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Did Kellz Lose His Midas Touch?

This is a discussion on Did Kellz Lose His Midas Touch? within the R. Kelly Music Chat forums, part of the R. Kelly Discussion category; I've tried to remain optimistic and bite my tongue but it's become so hard now. Kellz is my fave artist ...

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    Default Did Kellz Lose His Midas Touch?

    I've tried to remain optimistic and bite my tongue but it's become so hard now. Kellz is my fave artist ever but it's just bothering me how lackluster these songs are. Marching Band is the only song getting more than one spin but even MB isn't up to Kellz usual standards. It sounds empty. Anyone feel the same way?

    There was a time when he could hop on any song and kill it with his cadence and witty lyrics but he's lost it now. He's so caught up in the whole Future and Migos wave that he has forgotten how to use his voice and agile cadence that only he knew how to do. What's with the whole rap-talk thing he does as of late? I'm bothered by the fact that he even talked his way through that "Wake Up Everybody" song. Barely sang. Same with "Marching Band" etc.

    The production quality has slowly regressed since his debut. Listen to "Backyard Party" and "Wake Up Everybody" then listen to his songs from Chocolate Factory or even Love Letter. The lyrical quality is no longer there it seems. He loves repeating the same thing. "Wake Up Everybody" and "Marching Band" are literally the same lyrically.

    Listening to "Wake Up Everybody" and the other three songs. I'm not impressed. I don't have that same feeling I had when I heard the Love Letter singles/album or the albums before that. Even Double Up was a very R. Kelly album in comparison to these singles. He's just imitating other artists at this point. "Wake Up Everybody" is a imitation of Barry White. "Marching Band" is the only song close to R. Kelly we heard in a very long time. "Backyard Party" sounds like a WMB leftover to me. "Switch Up" is a Jeremih song, IMO.

    I just hope he delivers with the album but it's clear he's no longer able to make songs he did from 1992 to 2010. Even his features are very underwhelming. Kid Ink, the song with King Los, Ty $, Birdman and Lil Wayne, etc. Underwhelming. I see why he stopped doing remixes.

    Honestly, I want him to go for the House and Country/Blues projects. He needs to be thrown a curve ball at this point in his career. I'm only looking forward to the Deluxe tracks and the duet with his daughter, tbh. I have an idea of what the songs with Jhene and Tinashe will give. I just hate how predictable he has become. He claims to have to written over 400 songs and the 4 songs are very lackluster. I expected more.

    Thoughts?

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    Member GoonBallz's Avatar
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    I am not quite as down-beat as you sound. I'm trying to adapt and re-adapt like Kellz is trying to do.

    That said, I definitely understand your sentiments. My concern recently is that he doesn't seem as inspired to write a classic - classic or classic album. Thinking back to all his albums, up to 2004, he seemed like he had pride in the writing of his albums. (I accept what you say about Double Up mind you) Love Letter was such a breath of fresh air. It had his craaft all over it, plus his untamed voice.

    He has always said he is proudest of TP-2.com because he put so much into it - and that's one of his most-loved albums. He should therefore apply the same effort! I was hoping the album art and track-list would represent a bit more class. The same with his tours, they feel slightly uninspired. No hit singles, or good promotion since Love Letter as well.

    HOWEVER, as I say, Kelly is great at re-adapting and sometimes you go with it and only appreciate his 'lesser' albums when they're sandwiched between others. We also have to say that we don't know anything yet. We can only reserve judgement until we hear this album.

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    Senior Member mistermaxxx's Avatar
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    the industry did bit into him
    and he is still saying I'm not just a R&B dude. in all honesty he was around in the wrong era. had he been out in the 70's and 80's he would have made all kinds of albums.

    he obviously gotta play ball with the majors because his albums been uneven
    and you get 3-4 projects on one album. truth is
    after Happy People this became the norm
    and since he wasn't allowed to put out the whole musical virus
    and other projects he has had cooking
    well you get bits and pieces
    and he ends up doing accessible left over tracks.

    some folks want him with a live band
    and just let it all go period.

    love letter was a strong album however he ain't getting no push
    and he is torn with being a musical legend
    and also trying to stay relevent
    and its a dicy spot to be in,

    i think he just gotta do his thing period
    and not worry about no billboard.

    that Sam Cooke show he did is a great example

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    Untitled. Exit's Avatar
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    The impression I get with Black Panties & Buffet is that he's enjoying trying to emulate and keep up with the young guys, but with us all having seen what he is capable of in the past we know he's above that. Having said that, I was really disappointed with Black Panties and will be very surprised if I don't prefer Buffet by a long way.

