Keyshia’s Interview in Atlanta, Georgia

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Keyshia Cole Sister2Sister Interview with Jamie:

Jamie: So what’s happened since I last talked to you? Your life has changed so much.

Keyshia: A little bit. I’m trying to get it back on track.

Jamie: Why is it offtrack?

Keyshia: You know, you gotta get everything together — sisters, nieces, and family. They moved in five months ago. But I’m never here.

Jamie: How did that happen, that you brought your sister here?

Keyshia: I just think, you know, it just wasn’t right out there so I had to go get her. She was in Sacramento … I’m so sick. I’m not good with artificial air. It’s hot, and around this time you use a lot of air. It’s not good for me.

Jamie: Oh, so it’s not just on the plane. You’re talking about air conditioning in general?

Keyshia: Yeah. But lots of singers tell me you’re not supposed to use air. Don’t sleep with it. It just makes me sick.

Jamie: Are people saying you’re not polished enough?

Keyshia: I’m sure they say it. They’re gonna have to teach me how to be polished.

Jamie: You know when Mary J. Blige came out, she was really rough around the edges.

Keyshia: [Mary and I] are alike in a lot of ways. I kicked it with her, actually, after the BET Awards. We were all at Kimora Simmons’s house. They threw the party for it. We all sat around the same table — me, her, Kim and a bunch of other people — and I just watched her for a minute. It was like a hour that I just sat there. I really had to walk away ’cause I didn’t want, you know, to have her thinking I was crazy. [laughs] But you know, we really are alike in a lot of ways, as far as the things that we’ve been through and how we take things and how we react to certain things — and soulfully, I believe.

Jamie: Like what?

Keyshia: Like, one of the things I noticed about her when I was talking to her; she was like, “Yo, you sung your heart out at the ASCAP Awards.” She was like, “I mean, you really did a good job.” And I was like, “Thank you.” You know, she was like, “You know, we could talk whenever you need to.” I was like, “You know what? With you winning all the Grammys and everything, you know, people say I’m just like you. Now that’s reassuring for me, that I might have somewhere to go besides this.” But she was like, “Just call me.” And then she looked in my eyes, and I was like, “Okay.” And she was, like, “You did really good,” and looked in my eyes again. And I was like, “Man, why do you keep looking at my eyes? What’s wrong with you?” [laughs] She’s like, “I don’t know. I just want to see where you’re coming from.” I was like, “Well, you can look at my eyes all you want ’cause I am what it is right now. Ain’t no difference.” And my girl — I told her — she’s like, “You do the same thing. I hope you don’t think you’re no different than what she was doing.” I was like, “Really?”

Jamie: You do the same thing? You’re very giving, I know. And Mary is very kind. But then she says, “Sometimes when I look at that audience and some folks are trying to hate on me,” she said, “I just want to spit on them, Jamie.” [laughs] Because some people come down there and just look at her.

Keyshia: Yeah, some people do. But I think that’s a part of just growing and learning and knowing that every day is a growing experience. Like, I look at it on the bright side. I mean, I’m here, I’m singing; I know I’m not a bad singer. I know these people might not know my music, and the people that do, they’re into it.

Jamie: How’s Mom doing?

Keyshia: She’s great. She’s getting her hair done right now. She got out [of prison] about six, seven months ago.

Jamie: How are you all getting along? Good?

Keyshia: We’re trying. It’s very difficult for everybody. See, the kids like tearing up all my plants and everything. I might as well don’t even get no new stuff, child, ’cause they’re just going to tear it all up. Got fingerprints — jelly prints on the white wall. Why don’t you use the rail? That’s what the rail is made for. You would think [it] would be easier to go down the stairs with the one rail. No, they want to touch both hands on the white part.

Jamie: [laughs] They’re beautiful children, though. And they’re smart. You could see that. She [pointing to Keyshia’s niece] just came up to me and said hi. And when I came through the door, that little one —

Keyshia: Oh, yeah, she smiles a lot. Cierra is, “Hi, Auntie, hi.” You be like, awww. You can’t be mad at her.

Jamie: So who are you going with? Are you with Young Jeezy?

Keyshia: Who?

Jamie: Jeezy.

Keyshia: Oh, Young Jeezy.

Jamie: Yeah. You’re not with him?

Keyshia: Uh-uh.

Jamie: Everybody’s saying that you’re with him.

Keyshia: Everybody’s saying that? Why is everybody saying that?

Jamie: That’s what I’m asking you.

Keyshia: I don’t know why everybody’s saying that.

Jamie: You have a boyfriend now?

