K. Michelle doesn’t have time to waste. I get that vibe from her when I sit next to the star for our chat. She’s wrapping up discussions about business moves and has no time for talking about drama on blogs, detractors and small fry stuff. I get it, though. The 33-year-old has a new album out called All Monsters Are Humans, which after my first listen I was quite impressed with (standouts for me include “Something New,” “Table for One” and “Can’t Let”). She also has a new restaurant, a docuseries on Lifetime currently filming about women whose health was impacted by butt injections, a country music album in the works and and a baby, or two actually, she hopes will be implanted and born soon via surrogate. So talking about her Love and Hip Hop co-stars or the current roster of R&B artists who are making music that puts her to sleep? She’ll pass.
I was able to delve into some serious topics with her though, like her relationship with longtime partner Dr. Kasten Sims, and her efforts to help other women change their lives and bodies after botched butt modification jobs. We also discussed the hell her most recent surrogate put her through, and her fight to get more Black voices, including her own, on the country charts (and not with “Old Town Road” type songs). What started out as a serious conversation actually ended up with quite a few laughs, and in true K. Michelle fashion, some really classic quotes.
MadameNoire: You have your new album coming out on Friday, All Monsters Are Humans. What can fans expect from it?
K. Michelle: It’s just a body of work. It’s a real R&B body of work and I know they’ll love it it because it’s solid. It’s a very solid album.
When you say it’s “real” R&B, what is it about it that makes you feel like it separates itself from what’s out now?
It’s like ’80s, ’90s R&B, not this sleepy music. That’s not R&B, that’s sleepy music. So none of that. It’s like the real one, when there was soul and when there were emotions, not like ambient music.
It’s funny you say that because our team was having a conversation about how the sound that’s popular right now is a moodier —
It’s boring. Just do the music. All that mumbling because you don’t want to sing and all of that sleepy stuff and repetitive lyrics. It’s just bad.
I hear you. One of the tracks on your album that you previewed is called “Ciara’s Prayer.” How did you get inspired by her situation to, in a way, make a song about it for the new album?
She’s always been one of my favorite artists. People don’t know, she was one of the first artists to really give me advice. She told me, “When you win, you win with everybody, but when you lose, you lose by yourself.” I always remembered that. Every time I’ve seen her she’s been the sweetest person — like ever. To see her happy and in love, and every woman wants that feeling, to feel like that, I wanted to know what prayer she prayed.
A lot of people ask that. On top of that, I know you have your show coming where you help women who’ve made changes to their butt get the services they need to get them fixed. When is that coming and what will we see on it?
We’re actually casting now. We just had a meeting with the showrunners and everything, so we’re in the process of starting the filming. You can just expect to see a lot of women who might have made mistakes, I’m helping them through their plastic surgery drama with silicone and just trying to help them get healthy again.
How many years has it been since you had your first procedure to remove the silicone in your body?
It’s been two years. I just got told yesterday I have two more.
You’re now at the reconstruction phase?
I thought I was until yesterday. They said it had spread, the remaining silicone that was left. So they have to go back in and get it out, figure it out.
You seem calm about it though!
I’m so used to it. If it’s two surgeries away from healthy, I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.
That’s true. But how are you feeling physically now?
I have some pain, but it’s definitely not what it was. I used to have migraines to the point that I couldn’t get out of bed. I don’t have that anymore. I have different aches and pains and some stinging right now because I probably have a small infection, but other than that, it’s not that bad. I just try to take my time. I don’t go out a lot and party and stuff like that. I keep it real simple.
What was the initial reason you went and had the injections done? There are some people, including on Love and Hip Hop now, who are being pushed to get work done to excel in their music career —
Girl…bye. Girl, bye. People use anything on them shows for a storyline so I don’t take none of that serious. It’s just crazy because people, now that I’ve come out, now people want to come out and say, “I almost died!” No, you didn’t. You didn’t almost die. I already talked to you about your story and now to watch you try to come out for some sympathy in the public, it’s disgusting to me. People really are losing their lives and some of these celebrities are trying to come out now for any amount of attention that they can get. It’s really women out here that just want to raise their kids and heal. Those are the women I’m helping, not the celebrities who are on my phone and scared to tell people the truth. You’re a coward.
Yeah. If you don’t mind me asking, why do you think you got the injections in the first place?
I was young. That was like six, seven years ago. I didn’t think anything of it, I just knew I wanted them. I didn’t even think of what the consequences would be. I just did it.
I also wanted to ask you how things are between yourself and Dr. Kasten Sims. Are you guys still together and have things improved between you? I know you said on V-103 that things weren’t in the best place a few months ago.
