Kesha Sebert Brad Hunter Photoshoot 2011-0

Ke$ha might be one of the most rebellious mainstream (err, is that an oxymoron?) pop princesses in the industry today, but when it comes down to her career choices, she’s not really the one pulling the strings.

Rolling Stone published an interview with the trash-pop princess earlier today to promote Season 2 of her MTV series My Crazy Beautiful Life. And for the most part, the Q&A is a typically hilarious K$ Konversation, complete with Illuminati references, casual vaginal haunting and some discussion of Sinead‘s “prostitute” open letter to Miley Cyrus. (Amazing quote and/or life mantra from Ke$ha: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking a picture with your butthole out and posting it on Instagram, as long as it looks good.”)

But at the very end, things got surprisingly serious once Ke$ha was asked about her career moves as a pop star, as well as the ongoing online fan petition to try and “free” Ke$ha from her longtime producer, Dr. Luke.

Now, all stans have a tendency to get dramatic when their faves aren’t performing on the charts as well as they’d like, usually by determining who or what isn’t working when it comes to label dynamics, producers and promotion. So when this petition started circulating, I was quick to file it in the same category as, say (SAY!), #JusticeForBionic.

But as it turns out, this petition might actually have merit.

From Rolling Stone:

There’s an online petition trying to emancipate you from your longtime producer, Dr. Luke. Have you seen it?
I have, yeah.

They have over 3300 signatures now. Their argument is that Dr. Luke, and I’m quoting them here, is “controlling Ke$ha like a puppet.” Is this a petition you support?
I feel like my fans are really protective of me. They just want to see me grow as an artist, which I agree with. Hopefully in the future, I’ll be in a position where I can put out a ballad or a more vulnerable song.

You don’t have any creative control now?
Not really. What’s been put out as singles have just perpetuated a particular image that may or may not be entirely accurate. I’d like to show the world other sides of my personality. I don’t want to just continue putting out the same song and becoming a parody myself. I have so much more to offer than that and I can’t wait till the world really gets to hear that on the radio.

Blurgh. Kind of sad and terrifying, right? It’s the nature of the business, of course — but still.

Ke$ha first struck it big with her signature drunk-pop anthems like “Tik Tok” and “Your Love Is My Drug” in 2009, which led to her eventual pop radio reign over the next few years. But as anyone who knows the singer beyond the odd Top 40 hit being plugged at radio, she’s got more up her sleeves than just dried body paint and glitter. She’s a genuinely talented singer-songwriter — she co-penned Britney‘s “Till The World Ends,” The Veronicas‘ “This Love” and Miley‘s “The Time Of Our Lives” (for which she was paid exactly $1.63), after all.

But beyond the hit records, it’s her somber, slower cuts like Animal‘s “Stephen” and “Blind,” Cannibal‘s “The Harold Song” (her greatest, most devastatingly beautiful song to date), Warrior‘s “Love Into The Light” and dozens of her pre-fame demos (like the stripped guitar-led 2000 ballad “Goodbye”) that showcase her genuine talent.

It’s great that “Timber” — her rowdy Pitbull-led club anthem — continues to climb on the Billboard Hot 100. We all know Ke$ha loves to party. That’s an indelible part of her persona (for now, anyway). But beyond all the bottle poppin’ and butthole Instagrams (to paraphrase K$), she does have a sensitive side, too.

It’s time to let Ke$ha feel something again.