Keyshia: Mm-mm. [Meaning “no.”]

Jamie: Why not?

Keyshia: Because I’m working.

Jamie: I cannot believe this. Everybody’s saying that. You’ve heard this, right?

Keyshia: I heard it on the reality show, remember? And I said no.

Jamie: And they’re still saying it, boo-boo.

Keyshia: I know. I’m pregnant. I had an abortion and everything else, they’re saying. Child, I don’t know what they’re talking about.

Jamie: So now there’s no point in me asking you about what you like about Young Jeezy ’cause you’re not going with him.

Keyshia: Right.

Jamie: Are you patient with your sister?

Keyshia: I try to be. I really try to be.

Jamie: Does she listen to you?

Keyshia: It’s just things that I asked them not to do that they don’t listen to. If somebody is there for you and they’re looking out for you, you’ve got to follow by their guidelines and by their rules. But you know, whatever. God is good, and hopefully whatever’s meant to change, He’ll change it.

Jamie: But why wouldn’t you bring somebody in to help them make that transition? ‘Cause when you come home you need to be relaxed. You’ve got all this stuff happening out on the road; it gets overwhelming.

Keyshia: Mm-hmm, yeah, it does. Tell ’em that.

Jamie: [laughs] I’ll tell ’em. Who picks out your clothes and decides on your hairstyle? I like this hairstyle, by the way. It’s really cute. When did you decide to have that color?

Keyshia: Oh, the gold? You know what happened? For the Puffy video it was orange, and for the Young Jeezy video it was orange. And then I colored it and colored it and colored it.

Jamie: When you did the video with Sean Paul, what was that like?

Keyshia: He was alright. [laughs]

Jamie: That ain’t the kind of boy you look at?

Keyshia: Mm-mm. [meaning “no.”] He’s too cute.

Jamie: You want a roughneck?

Keyshia: I don’t know right now. I’m not even thinking about that.

Jamie: Have you had a boyfriend since I met you? Now, you know that was way back when Jamie Foxx first got the Oscar.

Keyshia: No. I don’t plan on having one either.

Jamie: Why is that?

Keyshia: You see what I’m dealing with?

Jamie: Yeah, but they can help you get the stress out.

Keyshia: No! Men are territorial. They like to come in and run everything and I can’t have that. I run my own thing.

Jamie: That’s interesting because most women, especially young women today, they want to get married or they want somebody in their life.

Keyshia: Exactly my point.

Jamie: And you don’t have kids? I was surprised because most young girls have kids.

Keyshia: No d@#n thank you. Child, no. I can’t do it. I can’t do it, I can’t do it, I can’t do it. I can’t. I’m not saying I don’t want to be married one day [or] I don’t want to have kids one day, but you know, just not right now.

Jamie: And what would you tell young girls coming up now? I mean, you had a pretty rough time, but you see these young girls coming up. They dress very provocatively and they’re having children early and they’re hanging with boys early.

Keyshia: And they call me ghetto. Ain’t that weird. It concerns me a lot! It really does. I mean it’s one thing, I think, to be sexy and embrace your sexuality. And then it’s another thing to know what you’ve got and just flaunt it to the 10th power.

Jamie: How’d you find this house, girl? Tell me why you chose this house!

Keyshia: ‘Cause this house looks like a castle. And that’s before I got my white car. My Range Rover looked really pretty in front of it.

Jamie: [laughs] You’re so silly.

Keyshia: It did!

Jamie: How many cars do you have?

Keyshia: Just three. The Range Rover, the SL and the Charger.

Jamie: What do you see yourself doing in the future?

Keyshia: Getting married and having kids and becoming a veterinarian.

Jamie: Could you deal with a snake?

Keyshia: I had one when I was a child. I had everything when I was a child! I had hamsters and guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, cats. So maybe what I’ll do, you know, if it be the Lord’s will, I will have enough money to open up a veterinary hospital. Then I could just hire doctors to come in and I could go to [veterinary] school.

Jamie: While you’re studying you’ll already have it going on and you’ll have access to the animals anyway. Did you get your GED?

Keyshia: Yes, I did. But that was just recently. Actually, me and my cousin got it together.

Jamie: When did you have time to study?

Keyshia: Child, you have time to study. You ain’t got nothing else to do but ride on the bus!

Jamie: Oh, when you’re touring. So you want to go a little further?

Keyshia: I definitely want to go further because I want to do something else besides this. I have a lot of books. I haven’t been reading ’em though.

Jamie: Are you working out?

Keyshia: I was working out twice a day for the last two months. And then before that I’d stopped for a month and I was working out once a day for like four of five months.

