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let the suntimes tell it. the only thing you white fans know about R Kelly is TITC.

This is a discussion on let the suntimes tell it. the only thing you white fans know about R Kelly is TITC. within the R. Kelly News & Announcements forums, part of the R. Kelly Discussion category; The Pitchfork Music Festival enters its eighth run this weekend with many of the most respected artists in the indie ...

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    my brain is tired KARMA's Avatar
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    fire let the suntimes tell it. the only thing you white fans know about R Kelly is TITC.

    The Pitchfork Music Festival enters its eighth run this weekend with many of the most respected artists in the indie rock world: Belle & Sebastian, Bjork, Low, Wire, Joanna Newsom and the Breeders.



    And then there’s R. Kelly. The Chicago-born R&B superstar holds the festival’s Sunday night headline spot, an appearance that comes only a month after a headlining performance at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival outside Nashville, another annual destination event largely consisting of white, up-and-coming rock bands and hallowed veterans. There, Kelly not only delivered a greatest-hits set backed by a robed gospel choir, he later joined Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes, among others, for an early morning live jam session onstage. In April, he appeared at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California, where he once again collaborated with an unusual suspect: French dance-pop band Phoenix.
    Kelly, 46, is not exactly known for collaborating with artists outside his genre, or even cooperating with the media, which makes his sudden crossover into the indie rock world curious. Till this point in his 21-year career, he has been marketed mainly to black audiences. His music, which rotates among traditional soul balladry, glitzy studio pop and bump-and-grind bedroom fare, remains a staple on black radio and BET, and keeps him a major draw at festivals like the Macy’s Music Festival in Cincinnati, set for the weekend after Pitchfork, where he performs on a bill alongside Jill Scott, KEM, Fantasia and Ginuwine.



    To white audiences, particularly millennials, Kelly’s music is less known, except for “Trapped in the Closet,” the 33-chapter DVD opus released from 2005 to 2012. After “Trapped” crossed into the mainstream, it became fodder for note-perfect parodies by Jimmy Kimmel, Dave Chappelle, “South Park” and countless others. Incomprehensible, hilarious, shocking, surreal — those terms all can be aptly used to describe “Trapped,” a novelty project that dares the viewer to untangle, not just the plot, but the purpose behind the entire effort.




    Of course, it is no coincidence that “Trapped” provided Kelly a handy distraction soon after a real-life saga threatened his career: A 2008 trial in which the singer faced 14 counts of child pornography (charges prompted by Sun-Times coverage beginning in 2000). Even though a jury found him not guilty on all counts, the trial brought to the surface a series of ugly incidents from Kelly’s personal life: his shotgun wedding with singer Aaliyah, later annulled because she was only 15 years old at the time, and allegations of sexual misconduct with underage girls.




    The popularity of “Trapped” and his reach into a new market can be seen as a second chance for Kelly to succeed in a crossover attempt launched more than a decade ago. Before his trial, said Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of African-American studies at Duke University in Durham, N.C., Kelly was poised to have a major career as a global pop star in the vein of Michael Jackson. After Kelly’s inspirational hit, “I Believe I Can Fly,” became a worldwide smash in 1996, he then recorded a duet with Celine Dion, a No. 1 pop hit in 1998, and he even played the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics, a kind of rite-of-passage for any performer seeking a global presence.




    “The [child pornography] charges derailed all of that,” said Neal, whose recent book “Looking for Leroy” (NYU Press), includes a chapter on Kelly. “If crossover was a possibility, it would have changed the trajectory in early 2000, and Pitchfork would have been a natural projection in that regard.”
    But that didn’t happen, which is why Kelly has booked shows at Pitchfork, Coachella and Bonnaroo. The audiences at all three festivals are likely not invested in, or even aware of, Kelly’s pre-“Trapped” career, which means his past controversies are moot.




    “It’s a crowd that doesn’t care. I don’t mean they don’t care in they don’t take issues of sexual violence seriously,” Neal said. “But that’s not their relationship with R. Kelly, opposed to black audiences who are conflicted about him but who have also been following him for 20 years. Pitchfork’s audience is a bunch of hipsters who have no idea who Aaliyah is.”