Yeah. I guess they’re improving. Relationships are hard. You know I joke a lot about it. He’s fine. We’re working on it, I’m working on me, and who knows what I will do. But I’m getting ready in the next two months to finally put some babies in the surrogate. That’s my only focus right now.
Did you find a new one, or is this the same young lady [Tannae] featured on Love and Hip Hop with you recently?
Oh hell no. I’m not using that clown. Let me ask you something. If you have nothing, right? Nothing. Somebody has paid for your children’s everything. Your children’s birthday parties since they’ve been on earth. I met this woman in Ikea. Someone that you call even for gas money. They help you — because I always end up helping somebody. Then they put you on TV and you go behind my back and sign a Love and Hip Hop contract. They use it as bargaining power against me, thinking, we have your story you have to sign up. Well, as long as ain’t no eggs in her, you ain’t never got my story! You’ll never back me into a corner. But the fact that that was even tried for something so serious as a child’s life, you get what I’m saying? That’s really bad. So you do this behind my back after I help you, then you negotiate a contract of only $500. If you had went through me, you know how much money I could have got you? For you and those babies to appear on that show? I would have tried to get each baby at least three to $5,000 a pop. But you went behind my back. You did that and I let it go. I’m still praying on it.
Then they not giving you the $500. They taking they time giving you the $500 because you’re not a regular cast member, so you’re going to get it in their 60-day realm or whatever. You’re blowing up the network over $500 and calling all of my producers and everything, embarrassing me and these relationships that I’ve built all of these years for $500. I know $500 is a lot to some people, but you got yourself in this situation. I’m not your mother. I don’t have to take care of you. I offered you an opportunity, to give you a lump sum of money to take care of your kids and you know what you did? You let a ni—a walk you out — they not even married. You know this is my first time talking on it so that’s why I’m so passionate. I’ve never said nothin’ about it. So the dude, asking me for a contract like he got a uterus! Why are you even in this? The psychiatrist says, “She’s fine, but him? He’s going to be a problem.” What type of b—h is he? So he’s a problem. So I decide, I’m not going to do this, and you get on YouTube and make a whole YouTube about me, but thank God I’ve never told you one piece of business about me, so it didn’t go far. But he’s doing all the talking. He still got dreams of being a rapper, one of those types of ni–as. What you gon’ take the money I’m giving, this big ol’ lump sum of money that you ain’t never seen? That could have been something for some kids. But sometimes we be so stupid just clout chasing. You just f–ked up with me, and now I’m not buying a barrette. So now I want a surrogate who don’t know not one K. Michelle song. Don’t know not one! I’m not offended. That’s who I’m looking for. I will be putting it in, and then I will deal with [Dr. Sims]. But right now, we’ve got to deal with these kids because they’re important.
You’re using an agency now, but do you feel like because you found the past potential surrogate at IKEA that that shouldn’t have necessarily qualified her to carry your twins?
I thought it was the universe! I be taking stuff as signs, you know? I met these triplets. What are the chances of, here I am, I want twins, and I want twin girls and that’s what I want badly. I’m walking [in IKEA] and I see a baby carriage and it’s three babies just born. Three gorgeous little girls! I pick up all of em at one time and was attached to these babies ever since. Will help you with anything with these babies. So if I’m already giving you money and helping you, why when I say, “I know you’re a good mother and let me give you this opportunity because you’re a good mother,” would you do that? It was too much. I need to handle this another way.
But you are still set on having twin girls. You already have your son, so why is that so necessary for you at this point?
Because I missed too much time with my son. You can never rewrite that time, but as a mother, if you’re a real mother at heart, your instinct is never going to be fulfilled until you’re properly able to mother. I didn’t get to see a lot of stuff because I was out there working for my son. It’s a lot of stuff I ain’t get to see. Now he’s getting ready for college and we have the greatest relationship. Thank God my child was one of those children who was proud and understood what I was doing, but now that I have more money and I’m able to take a nanny with me around, even just watching the workplace with women and it being different. I really respect how Cardi [B] was able to have her baby and do what she needs to do. Now people are more open where when I came out, if you had a baby, oh your whole career was over. So I’ve been trying to work, try to keep my baby out of the media. I feel like right now, me and my dude are working to get in a really good place but it’s about these babies right now and bringing some kids into the world that I can love unconditionally and be able to spend that time with now.
You don’t feel like you and Dr. Sims should be in a good place before you bring twins into the world?
We’re in a good place as far as communicating. We were friends first. Who knows? We might not end up together, but I know he’s a good man and his family is a great family. We’re going to be family regardless. He has no kids, I know he comes from good genes. He’s a smart guy, family’s very smart. They’re a great family and very close. I know I’ll have a lot of help between his parents, my parents. I just know it’s a good situation for kids because I know our thought process is the same when it comes to raising kids. It might vary in other things, but that, we’re on one page about.
