The outspoken and emotional personality that K. Michelle has become known for on the reality series Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta filters into the music on her debut album, Rebellious Soul.
The R&B songstress’ project, which dropped on Atlantic Records, debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart, and No. 1 on both its Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top R&B Albums charts. The album sold 72,000 units in its first week.
Composed of eleven songs, Rebellious Soul serves as a musical therapy session for K. Michelle. On the album’s first track “My Life,” which features label mate Meek Mill, she aggressively opens up about the struggles she experienced in her past and how that has lead to her adopting a candid persona.
Songs like the piano-driven ballad “I Don’t Like Me” reveals K. Michelle in a depressed state because the guy she cares for desires nothing more than sex from her. She discloses the love she shares for her son on “A Mother’s Prayer,” while on “When I Get A Man” she expresses all the intimate things she’ll provide to the next guy who captures her heart.
K. Michelle talked about her new album, if she’s worried about “Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta” tarnishing her image as an artist, and why she enjoys using music as a form of therapy.
AllHipHop: A variety of emotions can be heard on Rebellious Soul: from feeling happy to sad to sexy or just fed up about the way things are going. Is it safe to say that you live through your music?
K. Michelle: I absolutely write about my life. I don’t want to do it if it’s not about my life. I don’t feel like it’s genuine singing about other things. I like to convey what I’m going through.
What was the best part about creating this album to you?
Getting in there and using it as therapy. The album process was very simple for me. It was just genuine and true to me.
Do you have a favorite song on the album?
My favorite song on the album would be “Sometimes.” The reason “Sometimes” is my favorite song is because it has like an Etta James-type of feel. It’s a very old soul type of feel. I absolutely love that song.
In your music, you not only touch on your experiences, but you use that as a way to provide a sense of wisdom to listeners. Where does the desire come from to do that?
If God gives you a gift, you have to use it in a great way. You can’t just go around and do what you want to do. That gift was given to you to help people, and that’s exactly what I do.
What were some things that inspired you when you created Rebellious Soul?
Whatever I was feeling at that time, I wanted to write about it. That’s where the inspiration for the album came.
Similar to the cover art for your mixtapes, 0 F*cks Given and Signed, Sealed, Delivered, the cover art for Rebellious Soul is relatively provocative. What made you go with that cover art for your debut album?
It’s really not even provocative. It’s me in a dress. I wanted it to have a very dark feel, so that’s why it’s the red and the black. It’s very sexy. That’s the feel I wanted it to have.
You’re largely known for your appearances on “Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta,” and your outspoken personality. Do you think being seen in that light hurts your image as an artist? Or do you think it potentially makes it that much more unique?
Yeah, [I think it makes it more unique], because I tell [listeners] who I am. A lot of artists are fake. They put on this persona, and it’s not relatable. We all get angry. We all have issues. We all are happy and sad and when someone is relatable, you want to see them win and you can relate more to what they’re singing about.
Looking forward, what are your plans as far as music and television goes?
We’re about to go on tour. This single hasn’t even reached its peak yet. It’s in the Top 20. We’re going to aim for Number 1 with the single. I have two more singles off this album. It’s all music for me.
Is there anything you would like to tell your fans?
Thank you. This has been amazing for me and it could not happen without their support. Everybody has been supporting me and has made this an amazing process for me.