You never need to guess what might be on her mind…
K. Michelle will just tell you. This transparency extends from the artist’s celebrated chart-topping discography as a gold-certified R&B powerhouse to a burgeoning empire as an entrepreneur, restauranteur, founder of No Color No Sound Records, and personality on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood. It also defines her 2019 fifth full-length and first independent album, All Humans Are Monsters [No Color No Sound/ 4/4 Records/Entertainment One].
The Memphis native delivers the same raw, relatable, and real R&B she remains synonymous with.
“This isn’t a plaything for me,” she exclaims. “I don’t play games. I’m a grown ass woman. I’m focused on the things that matter like my family. I chose to be independent. I wanted to see my dollars. I wanted to have the freedom to run my money. I wanted to give fans what they know me for. This is an appreciation of them. This is a real R&B album.”
If anybody can make good on such a promise, it’s K. Michelle. To date, she has achieved a total of four consecutive Top 10 entries on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart with Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart  and More Issues Than Vogue  both also bowing at #2 on the Billboard Top 200. Most recently, 2017’s Kimberly: The People I Used To Know incited fervent acclaim. Pitchfork described it as “projecting realness and flaunting considerable vocal chops” and went on to claim, “she gives fewer fucks than she ever did, which results in a vocal commitment that makes her three previous albums look like warm-ups.” She initially made history with the arrival of Rebellious Soul, which made the “highest Top 200 entry for a female R&B singer’s debut since 2001” and scored a gold-selling classic in the form of “Can’t Raise A Man.” Among numerous honors, she took home a Soul Train Award for “Best New Artist” and an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding New Artist.” Along the way, she consistently sold out shows coast-to-coast.
Not to mention, she starred in Love & Hip Hop: Los Angeles, Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta and Love & Hip Hop: New York in addition to fronting her own successful VH1 series K. Michelle: My Life for three years. She opened Puff & Petals Lounge in Atlanta, became the first African American brand ambassador for Jack Daniels, and joined forces with HomeGoods for a 2020 product line. In the midst of this, she faced the toughest battle yet.
During an emergency trip to the hospital in 2018, doctors found silicone from black market injections floating freely down her legs, corroding tissue and bordering on life-threatening. Four surgeries and two blood transfusions followed before her triumphant return to the stage in a wheelchair.
Living through this ordeal inspired the latest body of work.
“I almost lost my life,” she sighs. “I went through everything when I was recording. Once you fight for your life, you can’t be scared of too much. Who else am I going to be scared of? I’m more confident than ever. There are zero fucks given. In comparison to what I went through, everything feels small. So, the music shows I don’t take life as a joke. This is the longest I’ve gone without putting out an album, because I went through hell. It’s going to be impactful.”
Making an impact right out of the gate, she initially teased the album by way of the street anthem “Super Hood” [feat. City Girls & Kash Doll]. A skittering beat underscores dynamic delivery as her voice stretches from confident verses into moments of towering falsetto. Lyrically, it nods back home.
“It’s an upbeat record with a Memphis vibe,” she explains. “It’s my culture. It’s my city. It’s my hood. It’s a girl’s song for anytime you need to have fun. I can get so deep, because I’ve had such a heavy year. I tried to give everybody something light.”
First single “The Rain” updates New Edition’s “Can You Stand The Rain” with undeniable attitude and seductive sex appeal. She grinds through the verses before serving up a skyscraping chorus evocative of nineties R&B, yet ignited by a fresh flame.
“It feels how R&B used to feel,” she says. “It’s one of my favorites. It’s very K. Michelle. You can play it at barbecues, or you can play it when you’re alone. It’s going to get a reaction anywhere.”
Soft piano entwines with warm, resonant vocals on album opener “Just Like Jay”—which she admits, “It’s my chance to tell my story and address how I’m not getting any love.” Then there’s “Two Can Play That Game.” Pulling no punches over a cymbal crash and thick bass, she turns up on a “record my ladies are going to be blasting to make some men very upset.”
In the end, K. Michelle tells it like it is on All Humans Are Monsters. In doing so, she serves up her strongest and most soulful collection to date.
“I hope to make people happy,” she leaves off. “I’ve been through it and can share my story. If you’re going through it, maybe this music will help. I hope you can be healed again. At least if you listen to this, you might get some peace about something. As long as we’re breathing, we’ve got flaws. It’s okay. We can help and support each other. Music is my way to do that.”