Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Music Snob: The (Wo)Man & the Music

Its been a minute - a LONG minute since I've blogged. I know and I apologize. I appreciate you all checking for me though. Now, let us move something to say. And it MIGHT be long.

Robert Kelly. AKA R. Kelly...aka The R (or Arrah)...aka the Pied Piper...aka Kellz. Whatever you want to call him, R. Kelly has a new album called "Love Letter." I gave it a listen over the weekend (its in stores now) and though I'm not what you would call fan of R. Kelly right now, I fully admit that the cd is really good. REALLY good. It almost makes him again. Let me go back.

When the rumors - and subsequently, the video - came out about him with the 13 year old girl, I was totally disgusted. As a HUGE fan, it really disheartened me to know that a grown ass man would have any type of sexual relations with a child. Before you start to comment before you finish reading, I'm fully aware that some of our past great artists have had their own share of troubles - some with young girls as well. I don't discredit that point; but to be honest, they weren't in my era and I wasn't an "in the moment" fan like I was with Kellz. I have quite the problems separating music from the person, especially those who are relevant in so far in my lifetime. Me and Alicia Keys? Nah, not much of a fan anymore. Kanye and his antics? Eh, we go back and forth because sometimes his asshole-ishness is too much for me. There are others (I think, and it isn't even limited to music) but you get my point. So to be honest, it kind of hurt that I knew I wouldn't be much of a fan after that whole situation.

If I'm being honest, I've "Stepped in the Name of Love" a few times over the years but in those few moments, I just heard a good beat. Overall though, even when hearing his old music, I couldn't listen to it the same. I honestly would see him as a different person. The new music (which was mostly bad to be honest) I just couldn't even stomach. I've had my share of discussions on why I cannot listen to TP2. Com or The Chocolate Factory anymore. A few of my friends disagree with me. But it is my truth and I stand by it. R. Kelly and I were no longer in music love and we couldn't even be associates.

Until I heard "Love Letter" this weekend. This cd takes me right back to Chocolate Factory. The entire vibe is back to R. Kelly basics. Gone are the braids. Gone is the middle-aged man trying to act like he's 25 and kick it with the rappers. Gone are all the "r&b" songs that sound like rap songs. Praise the music Gods that the "Trapped in the Closet" era is gone. This cd is real music in classic Kellz vibe. To quote the end of his song "Number One Hit," ...My Elvis and Priscilla/My Michael Jackson Thriller/ movie Coming to Avatar..." That is the Kelly we remember and I've to say, I'm glad to see the change.

So I'm conflicted. The cd almost makes me want to say "Alright. I don't 'forgive' his wrong but can I put the the MAN to the side for the sake of the music?" I think all too often people are just absolutely too forgiving b/c whatever the wrong was didn't happen to them or their family. But this cd is...calling me. Some of you may find this hilarious but I really think about things like this because I somehow turn this into a thing of "What type of person does it make ME to just act like it didn't happen?" I just don't know.

Not ready to call a truce yet (not that he cares) but if his next album is GOOD, we'll revisit.