    I'd like him to put more effort into his tour sets and award appearances. For the casual fans what he does will work but for the hardcore fans that have continuously watched him over the years we've seen the same thing over and over and over. I completely get the idea behind the medleys, but there is so much more to some of these songs than the chorus. I'm not sure what the deal is either but there always seems to be a problem with his music videos, which is a shame because back in the day all his vids were almost on par with the songs (Down Low, Hands of Time, I Wish, Same Girl, etc), there's just no imagination or effort put into them these days... I think the Echo video back when Untitled was out shows what the label/management think about funding videos though, not to mention that mess with him/his team creating a separate youtube account for It's On because they couldn't get it on the official R. Kelly vevo account.

    We'll see how things are once he inevitably leaves RCA though. It will either eradicate the constant push backs, video problems, and everything else that goes wrong with his releases, or show us that it weren't their fault all along. You'd imagine it would inspire him further too, for the first time in his career he could be releasing music without the backing of a label. That's got to push you to try harder.
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    Senior Member therealrkelly's Avatar
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    Great convo here. My biggest thing with the midas touch piece is that...i'm not hearing him in other peoples stuff...as much....you see him working with fantasia hear and so on but not like it used to be
    you had to have a kelly song on your album...and you knew when it came on...maybe somethings coming up.. idk..

    onto his career....no artist has been as relevant as he has..it's indescribable that he's been around so long..making good music. that's unheard of in any genre....i don't trip on the sing/raps..he's done that his whole career.....
    we know his talent level...record companies mess you up......the scandal messed him up to.....he gets something good going it comes back up.....the gaga shit...the bieber he was almost back to the pop realm just like the tp-2...they brought it up again...

    again great convo y'all

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    I completely agree therealrkelly. I forgot to mention that in my thoughts. He's really missing his songwriting for other artists. That was what set him above most, gained him respect, got him attention and made him relevant with his peers. He should be writing songs for the likes of Rihanna, Chris Brown, even Adele. all these artists seem to say they love and respect Kellz but nothing seems to happen. Even stranger when he does get behind an artist like Jennifer Hudson, he brings them amazing songs like 'It's Your World' but it doesn't quite come off for some reason. It never gets a proper video or promotion. i don't know if that's the management's fault of these other artists but he hasn't had a sure fire hit for somebody else in a while. Even 'I Look To You' didn't quite come off because they didn't let him produce it.

    The sad thing is, he's been saying a lot in interviews recently "I'm at my best when I'm wanted" - is this just drawing attention to the fact he mustn't be wanted very much then? Instead of writing for the likes Rihanna and Chris Brown etc, he's instead trying to copy them. That's a sign of losing your own midas touch.

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    hes musically bankrupt .....
    Psychopaths have a Hidden Content and grossly inflated view of their own Hidden Content and importance, a truly astounding egocentricity and sense of entitlement, and see themselves as the center of the universe, justified in living according to their own rules.

    Psychopaths show a stunning lack of concern for the effects their actions have on others, no matter how devastating these might be. They may appear completely forthright about the matter, calmly stating that they have no sense of guilt, are not sorry for the ensuing pain, and that there is no reason now to be concerned.

    Many of the characteristics displayed by psychopaths are closely associated with a profound lack of empathy and inability to construct a mental and emotional "facsimile" of another person.

    Psychopaths seem to suffer a kind of emotional poverty that limits the range and depth of their feelings. At times they appear to be cold and unemotional while nevertheless being prone to dramatic, shallow, and short-lived displays of feeling.
    Obligations and commitments mean nothing to psychopaths.

    But here is the crux: Psychopaths don't feel they have psychological or emotional problems, and they see no reason to change their behavior to conform with societal standards they do not agree with.







