Your R. Kelly's-been-acquitted mixtape.
Oh, what the fuck ever. He did it. You know it. I know it. Though he was acquitted last Friday of 14 (14!) counts of child pornography, R. Kelly is as guilty as his lyrics are genius. (It's a "so dumb they're smart" kinda thing.)
It's become reasonable to suspect that if you're rich enough or famous enough, there's little you can be put in prison for. Combine the two, and you couldn't be convicted if you wanted to--even if you committed your crime on videotape.
Because that tape might be doctored, you see. It might be a fake. Any schlub can, say, paste your head on the body of the real perpetrator committing the act. That's what happened in Kelly's case, so says his defense. How do you explain, for instance, the fact that Kelly has a mole on his back, and the suspect in the video does not? Hmm? (Er, I don't know, the footage was captured seven years ago--maybe it's developed since?)
Anyway, here's your R. Kelly's-been-acquitted mixtape. He's free to make art without worry again, and it's cause for celebration. May the next 23 chapters of Trapped in the Closet be as great as the first 23.
R. Kelly married Aaliyah (RIP) when she was just 15 (15!), and quickly had the marriage annulled once eyebrows were raised. But while the two were an item, Kells produced Aaliyah's 1994 debut Age Ain't Nothing but a Number, writing a song for her by the same name. Its lyrics--"Age ain't nothing but a number/ Throwing down ain't nothing but a thang"--sums up Kelly's life philosophy pretty succinctly.
"Lookee here. We in the club, and you tryin' to decide whether you gonna leave with me, and you don't know because you got your girl wit' ya. Bring her wit' ya." So begins "Double Up," Kelly's ode to the threesome on his album of the same name. During Kelly's trial a young woman named Lisa Van Allen testified to having frequent three-way trysts with Kelly and the alleged victim in the case when Van Allen was 17 years old. "Three's company, bitch, call me Jack Tripper."
The first line of the song's first verse is, "Now I swear to tell the truth and the whole truth," something Kelly opted out of during the trial, deciding instead to not take the stand in exercise of his Fifth Amendment rights.
One of Kelly's lewdest numbers, "TP-2" describes Kelly's 12-step program for getting a lady off. ("Twelve: Quick, before we get to 13, set it on my face.")
As you've no doubt heard (or seen), the most unseemly part of the tape that put Kelly in legal peril isn't that he defiles a young lady in the carnal sense, but that he urinates on her too. Well--no joke--Kelly has a guest verse on the remix of a new song "Customer" by up-and-comer Raheem Devaughn that features this gem of a line: "And shorty if you're thirsty/ I've got some good, good lemonade." Wow. Subtle.
PW's Music Issue 2014