Read the "Stomach-Churning" Sexual Assault Accusations Against R. Kelly in Full

Categories: R. Kelly

It has been nearly 15 years since music journalist Jim DeRogatis caught the story that has since defined his career, one that he wishes didn't exist: R. Kelly's sexual predation on teenage girls. DeRogatis, at that time the pop-music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times, was anonymously delivered the first of two videos he would receive depicting the pop star engaging in sexual acts with underage girls. Now the host of the syndicated public radio show Sound Opinions and a professor at Columbia College, DeRogatis, along with his former Sun-Times colleague Abdon Pallasch, didn't just break the story, they did the only significant reporting on the accusations against Kelly, interviewing hundreds of people over the years, including dozens of young women whose lives DeRogatis says were ruined by the singer.

This past summer, leading up to Kelly's headlining performance at the Pitchfork Music Festival, DeRogatis posted a series of discussions about Kelly's career, the charges made against him, and sexual assault. He published a live review of the singer's festival set that was an indictment of Pitchfork and its audience for essentially endorsing a man he calls "a monster." In the two weeks since Kelly released his latest studio album, Black Panties, the conversation about him and why he has gotten a pass from music publications (not to mention feminist sites such as Jezebel) has been rekindled, in part because of the explicit nature of the album and also because of online arguments around the Pitchfork performance.

See also: Jim DeRogatis: Why Are People Finally Paying Attention to R. Kelly's Many Crimes?

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Watch R. Kelly's Disgusting "Cookie" Video

Categories: R. Kelly

True story: A couple weeks ago I got the stream (loaded word here, I know) of R. Kelly's new album, Black Panties, which is out today. My 21-year-old female intern, Brittany Spanos, a native Chicagoan and fan of the R-uh, was in, sitting in the cube next to me. "Oh! The new R. Kelly just landed in my inbox," I told her via gchat because this is the 21st century and we are not animals. "You want?" She did. I sent it. We both started listening.

Almost immediately I regretted the decision. The album is so sexually crude. That's no surprise, I suppose. This is R. Kelly, after all. But in years past, he's always sung about sex in funny, clunky metaphors that allowed the listener to smile and cringe at the same time. Black Panties is all cringe--you won't find any "Feelin' On Yo Booty" (BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA BOOTY) moments here. In particular "Cookie," where the patented Kelly clunky sexual metaphors remain, but still manage to be gross nonetheless, like a XXX version of "Sweet Tooth" stripped of all its humor. Need examples? Here's a list of what R. Kelly says he will do to "the pussy" in "Cookie":

See also: R. Kelly's Black Panties, Reviewed Using Baby Animal GIFs

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With Black Panties R. Kelly's on Some Da Vinci Code/Beautiful Mind Type Shit

Categories: 2013, R. Kelly

R. Kelly
In spite of the massive contributions he has made to video art, children's entertainment, and inventing the modern remix, "R. Kelly" is still a soiled name. Ever since his erratic behavior and outsized personality pushed his raw talent to the side, he has been regarded by many as more of a caricature than a performer; the joke and not the punchline. (Even Macklemore's made fun of him. MACK.LE.MORE.) But his newest album, Black Panties (set for a November 11 release), promises to change that.

The album's title is confusing initially--why would R. Kelly name his latest album something that risks immediately reminding the public of seemingly infinite sexual appetite?

But, when properly researched, it quickly becomes clear that Black Panties is actually an acrostic of R. Kelly's most important statements during the crucial years he spent in the lime-light-and-darkness of American culture. It is a pairing of words representative of the evolution of R. Kelly as a man and a musician--as explained by R. Kelly the man and the musician. With such a delicately constructed album title, there is no reason to believe the music it contains will be anything other than well-calculated splendor. Black Panties is R. Kelly on some Da Vinci Code shit. And, good news, we cracked it.

See also: R. Kelly Got Jokes: The Many Sides of R&B's Pied Piper

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Sign the Petition to Change the National Anthem to R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)"

Have you been feeling that the National Anthem is getting a bit tired? Feel like you need to spice up your sense of patriotism? Well, then thank God for the internet and R. Kelly.

See also: What's So Funny About A Little Bump N' Grind? R. Kelly, Frank Ocean, And The "Right" Kind Of R&B

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Trapped in the Closet's Return Proves R. Kelly Is Piss Outta Material

Categories: R. Kelly

Jesus H. Christ, R. Kelly!

After five long years, the Pied Piper of r&b finally debuted a batch of new chapters in his usually scandalous, occasionally histrionic, often times ridiculous (and possibly Broadway bound) hip-hopera Trapped in the Closet on Friday night. Airing in one, big clump over on IFC, chapters 23 through 33 are over 40 minutes of R. Kelly once again reminding us that, when it comes to serial storytelling, the man is about as focused as a 8-year-old kid hopped up on Monster energy drinks and chocolate-covered coffee beans.

