R. Kelly’s Single Entendre
I didn’t know R. Kelly has a new book. Definitely going to pick it up after reading Andrew Marantz’s excellent piece on the book:
In his twenty-year exploration of the limits of the R. & B. sex ballad, R. Kelly has often toed the line between satiric and satyric. In his song “Sex Planet,” he made the obvious joke about Uranus; in his song “Sex In the Kitchen,” he made the obvious joke about salad-tossing; in his song “Pregnant,” male backup singers (ominously? chivalrously?) offered to “knock you up.” He has referred to himself as a “sexosaurus” and a “lesbian R. & B. thug.” He has attempted onomatopoetic renderings of cunnilingus and of flesh skidding down a stripper pole. He has yodeled, twice, in the songs “Echo” and “Feelin’ on Yo Booty.” (To perform the latter song in concert, he donned a top hat and cape for an extended operatic remix.) And then there is his unfinished magnum opus “Trapped in the Closet,” a series of twenty-two songs (and counting) featuring a gay pastor, a stuttering pimp, and a woman named Bridget whose husband is a midget.