Single Review: Kelis “Millionaire”

Album: Tasty
Year: 2004

Money only brings trouble, according to Kelis’ new single “Millionaire.” Andre introduces the song with the”I said she from the city so she got to be witty, witty/She said him from the country so him got to be funky, funky.” The formless “Millionaire” doesn’t keep to the verse-hook-verse-hook concept. Instead, they trade their parts. Andre sings that although he’s rich, he feels alone and useless (“Mama i’ma Millionaire but I feel like a bum/Mama i’ma Millionaire/but I feel like the only one”).

The hook (which it could be) is Andre and Kelis “oohing” over an electro, vintage R&B beat. Next, it’s Kelis’ turn to say she’s a millionaire. However, she adds that “Sax Fifth Avenue don’t sell affection” and discovering that she’s becoming someone she’s doesn’t like (“but i ain’t movin in the right direction/Somethin ain’t right, I know”). Next, Andre raps. His wordplay is smart and witty as he raps about people suddenly wanting to be best friends with those that have money (“Where there is cheese there are rats/Where there are rats there are cats”) He calls out those who already have money, but are selfish and want to get more.(“Where ever there are cats there are dogs/If you got the dogs you got bitches”) And when people have money, they have problems. However, they have to solve them (“If you got riches,you got glitches/If you got glitches in your life computer turn it off and then reboota/Now you back on”) He comments that they can’t go back to the pre-rich life they had, either. Instead, they should enjoy having it because it may be gone (“Can’t just put the cap on the old bottle once you pop it that will spoil it, gone and drink it and enjoy it”).

Kelis sings that she has no life and close friends because of money and that she hopes that people won’t be so greedy.

“Millionaire” is actually sympathetic and not self-centered. Instead, it questions the idea that being rich is ideal In their lives, money was the goal but now it has some unintended consequences.

Kelis is able to sell the single convincingly due to being unknown in the United States. She’s mostly earned her money from the European fans. Other than “Milkshake” and the few who were able to catch “Caught Out There” for the five minutes it was on MTV back in 1999, Americans are unfamiliar with her. Andre’s rap also makes this single. Having him on her song is a huge selling point, especially now that Outkast has crossed over. However, this single should’ve been released second instead of Outkast releasing “Roses.” By now in the U.S., people are perhaps sick of Outkast (especially “Hey Ya”) and may turn off this song.


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