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Keri Hilson reflects on debut album ‘In a Perfect World,’ 10 years later: I was finally seeing my childhood dream come alive



It’s been a decade since Keri Hilson‘s seminal debut album In a Perfect World made her a household name.  In a new interview with RatedRnB, the “Knock You Down” vocalist reflected on her first full-length studio album, and how the effort pushed her to be more vulnerable. 

“I think at that point I had realized my strength was talking about things that did not make me perfect and that’s why I named the album In a Perfect World,” Hilson explained.  “I was like, “Listen, the last thing we need is another woman coming into the game pretending to be perfect.”

Elsewhere, Hilson touched on how she convinced Kanye West to provide a guest spot on her smash hit, “Knock You Down” — the same day that In a Perfect World was being mastered in Canada. It was a leap of faith that resulted in Ye rattling off 60 bars of verse. 

“[Kanye] just insisted and we let him do the verse. He killed it,” Hilson recalled.  “It was long as hell and there was a lot a drama because we had to shorten his verse. It was like 60 bars! We had to cut it down to like 20 bars.”

With the addition of a feature from Ne-Yo, “Knock You Down” went on to top the Billboard‘s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 2009. The single also earned Hilson a Grammy nod for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2010.

In retrospect, Hilson says In a Perfect World was a dream come true. 

“I just knew if I didn’t give up, that it would happen. It was an emotional time. It was like I could breathe for the first time. I was finally seeing my childhood dream come alive.”

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