.” (Her 2014 LP was in fact simply titled Food.)
It’s unclear whether “Midnight Snacks” implies an album is in the works. When it comes to releasing new music, Kelis has mostly popped up as a featured artist here or there like on Disclosure’s “Watch Your Step.”
Kelis made headlines last year for calling out the Neptunes in an interview with the Guardian, saying they deceived her out of a profit when they produced her blockbuster 1999 debut Kaleidoscope. “I thought it was a beautiful and pure, creative safe space. But it ended up not being that at all,” she told the newspaper. “I was told we were going to split the whole thing 33/33/33, which we didn’t do.”
Despite the promise of an even split of album sales, she said the Pharrell-featuring production duo “blatantly lied to and tricked” her, and went on to claim that because of “the Neptunes and their management and their lawyers and all that stuff,” she didn’t make any money from her first two records. She said that regardless of this misunderstanding that she’s not angry at the Neptunes and was purely “stating the facts.”
Check out the video for “Midnight Snacks” up top, and stream the song via Spotify below. Kelis is also commemorating the release with a Midnight Snacks Goldmine Box via Bounty & Full.