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    Something is wrong I think - maybe a judgement issue.

    I'm really at a loss more than anything else in his current taste of these dime a dozen producers he seems to keep working with since Black Panties - does he just buy their beats or something on discount? The majority of the time there's hardly a melody in the songs - and these songs all seem to follow some dull formula of either unneeded autotune or constant echo's of the word "yeah". Only really Marching Band is memorable from the musical standpoint from outside influences from what I can tell.

    It says something when the best songs on Buffet end up being the ones he's clearly involved with from start-to-finish with little outside influence.

    Just listen to an instrumental of songs like Step or Ignition or Happy People or Half on a Baby or dozens more from the beginning - it's so pure musically and there's an art to it, then track down something like some of this newer stuff when he's working with these guys - it's just lazy, tuneless pap a lot of the time and it all starts to blend together.

    I also think it's time to retire the really filthy content or scale it way way back - it's just old hat now and there's hardly any subtlety in the lyrics these days. I'd love another anthem in the Touched A Dream mold, but it's not on the cards it seems.

    As negative as this sounded, I quite liked the Buffet for the most part - especially Sextime - that was what I thought the album was going to be, revisiting the past with a modern twist - honestly, when I heard the first few songs, I thought "shit, this is just Black Panties 2" hahaHidden Content

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    Oh yes, it's definitely a judgement issue. The big songs are there but somehow he doesn't value them. Every album since 'TP3' his choices of songs that made the cut, along with song order and single choices has been way off. That has been partly the record company, partly outside influence but Rob also has to take a fare share of the blame.

    He talks about projects way too much and seems totally oblivious to the concept of hyping things up and failing to deliver. 'The Buffet' could have been such a simple formula. Listen to the albums over his career, take 1 or 2 sounds from each, sit down, do them again along with some newer sounds (namely house, blues, country, etc.). I mean how it's possible that there isn't a new jack swing cut on an 'all you can hear' album is beyond me, especially with how much people love that vibe and sound.

    Right now Rob is very much in a quantity over quality approach. This is his attitude from his shows to his albums. The songs/instrumentals he's getting from outside producers are simply tracks not compositions and I would actually say that the outside produced songs on 'The Buffet' are the worst yet (excluding 'Marching Band' and 'Switch Up'). Other people on the forum have said they have enjoyed them, but personally I cannot get into them at all. His team has changed and he's spending less time in the studio crafting. I mean 'Keep Searchin' is such a great song but it's at least 3.5 years old, so why are we getting that now especially when he says he wrote 460+ songs for this project?

    He hasn't lost his midas touch, but he certainly needs to re-focus himself. On 'Love Letter' he focussed on himself and produced arguably his best album since 'Happy People'. 'Write Me Back' was actually an even a sharper album, it's just that he didn't release a knock-out single (like he did with 'When a Woman Loves') and for some reason didn't promote it all, which again raised question marks about where his mind was/is at.

    In simple terms he needs to get back to making legacy music. Despite how he can come across sometimes, he is very smart and self-aware, but as some have said previously sometimes he needs to be challenged or even have his 'back against the wall' in order to create his better/best work. Oh and I do not want to hear about another 'listening session' again because when they happen, the end result is an attempt to please everybody which ultimately fails to deliver.
    Last edited by V.I.P; 12-16-2015 at 03:20 PM.
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    Diehard, loyalist w/o ? smile4me's Avatar
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    Honestly, I feel the same way Steve does. Tho better than BP, still not as good as Write Me Back! LL & WMB were on another level of writing & production. Hell if he's gonna go w/other producers, go w/the top 5's. Babyface, Timbo, Pharrel, Himself & whom eva. I like Galimatias beats which is MOST DEFINITELY what he needs for a "themed type" album & do away w/the "meat & potatoes" formula. Again, check out Alina Baraz & Galimatias - Urban Flora album. All I could hear over those infectious, sensual & sonically pleasing beats was Kelly. I imagined an album like Urban Flora is what his tried & true "fans" would absolutely LOOOOOOOOOOVE! If I had the money to put up & make it happen I would. Yes its time for him to retire that language & the ratchetness. I give The Buffett a C+. He can do better as I was expecting.

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