Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Leader of the Free World Pt. 1: R. Kelly (1993-2003)

Merriam Webster's dictionary describes the term Decadence as " behavior that shows low morals and a great love of pleasure, money, fame, etc." Exemplified by the lifestyle and architecture of the French Renaissance period during the late 1400's -early 1600's, one can easily see that opulence was at an all time high, no expenses were spared and, for lack of a better term..."Ni**as were blowin the bread." The money flowed, Renaissance hoes loosened their chastity belts and popped that Pu**y for a medieval goon and people did whatever the fu*k they pleased in a hedonistic, "Rihanna-Dashia-Lohan"-esque fashion. King Francis I and Henry II ran the world, and this is how they liked it.

Fast forward nearly 4 centuries and we see the same thing happening all over again. Sure the players and demographics change, but the rules remain the same. Spend, Spend Spend. Only difference was that in the 1600's peasants didn't have credit cards with which they could rack up debt, and readily available teenage girls with impressionable minds and fertile bodies. The year is 1993, and the world was changing at the hands of one man....R.Kelly. This nig*a caused more change than Obama and still held 2/3 majority of the popular vote. Even our grandmas loved Kellz. Happpppy Pe-op-leeeeeeeeee.

Prior to R. Kelly going solo in 92', he put out a nice wholesome album with public announcement, entitled Born into the 90's...little did we know that he was actually making reference to how he likes his women. R&B and new jack swing were in full effect and the album's hits "shes got that vibe" and "honey love" fared well in a landscape dominated by powerful love songs and R & B ballads like Jodeci's album, Forever my lady. All was well in the world. People made "baby making music" without using the F word.

Then Kellz went solo. He lost his mind, and so did the rest of the world.

With his 1st Solo album, 12 play, Kellz made reference to sex from the jump. Fu*k foreplay we gonna do this shit 3x bigger. We were forewarned.  Seems like you're ready, bump & grind, I like the crotch on you and sex me were some of the albums hits. We were used to this type of filth coming from rappers, but not singers! Nevertheless, it was kinda the world embraced it. Out the window went the social taboo of singing about fuc*king. Radios played it. Kids heard it. Teenage pregnancy remained at a high rate.

By 1994, Kellz had married his 15 year old protege Alliyah (Oh don't act like yall forgot that) and put out her album, "Age aint nothin but a number" with him creepily lurking on the albums cover.

Now while Woody Allen had done some foul stuff like this in the past, we had never seen a black man do such an act so brazenly and if....well, as if nothing was wrong with it.

 Perhaps because it was so brazen, no one even questioned it and actually acted surprised when Kellz got caught peeing on a 13 year old. It was so accepted that other people started doing it. FAM. Don't act like you dont remember guys driving to your middle school picking up girls and them thinking you were a hater for saying "that old nig*a only wants to fu*k." As always, the same line was to follow..."He's not like the other guys, and he thinks I'm mature for my age." Yup. Kellz probably said that to Aliyah too.

FYI between R.Kelly's "Downlow / You remind me of my Jeep" Album coming out and 2002, statutory rape levels remained at an average of 16%, for minority teens meaning almost 2 out of every 10 girls had had their 1st sexual experience with a man more than 4 years older. Smh.

By 95 everybody pretty much said fu*k it. People were living that YOLO lifestyle before Drake made it gay and popular. Brenda's got a baby taught us that if we didnt have the 250 for the abortion we could "wrap the baby up and throw it in a trash heap." Websters dictionary was on its way to making bling-bling an actual word, and Lil Wayne and B.G. told us it was OK to spend our rent money on jewelry AND rock 2 watches at the same damn time. Sheeeeeit, even Jodeci, the "It" band of the time, said Fu*k this "Forever my Lady" shit and named their 3rd album "The show, the afterparty, the Hotel." Well alrightttty then.

R&B dudes aint supposed to look like this. See what you started Kellz!

By 2002 not only was everyone self indulging and spending money they didn't have, thanks to rushcards, visa and American express, but they were also doing Ecstasy like pop rocks. Ja rule furthered the craze with the song "Ecstasy" off his 2001 Pain is Love album, and encouraged everyone to be "livin it up." The bubble was inflated. Kellz was the king of R & B. Little bitc*es were fu*king. Everyone was popping mo. We thought it would never end.....

And then it did.

R.Kelly's hedonistic tendencies got the best of him and he confused a little girl for a urinal, and himself for Brian pumper. Around the same time, Ja rule's Ecstasy craze was abruptly ended by none other than the party killer turned party starter, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson.

With the ethe-ring of Ja Rules career came a dark new era of Gangsta-ism as 50 reminded us that no matter how much money we spent, some goon with a gun could take it and no matter how drunk and fu*ked up we got, a big muscular black man was lurking in the shadows. Sure, we could still have fun....but it wasn't the same. Fif reminded us not to let a mindframe clouded by drugs and opulence let us forget we were still in a dangerous society full of peopl like the old him. Kellz was too busy on trial to be running shit as his reign came to an end. Teen pregnancy rates started to decline, and Kellz started to do damage control.

By 2004, R. Kelly had put out a gospel album and Ja rule was doing Bar Mitzvahs. Nuff said.

Let these uppity yuppies tell you hip hop hasn't shaped the world if you want to. You and I know the truth. Kellz, while I can;t say you did an entirely responsible and good job of shaping the free world, I cannot deny your importance and influence....and for that.....I wont encourage any young girls to come out of the woodwork pressing additional charges. Whoop.


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