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.