American singer/songwriter Kimberly Michelle Pate is a hip-hop superstar. Fans wonder if she has always had such a smooth flow.
K. Michelle’s first song was Fakin’ It featuring Missy Elliot, which she released in 2009. It peaked at number 100 on U.S charts, but her subsequent singles went on to be much more successful after her breakthrough role on MTV reality show Love & Hip Hop. Fakin’ It was released by Jive Records, and the song received generally positive reception.
Read more below about the details of the song, and how it shaped K. Michelle’s career.
Rise To Fame
The hip hop star was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and always had an avid interest in music.
She took music lessons from a celebrity vocal coach, and learned guitar and piano as a child.
In September 2004, the singer took a break from college to look after her newborn son, but resumed shortly after to obtain her degree.
She went on to release singles with Jive Records, the first record company she signed with.
None of these were chart toppers, although she did collaborate with top artists in the hip hop industry at the time including Missy Elliott.
Before she was able to release her first album with them, Jive Records was shut in 2011.
However, the singer had her breakthrough in 2012 after joining the popular reality television drama Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.
The show chronicles the journey of young hip hop artists in the US, and gave Michelle the exposure she needed.
While on the show, she documented her recording of her debut album Rebellious Soul, which peaked at number 2 on the US Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums Charts.
After this, she headlined several tours and made a name for herself as a musician.
Jive Records helped Michelle release Fakin’ It, her first single, in 2009, and it reached number 100 on the U.S Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart.
The promotional single was meant to be for her upcoming album Rebellious Soul, originally titled Pain Medicine, but did not end up featuring on the album considering that Jive Records closed in 2011.
The song’s lyrical content light-heartedly focused on the expectations of women in the bedroom, and about “faking it” for men in a sexual context.
The song resultantly received negative press from male viewers, being accused of “male-bashing”.
In a radio interview in Rochester, the host accused K. Michelle of “encouraging women to fake it” to which she simply responded with, “We shouldn’t have to do it at all.”
The singer said, “Men nowadays be lacking on a lot of things” including “bedroom skills and taking care of their kids”.
“[Young Money] wanted to say, ‘I wish I could fuck every girl in the world;’ my thing was to say, ‘Okay, well while you’re doing it, we’re faking [the orgasm].’” Michelle joked, “That’s the fun side of me.”
Critics generally averaged the song’s rating between 3.8-4.5/5 stars. AllMusic said the song was “full of attitude, vulnerability and humor.”
Despite only giving the Rebellious Soul album a 50/100 rating, PopMatters praised K. Michelle for her energy on the song deflating male egos. The magazine said that she had “power and humor, the ability to thrive in a tough situation.’
After Michelle’s Love & Hip Hop debut, the New York Times revisited old songs of hers. They said her early songs were “raw and sassy, sung by someone not yet deflated by life’s sharp corners.”
K. Michelle’s powerful feminine energy is motivational to the women who listen to her music, and her unapologetic attitude is inspiring, shown from her very first song.