See Also:

- R. Kelly Is Hanging On The Telephone
- R. Kelly Got Jokes - Sex addict, preacher, comedian: the many sides of r&b's Pied Piper
- R. Kelly's Write Me Back Rides The Retro Soulacoaster

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What's So Funny About A Little Bump N' Grind? R. Kelly, Frank Ocean, And The "Right" Kind Of R&B

R. Kelly.
In case you haven't yet gotten your fill, over the past couple of years, of artists beating Aaliyah samples into a flavorless pulp, not to worry—Yeasayer frontman Chris Keating has got your back. In a Rolling Stone interview published this week, Keating recalls being struck by watching high school classmates dancing to "Are You That Somebody," despite not being into "mainstream music" at the time; he then cites Aaliyah as a major influence on Yeasayer's new record, Fragrant World. Who am I to say—perhaps Aaliyah and the Supafriends truly did resonate with Keating all these years, although it did take until his band's third album for this influence to supposedly manifest itself. Or perhaps, what with a certain Canadian rapper engaging in obsessive melodic fan-fiction, Aaliyah's name is just on peoples' lips at the moment. Or perhaps Keating and his bandmates got the memo that, hey, R&B isn't totally embarrassing anymore—or at least, a specific type of it.

Which brings us to Frank Ocean. Apparently Yeasayer and Ocean were both at the Wythe Hotel on the day of the interview, which led to a receptionist mixup, which led to Keating being asked his thoughts on Ocean. His reply: "I think he is a good new face for the R&B world right now, to kind of usher out—no pun intended—some of these folks. Because, let's get real, R. Kelly is a terrible person. I like R. Kelly and how crazy he is, but he's a terrible piece of shit, a horrible person, really bad all around. Let's get rid of him. Let's gay it up a little [in R&B]." It seems that in between his initial Aaliyah encounter (which would have been just after the release of One in a Million) and his band's music being influenced by her, Keating neglected to Google and find out that Kelly wrote and produced the vast majority of her debut Age Ain't Nothing but a Number.

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R. Kelly's NYC Soulacoaster Signing Has Been Rescheduled for August 10 (For Now)

The true story of how R. Kelly became R. Belly

R. Kelly's Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me was supposed to be a soul-baring memoir. "I'm tired of being misunderstood," he said 2009 SmileyBooks statement. "I will show you the tears, fears, and sweat. I will open my heart and reveal the good in my life as well as all the drama."

Soulacoaster was slated to come out, then it wasn't, then it was. Maura got a sneak preview and noted that the "memoir" began with a recollection of "the singer hiding in a drum case." There was also a Tribeca Kells' signing scheduled, and then that wasn't. Now, Robert Sylvester's Tribeca Barnes & Noble signing has been rescheduled rescheduled for August 10. The maybe-possibly-maybe details:

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R. Kelly's Write Me Back Rides The Retro Soulacoaster

Around this time last year, I saw R. Kelly at the Prudential Center, and it was one of the most impressive live spectacles I've been witness to in my two-plus decades of attending big arena shows; there was an onstage bar complete with cocktail-shaking mixologist, an acapella reworking of his 1994 single "Bump N' Grind" accompanied by video footage of a bunch of mouths—just mouths—singing the lascivious lyrics opera-style, bras being thrown from the crowd. (That the lingerie-tosser was sitting in the arena bowl, and not on the floor, made it even more noteworthy.)

At the center of it was Kelly, the self-proclaimed Pied Piper Of R&B—with good reason. Vocally, he's one of pop's premier male talents, able to throw out instantly hummable melodies seemingly on command; as a songwriter, he's as able to craft throwbacky love songs that don't sound like retro schlock as he is to write deadly serious sex jams. He's one of those performers who throws himself so fully into whatever he's doing that it's unnerving to irony-damaged observers, who tend to react to him with the equivalent of an uneasy laugh. When he performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" before a boxing match in 2005, inflating the United States' bombastic anthem with just enough air so that it could sound like an extended remix of his floaty 2003 hit "Step In The Name Of Love," he outraged some, delighted others, and perplexed even more. The Trapped In The Closet series, a soap opera suite of songs with a plot that could populate The Jerry Springer Show for a month, seemingly anticipated most of its parodists; even "Weird Al" Yankovic's riff on getting fast food that was based on it, "Trapped In The Drive-In," couldn't hold a candle to Kelly's tales of affairs and other forms of deception.

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R. Kelly's Memoir Soulacoaster Finally Has a Release Date: Next Thursday, June 28 (!!!)

Categories: R. Kelly

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Kelly's Soulacoaster cover

Remember last fall's hullabaloo surrounding R. Kelly's memoir Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me? First announced back in December 2009, Kelly's book was originally slated for last November 15, but then mysteriously disappeared from online retailers a few days earlier, only to be pushed back to spring 2012.

That deadline may've come and gone, but we can officially confirm that the book finally has a release date and it's soon--next Thursday, June 28, to coincide with Kell's upcoming full-length Write Me Back. If you're one of the unfortunate few who can't make it to the R. Kelly cruise, Robert Sylvester will be signing Soulacoaster copies at the Tribeca Barnes and Noble, from six to eight pm, that same day. We will not be able to shut up about this book for months.

The press release going out tomorrow is below.

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12 For '12: A Dozen Songs From This Year That You Should Hear Right Now

Evans The Death.
In this week's Voice I offered up a midseason report of sorts, listing 12 particularly outstanding tracks from this year. Here, for your listening pleasure, are the 12 songs in streamable form (via a combination of YouTube and Soundcloud so as to not lock anyone—or any songs—out). Happy listening, and if you'd like to share a 2012 song that's particularly tickled your ears, by all means do so in the comments.

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