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”:
1. Beat it ’til it’s blue.
2. Kill it.
3. Bite it. (Yikes!)
4. Lick it like an Oreo, because…
5. He loves to lick the middle like an Oreo.
6. Get in it.
Anyway, the album is a tiring disappointment, and it’s because of songs like “Cookie,” which virtually destroys all the good will and promise “My Story” delivered months before Black Panties revealed itself. Today, along with the album’s release, “Cookie” has a visual accompaniment. And, hey, the song may be crude but at least it has a high-concept video. * At the very least I appreciate the blatant Beats Pill product placement at the video’s end.
Watch the video here:
And the Behind the Scenes here:
* I stole this line from Voice web editor Nick Greene. Again, from gchat.