Music / R. Kelly

Robert Sylvester Kelly (or "Kells") (Born January 8, 1967) is a Chicago-born legendary R&B, Hip-Hop and Gospel musician, active since 1989. Known for, among other things, the song "I Believe I Can Fly" on the Space Jam soundtrack and being the most successful R&B male artist of the Nineties. With talent and style (including impeccable white suits), he earned his name in the genre.

Then the twenty-first century hit, and he became known for a couple other things. One of these was an ambitious, if odd, musical effort, the "Hip-Hopera" known as "Trapped in the Closet". The other was his court case for allegedly engaging in urine-based sexual activity with a minor. This case ran near simultaneously with allegations aimed at Michael Jackson, prompting some comparisons. However, Kelly was found not guilty of all charges, although that hasn't helped his reputation much.

While still a success, his reputation hasn't quite been the same.

Tropes present in R. Kelly's work

R. Kelly in Media

  • Chappelle's Show featured a parody of the song "Ignition", and its remix, titled "Piss on U", featuring Dave exemplifying Kelly's waste-based recreation. Chappelle joked that Kelly approached him between episodes, saying "How you gonna make a video about peeing on somebody?", to which Chappelle responded "How you gonna make a video about peeing on somebody?".
    • On his DVD commentary, Chappelle says the sketch was motivated by how surprised he was that everyone was focused on the age of Kelly's alleged victim, while to Chappelle the urine aspect was the most fascinating part of the scandal as it had never before entered his head that such a thing could even be conceived as sexual.
  • The Boondocks featured the trial of Kelly (in Woodcrest, as opposed to his and the Freemans' native Chicago) as the setting for its second episode, "The Trial of R. Kelly".
  • South Park featured an episode with Kelly, Tom Cruise, and other celebrities, figuratively and literally Trapped in the Closet. As per the music video, Kelly seems a bit trigger happy.
  • In the Fighting Game Community, particularly Street Fighter players, the term "R. Kelly" is slang referring to a Perfect, due to the "P" icon and the solid yellow life bar.
  • In his comedy standup, Aziz Ansari has a small segment on R. Kelly and his live shows, and does a good impression of him. Aziz calls him a "brilliant singer/crazy person."
  • He's mentioned in Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop":
    Probably shoulda washed this, smells like R. Kelly's sheets