R. Kelly: Live and calling your booty

2009-06-30 11:55
R Kelly Live in SA
 The innovator, writer, producer, rapper and balladeer drew a large crowd in Cape Town on Monday night, which says a lot… because it's Cape Town… on a Monday night. but even the most "European" of all African cities showed its colour and swag as people pushed through to be right up against the stage hoping to get as close as possible to the "Trapped In The Closet" singer. Dressed in their Saturday night finest, there were plenty of girls hoping to be his "Dream Girl", even for just one night.

Kelly, looking fine as hell, started off with a medley of his older singles. Some singles were perhaps a tad misplaced for Africa, and were not well-known. However, massively popular tracks hits such as "Ignition", "Happy People" and "You Remind Me Of Something" quickly got the crowd wet and wild. 

But it was really his sleaze ball onstage antics that were most entertaining. Kelly did everything a raunchy R&B singer is supposed to do - throwing his sweaty towels to the audience, allowing himself to be manhandled by those lustful ladies in the front row who'd been queuing for five hours to cop-a-feel and teasing with a freestyle ballad about how he wants to take someone back to America with him. This is Kelly’s first time in Africa, and apparently he feels he's come "home" - yet he still felt the need to exhibit that grand American patriotism and arrogant assumption that all African women really want is to leave on a jet plane for America.

Still, he did drop the ego, long enough to take a moment to acknowledge Michael Jackson's involvement in making him the man he was today, which as it turns out is  simultaneously scary and sad. After describing how it had been his lifelong dream to work with Michael Jackson, he preached: "Because of Michael's yesterday, I am here today. I have to honour him. You are not alone, Michael! You are not alone!"

Yes, he's an enigmatic playa our Mr Kelly. But the real enigma behind the man who puts the R into R&B is in the way he swiftly moves from braggadocio bumping lyrics like "you remind me of my jeep, I wanna ride it" to the inspiring sentiments of "I Believe I Can Fly", and yes, to that tear-jerking anthem he wrote for Michael, "You Are Not Alone". Somehow he manages to exude the same amount of sincerity and gusto throughout.

He also has the audacity to pull off lyrics like "Heaven, I need a hug… Is there anybody out there willin' to embrace a thug" when things are going bad... like being arrested for having sex with a minor. Twice. But ultimately it's this nerve, and insolence that make him so darn attractive. You wouldn't want to marry the guy, but in the end there's "nothing wrong with a little bump and grind".

R Kelly is synonymous with sleaze, sex, and R&B. He also famously dated R&B singer Aaliya when she was 15 and he 27 - he was her mentor and produced her debut album brazenly entitle Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. And that is pretty much how Kelly lives his life, shamelessly scandalous and unapologetic.
Read more on:    sony  |  r kelly  |  south africa

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