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.More »