Jamie: One hour a day?

Keyshia: Yeah, one hour a day. Two hours when I work out twice I skate. We have some paths over here and stuff like that.

Jamie: You skate? I want to learn how to skate.

Keyshia: My mama can hang too! She was going faster than me, talking about [mimics dance moves]. I’m like, oh hell no!

Jamie: Do you have any girlfriends besides —

Keyshia: No, child! Who?

Jamie: Keyshia!

Keyshia: Girlfriends, child. You said the wrong thing. I can’t take ’em.

Jamie: [laughs]

Keyshia: No, because for real — I can’t take ’em. I was just saying that last night; I don’t got no friends. Ain’t that funny?

Jamie: Is it just family and [your manager] Manny and Ronique? That’s your assistant.

Keyshia: Well see, I’ve been knowing Ronique for 10 years. And I’ve been knowing my other friend since I was 6.

Jamie: What other friend?

Keyshia: Amina — my artist, the rapper. Been knowing her forever.

Jamie: So when is she coming out?

Keyshia: I’m getting it together now.

Jamie: Are you able to walk around without having a crowd of people around you now, Keyshia?

Keyshia: Sometimes, but it’s not hectic and I don’t mind it. It’s not like, “Whoa, I need a private jet.” It’s like, “Okay, that’s enough.” You know, three or four or five people, I’m cool.

Jamie: I remember when Mary J. Blige started out, girls would write me letters and call about her. They liked her. Mary teaches me lessons when I talk to her because she’s growing. She said, “We want everything now. We don’t know about delaying gratification. We don’t know about growing and maturing,” which she has done. And she said, “I’m still working on myself. I still get angry. I still want to strike out, but I’m able to hold myself in.” Which is what you just said a little while ago. You know, that you can hold things back.

Keyshia: You’ve got to be able to do that. Like I talked to Kanye yesterday. … We got to talking about how people do when they come out and what they think and how their attitude and their minds start to change and how people just outgrow themselves. And I was saying it’s funny because when I had the 318 — it was a Beemer that I actually gave to my sister. I think it was a ’98 or something like that, like four years ago. I was like, ooh, I just like this car. It was so hot to me. It was red. Then I got the Range Rover and I was like, this is hot. Then I was like, I got a guy’s car. I got the XL, and I’m like, now I want a Maserati. You’re never satisfied! You know, but when you realize things like that…

Jamie: My husband always says that everything is relative. People can get stuff; you have this house and then you want to have a bigger house —

Keyshia: Neffeteria! Neffeteria! [Keyshia’s sister Neffeteria comes over and sits down with them]

Jamie: Are you hungry?

Neffeteria: I’m about to get me a Subway sandwich. I had some wine and I’m just like, come on.

Jamie: What’s it like being with your sister? Is it wonderful?

Neffeteria: Not only is it wonderful, it’s a challenge. She’s a challenge. I love it though.

Jamie: But she’s so kind.

Neffeteria: She’s beyond that!

Jamie: Them babies, girl, which one can I have?

Neffeteria: None of ’em.

Jamie: They’re so sweet. [Cierra comes out and says hello.] What’s the middle one’s name?

Keyshia: Christare.

Jamie: She’s looking like Dorothy Dandridge. The children are just beautiful, and they have beautiful spirits too.

Keyshia: Christare thinks she’s fine. She knows it. [You can tell her to] “Go, pick that up and take that upstairs.” And she’ll give you the [Keyshia makes a sad face like she’s about to cry].

Jamie: How old is the oldest one?

Neffeteria: Ten in August.

Jamie: Did [Keyshia] call you up and invite you to come over? How did it happen?

Neffeteria: No, actually my mom had come to visit and I had just left my husband because I had recently found out that he’d been sleeping with my first cousin for a year.

Jamie: What?!

Neffeteria: I was a little resentful about moving because I’ve been in California for so long and I didn’t want to come and be that dependent person on my sister. That’s just not me. But I needed to make that move because I was on the verge of having a breakdown.

Jamie: I’ll bet you were! [The kids come back and are sent out again. Keyshia tells one that if she cries she’ll get a spanking.] [Jamie turns to Neffeteria] Will she beat those kids?

Keyshia: They probably know I be bulls^#@!in’. They be like, “Whatever.”

Jamie: [to Neffeteria] Do you beat your kids?

Keyshia: She got beat.

Neffeteria: No, because I had a hard life with the beatings, so I don’t beat my kids. I might yell.

Keyshia: [singing] It’s so hard to see them cry. It is


Keyshia Cole Interviews

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