    David Leonard, chair of the critical culture, gender and race studies department at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., agrees that Kelly’s appearances at Pitchfork “is about recouping his image” and “trying to reach audiences and markets that weren’t there before and weren’t needed before.” Because the Pitchfork audience primarily knows him through the mockery surrounding “Trapped,” however, he might become a “spectacle to gaze at ... opposed to other artists, who are there to be enjoyed for their music.

    “So clearly, Bjork fans will attend, whereas, for longtime R. Kelly fans, is this festival for them? Are they going to come to this festival? Probably not. That’s probably not the intended audience.”
    “Trapped” was perfect for grooming a young audience that primarily learns about new music via YouTube, and its success meant “the music itself becomes very simplistic,” Leonard said. He added that “Trapped” also presents storylines about black sexuality that “become much more acceptable to white audiences.”




    Because “Trapped” also helps to disarm the lingering concerns about Kelly, Leonard said, “The seriousness gets stripped away.”
    The music that Kelly is performing at these festivals also doesn’t reflect his studio interests in recent years. At these venues, he has been concentrating on sexed-up dance-pop, a style from early in his career, instead of the more mature music, mostly inspirational songs and traditional R&B ballads, largely aimed at engaging his aging black audience over the last decade.
    However, none of his recent albums has been as commercially successful as his earlier ones. Which is probably why, in speaking to the Associated Press, he described his next album, titled “Black Panties,” as his “next ’12 Play,’” his 1993 breakthrough smash that featured libidinous hit singles like “Sex Me, Pts. 1-2,” “Bump n’ Grind” and “Your Body’s Callin’.”




    Like aging blues singers who rebranded themselves in the 1960s for white European listeners, but were criticized in the process, Kelly clearly knows what works best for his emerging new audience, even if it might be considered astep backward artistically.
    “Part of what has always been R. Kelly’s strength is he always understood his audience,” Neal said. “Plus, he is also incredibly talented and not only knows how to write great songs, but he knows how to keep it young and relevant.” What helps, Neal contends, is “the further away he gets from the actual trial,” the shorter people’s memories become. That is, “as long as the music is relevant,” Neal added. “If he was making bad music, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”





    Mark Guarino is a free-lance contributor. Email to markguarino10@gmail.com
    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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    Senior Member mistermaxxx's Avatar
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    well nothing new their at all. I have always said that R.Kelly is seen as a Black Artist and R&B to most folks over here. he reminds me of Rick James in that while he hit big with pop and crossed over, he never really crossed over and more importantly he never Sold out in order to stay in the pop world even though the lines are blurred because the charts combined R&B and Hip Hop as one and the music of the past 20 years has mirrored what is happening in R&B and hip hop as pop Music.
    all due respect to COuntry music, Hip Hop has dominated as has R&B Artists and R.kelly has been at the forefront of that charge,

    he is still seen as a Black thing in many circles and nothing wrong with that, except when you factor in his career on the charts, his success and not to mention his colbaorations with a whose who from a Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Isley Brothers, Whitney Houston, Jay Z amongest others.

    and having a strong solo career,etc..

    i feel musically the record company wanted the bread and butter to be the same no matter what, i still say the musical virus would have been interesting at how he approached things and it could have been a different chapter in his career.

    the scary thing about him is that alot of people don't realize just how talented he truly is. i'm talking the classical and Jazz side of his talents.

    now unlike Rick James, despite the industry politics and narrow mind attitude that happens in that very racist industry, he still makes his voice and pen heard. no easy feat and.



    White fans know 12 play, u remind me of my jeep, Ignition, some of his colabs obviously "I Beleive I can fly" however he ain't held in the same regard as he is in Black America.
    and truth is he couldn't do much at this stage really to change that because most will see his past and prime and hold what they like as what they will accept.

    put it like this, court case or not, R.kelly wasn't going to get the same boardroom acceptance as Jay Z and that is a fact despite the fact that Kellz is 3 times more talented than Jay Z will ever be. that is the sad thing here involved.

    folks in the know will tell you how badd Kellz is, however he is a Soulman and a Soul Man aint never going to get that love unless he plays Pop ball.

    i got alot of takes on this and I'll just say there is alot of truth in the limited knowledge of Kellz and the White pop world. no offense, however Kellz fan base especially in the states support that theory ten fold. and yeah Kellz got White fans and lets not treat R.kelly like he is gettign Frankie Beverly and Maze hardly no white fans treatment, however as Big as Kellz is and the kind of career he has and when you factor in, he is one of the top 5 best Selling Black Artists Ever and the lack of press his work gets, speaks for itself.

    if R.Kelly was White with the success and Impact he has had as a Artist, he would be bigger than Springsteen and neck and neck with ELvis Presley believe that.

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    same thing ive said. if Kelly was white he would've been top 5 all time w/o question. not sure if I agree w/TITC only being known. they know about Bump & Gring (which is in how many movies & games), IBICF, how many contest, talent shows, & graduations have used this track. & Ignition remix. I thought this was white folks favorite a much as its imitated

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    I think this is just lazy research by the writer. A lot of people "white" or otherwise know R. Kelly's music. Heck, you didn't even mention I'm Your Angel or World's Greatest. I do agree between the trial, his lack of wanting to do press and the fact that he might be considered "scary" for mainstream audiences compared to Usher, Ne-Yo or Chris Brown before the assault. To me he's always been more Gaye than Stevie. What I mean is that if you asked white people who they liked better they'll probably say Stevie, but if you asked black folks i think they would tend to choose Marvin. By no means I'm suggesting each community would or even doesn't like the singer not selected, but my observations would lead me to that conclusion. I think A. Keys and R. are in that same vain in modern day R & B.

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    Senior Member helena22's Avatar
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    When he was starting to get a new fan base and attention through TITC, it was baffling to me. And it still is, to a lesser extent. Honestly, I didn't like that. It used to bother me that he might be considered a clown rather than a serious musician. Now all I can say is, if they choose to entertain themselves with TITC without exploring his other projects, it's more of their loss, than his.

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    As a white R. Kelly fan (I guess I am living proof the article is wrong?).. I think it has more to do with the location you are from more than the colour of your skin what songs of his you will know. First off, everybody knows I Believe I Can Fly, World's Greatest, and Ignition. Then in this country (UK), the next tier is probably Bump N Grind & She's Got That Vibe, I hear those in clubs a lot (and that is ALL clubs, not ones just targeted at certain music genres), although most people I ask what their favourite R. Kelly song it is always one of the first 3 I mentioned. And all of my friends, both white and black, are aware of Same Girl and I'm a Flirt.
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    Dave, you are living proof, however at the same time an exception to the rule. Of course there are white people around the world who love R. Kelly, he is 1 of the greatest musical artists of all time so that's a must. However, I think what we're talking about here is mass perception within a given demographic, and without a doubt the white population does have a very limited view of Rob's catalogue. I mean you mentioned 7 songs, for a man who can write 7 songs in the space of 1 or 2 days, and has been active for over 20 years. I wont do the 'math' but we can see straight away that is nowhere near an accurate reflection of the man's legacy.

    As he said in 'My Story' 20 years is like 5 careers, and Rob has at least 5 personnas. He has his 'Classic R. Kelly', 'R. Kelly the Songwriter/Producer', 'R. Kelly the Feature Artist', 'R. Kelly TITC', 'R. Kelly The RnB Professor' (this would include all the work he has in his vault), and there are more. My point is, in general white folk dont even know 10% of his 'classic' catalogue, and if it the song isnt played (regularly) in a club or on Tv, they never know about him. Im referring to the UK white folk there, in terms of the US white folk, there angle is definitely TITC/Ignition and their constant use of supposed irony and parody, which to them is outrageously funny. Rob is a caricature to them - a bald headed black man, who wears shades, and sings about sex. Even though we all know he hasnt been bald headed for a number of years now, it doesnt matter what he does, they have this perception and it will not change because of the blinkered opinion.

    Rob talks about things that all people can relate to, but especially black folk who have lived the things he speaks about. I realised about 2 years ago, that the man is a musical historian, and if you are a person who doesn't embrace black culture to some degree, then its pretty much impossible for you to embrace Rob completely. Take a song like 'Hairbraider', forget about the musicality of it, let's say you're a white middle class college student, and that's the only life you've lived then its very unlikely that you would even know what he was talking about, however to some fellas in the hood that joint is an anthem.

    On the other hand when he does certain left field projects, and deviates from what people see as his 'roots', then alot of the time his black fans dont feel it. Rob is a very complex musical entity and you have to be a relatively complex listener, and open minded person to appreciate his gifts to the fullest.
    Last edited by V.I.P; 07-29-2013 at 12:16 PM.
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