Moving on, I know you had to somewhat debate your past comments about not thinking men are good people with Derrick Jaxn. Do you still feel the same way?
Yeah, I don’t like them.
[Laughs] It’s funny because I was going to say, you have also talked about dating women and them being crazy.
So where’s the in between hope? [laughs]
I guess God is going to have to do this! I guess God is going to have to do it.
So Derrick, who is a like a self-love guru, he didn’t change the way you look at men?
Oh no. He can’t talk about nothing with me. I’m a grown woman with a real life. He can’t tell me nothing.
I also wanted to ask you, are you still planning to do the country album?
Yeah! I’m about to work on it. I got a call from Billy Ray Cyrus and we talked. He said I could record my album on his farm, so I’m about to head to Nashville. I’m also working with Dionne Warwick’s son. I don’t think people know how gifted he is as far as vocal producing and things like that. I also spoke to Babyface about the country album to do some writing. I really think, the same feeling I got with R&B, R&B is always my heart, I promise, but I just feel like it’s something special going on with how the universe is moving right now. I’m ready for that and I can feel it. I’m up for a fight. I’m not going to keep fighting my own people to sing. I’m not going to do that. I’m fighting for my people. I’ve sat in these rooms, I’ve heard what they’ve said about our intellect and how they think we can’t take in music and the only thing we can take in is this. I’ve had my own label at Atlantic and I’ve listened to these conversations. So to get online and you’re fighting me too? It’s like, I don’t plan on fighting with my people no more. No one will fight against us in my face, but I don’t plan on it. I plan on going to do a bigger fight and a bigger battle and hopefully my people will rally around me and uplift me to get us to a genre that was ours anyway. They really don’t want us in there as Black people, so I really hope instead of hating, Black people will come together in this fight with me because there are some Black girls who deserve to get to be on that chart. You can’t have a country chart and never have had a Black woman to chart. That’s crazy! The Clark Sisters have a Grammy in country music, but it was in gospel country. But as far as a Black girl charting? Mickey Guyton been down there for years and they overlook that girl even though she sound like everybody else. And you know, in Nashville, it’s a problem with women. Women have big groups, it’s white women, Black women, but it’s a thing with women. So not only am I Black, but I’m a woman, so I’m in for the fight of my life. I don’t care though. I will fight it.
You seem like you’re ready for that because even when you told that crowd of white folks at the country bar that you could outsing any white man, that took a lot of guts.
Yeah! I’ve been doing this for years. I definitely got called a n-gga by this white man and I definitely had bodyguards with me and I definitely swung and ended up getting out of there. But you know what? Bar fight! That’s what y’all wanna do, that’s what we’re gonna do. I’m going to fight for something. I’m not going to sit up here and be f–king fighting folk on The Breakfast Club. I’m supposed to be fighting, y’all? F–k that! Nobody got time for that. There’s a whole genre of music with a whole bunch of bags that are everlasting to focus on. Darius Rucker don’t want for nothing. He’s booked every week; quietly, not bothered, getting his money, doing what he needs to do. He’s not in the drama of the blogs or what he had on. I’m not that girl, either. I don’t want to do no red carpets, I don’t want to do that stuff. I just want to sing.
With that in mind then, do you ever feel like maybe you need to step away from these shows?
We’re developing my own right now. We have interest in GRB Studio. They do Intervention, and I’m the first thing they’ve ever branched off to that’s different. They reached out to me to do a country show about me making a country album. So, I’m into stuff like that that’s about the music, because Love and Hip Hop…it did what it did, man. It’s just not healthy. It did what it did and if I have to do one more season, because I think I have one left, it will be the worst season that they ever get out of me. I will not say a word [laughs]. If that’s how we fulfill our obligations, I will sit there and yodel the whole season. We’ll yodel on out.
[Laughs] Are there any times on Love and Hip Hop looking back that you regret?
No. Never [laughs]. That’s how I felt in that moment, and if you knew these people behind closed doors you would have done worse. You get on a show and a motherf–ker tell you that you ain’t get hit? Motherf–ker tell you that you ain’t get abused? You tell another woman that? Girl, bye. That’s why you have a whole baby over there that ain’t even yours. You had a surrogate b—h and didn’t want one! [laughs]
So no hope for making peace with some people from Love and Hip Hop then, K?
I can’t stand them people. And no, I’m not that mature yet. I wish them well because I’m supposed to say that. I wish them well.
All Monsters Are Human is available now and streaming on all music platforms.