Kelis 

Talkin' dirty — and loud

Two years ago, hip-hop gossips squawked that singer Kelis and her rapper hubby, Nas, had bought a house in Atlanta so they could get busy. The crazy thing was the source of this information was the lady herself.

"Without sounding completely vile," she said at the time, "I can have loud sex without the person next door hearing me."

Space is one precious element Atlanta has that New Yorkers like Kelis and Nas covet, even it's just space to fuck.

Kelis has always been a bit of a sonic chameleon, whether shouting up a storm to rival Alanis Morrissette in her debut single "Caught Out There" or trying on a million coy double entendres in "Milkshake." In between those two large anthemic bookends, she's explored high-energy house music as well as maudlin, slow-burn torch songs.

Much of her new album, Kelis Was Here, crawls along at a steamy purr, thanks in part to the help of producers like the Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am, hitmaker Scott Storch and soul maestro Raphael Saadiq. Local man of the hour Cee-Lo even collaborates with her on the jangly guitar strains of "Lil Star."

When it was time for the album to scream out in orgiastic bliss, though, Kelis came to Atlanta's Shondrae Crawford, who's also crafted tunes for Ludacris, Missy Elliott and Ciara. The results -- clearly some of the album's best -- lie in the fiesty 808 booms of "Aww S***!," "Handful" and the insanely catchy single "Bossy" featuring Too Short.

Atlanta: home of the nasty grooves.

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