Finding Words to Describe a Ridiculous Feeling
You will have to excuse the vulgar language in this post, so Mom, because I know you read the blog, you can skip today’s post. I’d actually prefer if you did because the thought of you continuing to read is going to make me uncomfortable. I’m writing about sex, explicitly.
Yesterday, R. Kelly released his brand new album, Black Panties. For the sake of discussion, I’m going to assume everyone knows about R. Kelly’s music and the legacy of that music. So if you haven’t yet gotten around to hearing his latest effort, a heads up: It’s pretty much all about sex, which means it’s vintage R. Kelly. The man who has been the R in R&B for at least as many years as I’ve been listening to it has even publicly stated, “Black Panties” was a return to the classic sex album, “12 Play.” I wanted to argue that was actually his 2000 effort, TP2.com, but in actuality, if that album had a rating it would be R (no pun intended), and “Black Panties” would be XXX. It’s so sexplicit (typo intended), I’m actually surprised it’s not available for download at P0rnhub.com, but that’s neither here nor there.
If I’m writing about it, this much should be obvious: I can’t stop listening to it.
Even aficionados will tell you, as far as songwriters go, Kellz is one of the most absurd. Take a song like “I Believe I Can Fly” for instance, released in 1996. If you just listen to it, Kelly sounds like he’s hearkening some gospel roots. The “I” is not his physical self but his spiritual self. But then, when you realize it was the single from the “Space Jam” soundtrack, a movie starring Michael Jordan and a bunch of Looney Tunes cartoon characters you get the feeling this fool Kelly meant fly in the physical sense. The earnestness in his voice is too real. It’s like he actually wanted us to believe we can all fly for real, like into space and such, or at the very least, like Michael Jordan used to back in the day on the basketball court.
That’s kind of what makes R. Kelly so, well, like-able to people like me. He’s kind of in on the joke of his own lyrics. Remember his laughs at the end of “Feelin’ On Yo Booty?”
So on Black Panties, I wouldn’t say he takes his particular type of art to new heights. If anything it’s business as usual. R. Kelly gonna R. Kelly and that he does on this album. (Two very good pieces on exactly what I’m talking about can be found here and here ). But there is one song that I have played over and over and over again.
The title “Marry the P****” makes no sense, because that’s physically impossible. You can’t marry the parts of a woman. You have to marry the whole woman. I know this. You know this. R. Kelly knows this. And yet, it doesn’t stop him from writing a love anthem for something so carnal. As he says without a hint of uncertainty or doubt or irony, the song is a “sex proposal.”
As for the song itself, it makes complete sense if you’ve ever actually experienced the kind of sex R. Kelly is describing here. I have, which is why when I heard this song I was like, “Thank you, R. Kelly for finding the words to describe a ridiculous feeling I’ve had.”
The biggest lie on planet earth is the one about sex being like pizza to men, because even when it’s bad it’s good. The latter part of that statement is where the fallacy is. Sex is like pizza in that I like pizza. But I’m an adult, who has enough experience to make good decisions and can eat any pizza I damn well please, which means I only eat good pizza. If I eat any bad pizza, I don’t think it’s good, I think it’s bad and, most importantly, it was an accident. I wanted to try some new pizza it backfired and I will never have that pizza again. Then there’s the pizza I’ve enjoyed many, many, many times. I went back to it because it was reliable and dependable and I continued to eat it even if every now and then I had some good pizza elsewhere, I still went back. Then there’s the pizza I want to learn how to make at home so I can always, always have that. So I don’t ever have to buy pizza from somewhere else again. From the moment I tasted it, it was a wrap. I asked the person who made it how much it cost for the recipe and I cleared out all my accounts to get it. They gave it to me and now I’m at home, kneading dough.
Sorry if I got off track. That’s what good pizza, good p**** does to a man. We start thinking about things that make no sense, things like, “Damn, I just want to marry that p****.” One of the very first lines Kelly sings is, “I can’t explain what it do to me, talk to me, sing to me, so much joy it bring to me.” A lot of people hear or read words like that and say, “What are you talking about, R. Kelly?” I’m pretty sure most women shake their head in disbelief and roll their eyes in disgust. They think to themselves, Shouldn’t a man want to marry a woman for more than just her vagina?
Yes, ladies, he should. Yes, ladies, he will. But the difference between marrying a woman with not good vagina and marrying a woman with a good vagina is the difference between having to buy an A/C unit for your apartment and having an apartment with central air. Even in the world of luxury goods, there are levels. Every one knows, the word “marriage” is not to be taken lightly, but anyone who thinks R. Kelly is using it lightly here probably also thinks men only care about sex, are wrong.
Sex is cool, but when a man’s had enough in his lifetime, there’s some amount of ambivalence towards the act itself. The bar gets higher, things get more intricate and it gets to a point where we start making distinctions between sex and good sex. Sex is what we will receive, but good sex is what we want, what we love, what we will sing about or find a song about and play it multiple times.
They say writing about music is like dancing about architecture. If that makes no sense, that’s kind of the point. And yet, I have written about music, I like writing about music, and right now, I am writing about a particular piece of music that is about a feeling equally ridiculous to the feeling I get when I hear something and want to put some meaning onto it for other people to read. Before R. Kelly released “Marry the P****,” I had no idea how to express such a feeling in words, partly because I knew it was ridiculous and also because there was some small sense of shame. I’d like to think I’m deep (no pun intended) and I’m a complicated individual different from all men, and I want a woman who understands me, in ways that are nuanced, but there are some things that about me, and about men, that are very simple.
I would never marry a woman just because I want to marry her p**** but I cannot imagine ever wanting to marry a woman whose p**** I didn’t want to marry. Let’s be honest. (I know, I’m not married, so you all can take that mentality for what it is.) But I have had enough sex to know exactly what it’s like to be with someone who feels so good I think I want to marry her. That may be simple, but trust me when I say, it’s not easy to find.