Hidden Content

"It’s hard to argue against Kelly when he tells listeners why he’s better than any artist "


Hidden Content is like the Barry White of this generation—if Barry White believed he could fly or got trapped in a closet and sang about it for over an hour. He’s no novice to R&B—with a 20-plus-year resume topped off by a few Grammy Awards to validate his worth as an artist.
R. Kelly has had quite the reputation, and the self-proclaimed “sex genius” has been known to focus almost entirely on the theme of sex in his music throughout the years. He’s always able to give listeners a fresh and vivid perspective on his adventures with the opposite sex.
With the release of Black Panties, his newest album, Kelly definitely gives the listeners their money’s worth. The album hosts an eclectic mix of the good, the bad, the ugly, the just plain nasty and the unique.
Tracks like “Leg Shakin” “Spend That” and one of the bonus tracks, titled “Show Ya Pussy,” are solid bangers that act as strong evidence for R. Kelly’s relevance in modern music. They also act as strong affirmations to those who like to his at times obscure, oftentimes controversial lyrical content.
“My Story” and “Right Back” give listeners more insight into R. Kelly as a person. On these songs, he details the struggles of his life, the difficulty he faced leaving the streets of Chicago and how he’s come to enjoy his success. He also acknowledges the negativity surrounding him and his music: “Shut Up” focuses on pushing away the haters, while simultaneously embracing his real fans.
Going beyond the good, there is certainly some strange content on Black Panties. R. Kelly compares a certain female part to the experience of eating an Oreo cookie. Needless to say that the imagery is quite intense, and it’ll be difficult to look at those delicious cookies the same way again.

“Prelude,” a skit, is vital to understanding the context of the middle portion of the album. It sets the scene for the next song, on which R. Kelly says that he is going to propose. Yes, the “sex genius” is going to tie himself down, but the bride-to-be is not exactly what one may expect. (Spoiler Alert: the next song is called “Marry the Pussy”).
This skit is definitely reminiscent of “Trapped in the Closet”—the hip-hopera full of both serious and goofy antics—and acts as great bridge material to any avid fans of Kelly’s entrapment.
Black Panties is an experience. It is hard to peg it as good or bad. The repetitive sexual content is a bit much at times and his explicitness certainly doesn’t help much (look no further than “Throw This Money on You,” in which the entire song acts as an ode to a stripper he is fond of).
There are certain songs that definitely make the playlist cut. The off-the-wall wordplay and imagery does make some songs just plain fun to listen to. Kelly does take serious stances on some of his songs—which give the album a solid foundation. When combined with the bangers and the overall obscure lyrical content, these songs make the album a unique experience from the one and only R. Kelly.
It’s hard to argue against Kelly when he tells listeners why he’s better than any artist (including even Barry White): “Let’s be honest how many babies been made off me…Every boy, every girl, every child around the world / From the ’90s up until today was made off me.” Now that’s a lot of babies.
4 out of 5 stars