Sex machine 

Audacious R. Kelly coming to Alltel.

click to enlarge OUTRAGEOUS

In 2002, R. Kelly was charged with 22 counts of child pornography after a video tape surfaced that allegedly showed the singer engaging in sex with a 14-year-old girl. In the immediate wake of the charges, Kelly's career went into freefall. Even some of his hometown Chicago radio stations refused to play his songs.

Since then, Kelly has answered his critics with songs like “Heaven, I Need a Hug” and quotes like, “I'm the Ali of today. I'm the Marvin Gaye of today. I'm the Bob Marley of today. I'm the Martin Luther King, or all the other greats that have come before us. And a lot of people are starting to realize that now.” But mostly, over the last five years, as he's awaited trial (now set for spring 2008), he's emerged, improbably, as a man whose libido, in all its freaky-deakiness, has been loosed.

Of course, with early singles like “Sex Me, Pts. I and II” and “Bump 'n' Grind,” Kelly's fame has always rested as much on lyrical audacity as it has on his soulful crooning. But since 2002, he hasn't just been audacious, he's been unhinged, a man with no superego who seems to be singing about whatever comes to his mind, no matter how perverse or batshit crazy.

In this hugely prolific period, he's released four albums and a steady string of singles about things like putting a key in the ignition (wink, wink), a snake, and, less opaquely, sex in the kitchen (sample lyric: “Put you on the counter by the buttered rolls/we'll be making love, like the restaurant was closed”). His latest release, 2007's “Double Up,” focuses almost entirely on sex.

Along the way, he's also become embroiled in a lawsuit with the rapper Jay-Z over an ill-fated joint tour (among other things, Jay-Z contends that Kelly left a sold-out concert in St. Louis to work the drive-thru at McDonald's, a claim later confirmed by MTV news), recorded a tribute for the students of Virginia Tech and released “Trapped in the Closet,” a 22-part, amazingly convoluted “hip-hopera.”

The rare performer whose fame seems to run in direct proportion to his bizarreness, Kelly comes to Little Rock for the second time in as many years, this time on the “Double Up Tour.” Last year, Alltel Arena had to expand its seating configuration to accommodate a higher rate of ticket sales than expected. This year, if early breathless reviews of the tour are any indication, the arena will be brimming again, with thousands eagerly waiting to see just how nuts Kelly really is.

Camden native Ne-Yo recently got tossed off the tour over a contract dispute (or if you believe Ne-Yo, because his show was outdoing Kelly's), but R&Bers Keyshia Cole, who was a no-show for at least one prior date, and J. Holiday remain onboard.




Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Fritz Brantley

  • He talks, and talks, the talk

    A fellow posted an old newspaper article on his blog about a Mike Huckabee speech to a religious group in 1998. A friend faxed the article to me, then called to ask if I’d yet read it, which I had.
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • The incredible shrinking Huckabee

    Plus: COPS!
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • Going whole hog

    A Q&A with irreverent Arkansas-raised comedian Matt Besser
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.

Latest in A&E Feature

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Resurrection, reflection

    • http://hairtransplantncr.com/ hair transplant in delhi hair transplant ncr hair transplant cost hair transplant cost in…

    • on December 8, 2016

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation