Keyshia Cole Has Kanye, Shyne On LP, Proof That Stalking MC Hammer Pays Off

The Way It Is due early next year.

There has long been a saying that “It’s a woman’s right to change her mind.” R&B newcomer Keyshia Cole has taken that wisdom to heart with the release of her debut single, “I Changed My Mind.”

Cole’s song about a betrayed girlfriend changing her mind about being with her man have earned the Oakland, California, native her first hit. It didn’t hurt that the single was produced by Kanye West and features a verse from Shyne.

“I came to New York for some other work when he happened to be in the studio and asked me to stop by,” Cole said of working with West. “He said he had a song that was definitely for me.

“I went in and recorded with John Legend,” she added. “We wrote [the lyrics] together, and Kanye produced it. I came up with the topic and what I wanted it to be about, and we all worked towards that.”

According to Cole, “I Changed My Mind” is just a taste of what fans can look forward to with her debut album, The Way It Is. Due early next year, the album, Cole said, makes “very bold statements.”

“I wrote about 85 percent of the album from my personal experiences,” she explained. “The other [songs] come from experiences, too, just not from within me.

“It’s a lot of different topics that people [go through] more on the regular day-to-day basis,” Cole added of the album. “It’s very personal, and it’s going to touch people’s hearts.”

In addition to West, Cole also worked with producers Chink Santana, Daron and Q from 112, Greg Curtis and E-Poppi, among others.

While “I Changed My Mind” serves as Cole’s solo debut, fans of the “Barbershop 2″ soundtrack may remember that Cole teamed up with Eve for “Never.” But her music-business experience goes back further than that. Early in her career, Cole enlisted the help of hometown hero MC Hammer for a little career advice.

“I didn’t know what I was doing,” said Cole with a laugh. “I just wanted to get in touch with him really bad. I knew that I could sing, so my best friend and I formed a group and decided that we would call Hammer every day until he picked up. Well, we thought he would pick up, but he never did. His secretary transferred us to him one day, and we talked to him. I’ve known him ever since.”

Cole has come a long way since stalking MC Hammer. She got her first taste of touring this summer when she joined West on Usher’s Truth Tour.

“It was a wonderful experience because Usher is so talented,” said Cole. “He probably thought I was crazy. Every night, I was watching from the side of the stage. It was wonderful, seeing him onstage like that. Also, Kanye and Christina [Milian] — they’re all great artists, and although I was up there with them, it gave me something to look forward to as far as setting up my own tour and being that kind of entertainer.”