kelly rowland dirty laundry

If you have not yet heard Kelly Rowland‘s single “Dirty Laundry,” you should do so as soon as possible. I mean, you can watch the video below first, but you should read along the lyrics because they’re painfully beautiful.

“Dirty Laundry” is about the intense amount of competition that comes with fame which, in Rowland’s case, meant competing with Beyonce — a nearly impossible feat for just about anybody on earth considering her international fame and value in the entertainment world. But because the pair both belonged to Destiny’s Child, audiences and industry members will see them as permanently tethered to the same rating system.

While my sister was on stage, killing it like a motherf-cker
I was enraged, feeling it like a motherf-cker
Bird in a cage, you would never know what I was dealing with
Went out separate ways, but I was happy she was killing it
Bittersweet, she was up, I was down
No lie, I feel good for her, but what do I do now?

However, the more devastating portions of the song are that which revolve around her abusive relationship, potentially with someone in the music industry. She describes the pain, shame and isolation that comes with having a violent partner and a destructive relationship:

Phone call from my sister, “what’s the matter?”
She said, “Oh no, baby – you gotta leave!”
I’m on the kitchen floor – he took the keys
I was mad at everybody, I mean everybody
Yeah, her, her, her her everybody
Five years later, I got my shit down pat
Think I had it good, and they don’t know how bad
Fooled everybody, except myself
Soaking in this hurt, bathing in the dirt

Rowland broke down crying while singing “Dirty Laundry” at her Washington, D.C. concert on Sunday, then picked herself back up using the crowd’s support. It’s a beautiful performance, as I said, but extremely rough to watch. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t — in fact, the roughest things are the ones that are most important to listen to, see and acknowledge.

Photo: Getty Images