If there’s anything we learned from R. Kelly’s previous two albums, it’s that as he continues to grow in the industry, he continues to effortless churn out timeless masterpieces. This time around with the “Black Panties” album, he’s out to prove that he can still hang with many of the younger artists that he’s influenced and who are currently dominating urban radio. We had a chance to sit in on the listening session a few weeks back, and heard the sound he crafted which will take us back to the “12 Play” era. Each outlet in attendance that night was granted two questions with the legend, so check out his responses to our questions for him below.
YouKnowIGotSoul: Your last two albums are what many would consider adult r&b masterpieces. What made you go in a different direction on this album?
R. Kelly: Well for the longest time people have been asking me, “When are you going to do another ’12 Play’ album?” Those numbers got so big and so massive that I’m all about my fans and all about what the people want.
YouKnowIGotSoul: How have you managed to stay in tune with current mainstream hip hop but also tap into the elements of timeless r&b at the same time?
R. Kelly: I keep an ear to the streets. You want to be an investor, you want to know what’s up and what’s down, and what’s good to invest in. So that’s what I do. I go to clubs, but it’s not just to hang out, it’s to get a feel for what’s popular. That keeps me right in the middle of the storm of music.