Results 1 to 6 of 6

Good Discussion by Writer on R.Kelly

This is a discussion on Good Discussion by Writer on R.Kelly within the R. Kelly Music Chat forums, part of the R. Kelly Discussion category; Hidden Content One question you'd hope those who appreciate music for its camp or ironic qualities--or fans of "outsider art"--occasionally ...

  1. #1
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Last Online
    07-20-2013 @ 08:13 AM
    Location
    AZ, USA
    Posts
    8,135
    Post Thanks / Like
    Local Date
    08-18-2017
    Local Time
    07:29 AM
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Good Discussion by Writer on R.Kelly

    Hidden Content

    One question you'd hope those who appreciate music for its camp or ironic qualities--or fans of "outsider art"--occasionally ask themselves is at what point appreciating an artist more for their musical and personal eccentricities than for their craft becomes an insult. R. Kelly's obviously got craft to spare, but R. Kelly's also got eccentricities squirting out of every orifice. And ever since "Ignition (Remix)" in 2003 and especially since "Trapped in the Closet" in 2005, Kelly has attracted a new audience of rubberneckers who couldn't have cared less about the lung-busting slow jams and ballads that were his bread and butter in the '90s.
    Many of us who, misguided or not, enjoy Kelly's music as music--and not as camp or kitsch or some sort of inchoate performance art--actually get annoyed by the fact that we now have to mount a defense of the guy on multiple fronts. See, even if your internal moral bullshit detector doesn't start clanging when Kelly's name comes up--if you can just ignore his less than salubrious personal decisions regarding videotapes--and accept the guy as something of a genius when it comes to making R&B with the sway of '70s soul and the smoothness of '80s quiet storm cut with hip-hop braggadocio, the formal excellence of his music unfortunately foregrounds his quirks like plantar warts on a foot model.
    This is nothing new, either; Kelly's songs have been stuffed for a decade now with these poker-faced non sequiturs--the "two gorillas making love" ad lib in 2003's "Snake," for instance." Or think of 2000's "A Woman's Threat," a moving song where Kelly assumes the persona of a long-suffering female lover delivering a litany of what her man stands to lose--"My time, my patience, my love"--if he doesn't shape up. Then Kelly begins retelling the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears in precisely the same earnest croon he uses for the rest of the song--maybe more earnest.
    But ever since the child pornography charges first dropped and the guy released an appeal called "Heaven I Need a Hug," nearly every piece of criticism written about Kelly's music has hinged on some variation of the question "is he in on the gag or not?" usually tied to rhetorical questions about his mental health. "Is he gonna end up in prison or getting pills handed to him in a little plastic cup?" The Village Voice quipped in 2004. "Is R. Kelly a joke or a genius?" Pitchfork asked in 2005, reiterating the question in advance of Kelly's new album Double Up. "The question of self-awareness is key in his ability to attract listeners . . . the most fascinating camp is that which obscures the line between what is intentionally humorous and unintentionally humorous," VH1 critic Rich Juzwiak recently wrote on his blog about Kelly, which is still essentially an erudite take on the same question. For R&B fans who appreciate Kelly's exquisite craft and who would rather be punched in the extremity of your choice than listen to something for potential "unintentionally humorous" moments, this critical chatter is exhausting.
    Unfortunately with Double Up, Kelly's lyrical eccentricities and freshman-year conceptual leanings continue to grow like kudzu, and it makes parts of the album a chore. On "Sex Planet," one outer-space metaphor for fucking after another, Kelly actually delivers the tidally inevitable "when I enter your black hole" and "we'll take a trip to planet Uranus" lines with the granite facade of a hostage negotiator. On "Sweet Tooth," Kelly intimates that his lover's genitals taste like Skittles, though he doesn't mention whether that's tropical fruit, sour, or original flavor.
    As a guy who always sounds like he's working from a hastily written first draft, Kelly is still better at continual agglomeration of batshit asides than a narrative arc. On the Kells-in-prison tale "Best Friend," when asked if there's anything he needs from the outside, Kelly says that "this toilet paper is cutting my ass," and that he could really use some Charmin. "Real Talk," one half of a phone argument where Kelly's unheard lover wonders where he's been and who he's been doing, takes his cinéma vérité rambling to its illogical limit, with Kelly spraying the receiver with saliva that "next time your ass get horny, go fuck one of your funky ass friends" before shouting to his chauffeur to take him home.
    Despite being faintly frightening in its intensity, which is new, it's of a piece with Kelly songs like "Three Way Phone Call," and like many of those songs, the music on "Real Talk" could just as easily be the solo from Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain" or three minutes of Pong sound effects. It's really got no value as a "song" of the sort that one dances to or sings along with, and so for some, Kelly is extending some sort of new Kelly-specific idiom on Double Up. For others, though, Kelly has begun humping the shark as he sings through a vocoder about being "two sexasauruses." Or as City Paper contributor John Darnielle recently said when confronted with "Real Talk," "I oppose the critical Buckwheatification of R. Kelly, but what can you say when the guy's emotional climax is an appeal to his driver?"
    See, sadly for those of us who want to shift the dialogue about his music, Double Up is hardly Kelly at his best. You can skip past whenever he takes a wack stab at proving he's hard over his guest producers' cruddy (but at least up to date) keyboard-and-bass hip-hop beats, as in "Rollin'" and "Get Dirty." But the best of Double Up--the sunny likes of the "I'm a Flirt" remix, "Hook It Up," "Freaky in the Club," and the title track--are still reminders of Kelly's Isleys-honed ability to craft bounce bounce bounce bounce-worthy radio soul so slickly seductive that it's downright insulting to treat the man as if he was cranking out art-brut finger paintings of his own ass and selling them on a Chicago street corner. The dude's got skills in the studio, if not as preternatural or wide-ranging as Prince's, then as close as such a creature of commerce before sex or art is likely to get.
    Some critics might argue that 2003's Chocolate Factory was the only filler-free album Kelly ever made and that he's had a boner for forehead-slapping metaphor since "You Remind Me of Something" and that we shouldn't be talking about the guy anyway since he's, you know, an alleged pederast. Even if all that's true--and some of it is truer than the rest--the shift toward reducing Kelly's music to possibly unintentional stand-up comedy with a beat is lamentable but possibly irreversible following his last couple of projects. At least Double Up is thankfully not a half-assed conceptual step on from "Trapped in the Closet." How could it be unless Kelly was going to buy a harp and follow Joanna Newsom down the prolix primrose path of Ys?
    "Trapped in the Closet" spun a Greek tragedy drunk on the inanities of daytime TV plotting, modern African-American off-Broadway theater (see: Tyler Perry), and Kelly's own inability to think beyond the next improbable twist. It was more like an exquisite corpse written by one guy with extreme ADD than a "pop opera." And that should have been that. Instead, the millions who laughed at the midget who was blessed gave Kelly--his quasi-embarrassing opus assuring that he'd definitely be remembered as something other than a guy more talented than any given member of Silk, Jodeci, or Dru Hill--too much rope. He's now got a choice as to whether to hang himself. What's wrong with just making formally perfect R&B anyway? Hopefully it turns out the closet wasn't more of a trap than any of us realized.
    [SIZE="6"]///// AZ \\\\\[/SIZE]

    [SIZE="4"][COLOR="Red"][B]Twitter: @DSviaAZ
    FB Me: Hidden Content [/B][/COLOR][/SIZE]
    [I]
    [B][SIZE="3"]
    You dont need to call nobody else babe
    Its Keeeellllzzzz to the rescue
    You need to be touched, I'll bless you[/SIZE][/B][/I]

  2. #2
    Ooooh Baby ... Tobias's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Last Online
    10-26-2012 @ 01:34 PM
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,151
    Post Thanks / Like
    Local Date
    08-18-2017
    Local Time
    04:29 PM
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1 Post(s)

    Default

    Wow. This is one great article that pretty much says everything I feel and think about Rob's new favorite way of doing music and writing lyrics.
    This is a really deep essay, and it nails it. Totally nails it.

  3. #3
    GoldenChild
    Guest

    Default

    Ain't this the truth? Well, maybe not, but it's good to hear/read some "real talk..."

  4. #4
    Senior Member mistermaxxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Last Online
    08-07-2017 @ 12:50 AM
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    6,464
    Post Thanks / Like
    Local Date
    08-18-2017
    Local Time
    02:29 PM
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Quoted
    55 Post(s)

    Default

    not bad,but you have to talk about the Humor, complex and the nature of R.Kelly's work and also factory in how his writing has reflected through the years and his meanings on certain themes. it's simple in places and then you get the unknown. all I gotta say is that dude is the most Important R&B Artist in terms of his songs touching so many age ranges and also the longevity element since Michael Jackson.

    also when you consider he came out during the New Jack Swing era and he has not only outlasted fellow New Jack Swing artists,but also the Neo SOul Movement and he still is felt and people still buy his records despite the era of Napster,Limewire,and other down-load servies. the Man is just in touch to the Pulse of the Human ear. the Man knows Music. people are all over the map when it comes to Him,but as a Artist there is no denying his impact and depth. not many artists before or since where they are almost 20 years in the game and they still are counting with each release they put out and also this cat is Productive and Prolific as all get up.speaks volumes.

    the writers never acknowledge the Sam Cooke, Michael Jackson,Stevie WOnder, Marvin Gaye,Donny Hathaway and the church on Kells as a Artist along with R&B,Pop and Rap which has the Blues, Jazz and the opera/classical elements in him and a sense of COuntry there as well.

  5. #5
    Member Superstar010's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Last Online
    03-28-2008 @ 03:43 PM
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    239
    Post Thanks / Like
    Local Date
    08-18-2017
    Local Time
    06:29 AM
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Teah that is a great article bout Kellz
    R.Kelly is the Undisputed king of R&B so lets Double up he's comin through ur speakers non stop

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Last Online
    12-23-2016 @ 05:53 AM
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    508
    Post Thanks / Like
    Local Date
    08-18-2017
    Local Time
    09:29 AM
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    8 Post(s)

    Default

    That article has summed up a lot of concerns I've had about people's perception of Kelly's work. I feel the Makin' Babies album is huge for him from how people regard his legacy. Double Up is cool and everything, but people are starting to forget this guy can make some great soulful music. I don't even care if Makin' Babies goes wood, it just needs to be the strongest album possible. Loveland/R.Kelly styled albums is what I'm talking about. Enough of the quirky and crazy lyrics and another set of TITC DVDs is not going to help this new rep.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •