R. Kelly, Meet The-Dream: On Kells' New "#1 Fan"
Always loved that moment when pop music snake bites its own tail, and Gwen Stefani rips off Fergie-ripping-off-Gwen Stefani, or Jay-Z bites Rick Ross-biting-Jay-Z, or whatever--the moment when some foundational artist gets lapped by their own legacy and suddenly has to play catch-up. So one nascent battle to keep an eye on: The-Dream and R. Kelly. Terius Nash wouldn't have a prayer of existing without Kelly. But The-Dream is the R&B zeitgeist right now. And tracks like Kelly's "#1 Fan"--which is great in that slightly boring, Kelly's-pretty-much-always-great way--prove that he knows it: from the glittery, pulsing Tricky Stewart synths behind his voice to the "you-ou-ou-ou" chorus filigrees, this is a Dream track, with the obvious caveat that a Dream track ain't nothing but an R. Kelly track, and onward, into infinity.