While most musicians have been known to record dozens of songs while crafting a studio album, Chicago crooner R. Kelly says he recorded nearly 400 songs while creating his most recent LP, Black Panties.
During his newly-released CRWN interview, the singer revealed that he recorded a total of 362 songs for Black Panties. He shared that number when asked why he chose to include his “Shut Up” track on the album. According to Kelly, “Shut Up” was a song he created shortly after being released from the hospital and was aimed directly at critics.
On the song, R. Kelly croons, “He’s washed up, he’s lost it, he ain’t got it no more/Well I’m here to tell you today, boy you haters are so slow.”
He later revealed that when it came between “Shut Up” and another song, “Shut Up” was an easy choice for Black Panties.
“I did 362 songs for the Black Panties album,” said Kelly. “And it took me a long, long time. It took me about a month. Me, Wayne, and DeVyne Stephens got together and that was the hardest task of the whole project is breaking down what songs we were gonna do. And once we finally got to it it was between ‘Shutup’ and another song. And the reason I chose ‘Shutup’ is because my surgery and the whole thing I went through. The 30-something stitches, my throat. I had an abscess on my lung and everything from singing and straining and this, that, and the other, man. And then I started hearing all of the rumors about ‘He ain’t got it no more. Kells is old.’ Even some celebrities out there was talking shit. But it’s all good…Right after I got out of hospital after being in there for nine days I went in and that’s the first song that came out of my mouth was ‘Shutup.’ So, I said ‘This song gotta go on the album.’”
R. Kelly also commented on his musical relationship with fellow singer Lady Gaga, a relationship he says was a perfect match. Both Gaga and Kelly are featured on the songstress’ Artpop record “Do What U Want.”
“First of all, you know, I gotta keep it real,” he said. “Before I met her I felt like she was a sexy girl because she was—the things she would do onstage and how the dress up thing. She’s really into her style. She’s locked into her character. And she don’t give a damn about what nobody say about it. You know what I’m saying? So, I love her for that. Right off the bat. It’s weird, but sorta like with the Bulls when Dennis Rodman came to the Bulls he was just doing what he wanted to do. But he would get a million pounds for us. So, I was like ‘I love him.’ So, that’s the same attitude I had about Gaga. Then when I met her I felt like I met my match. You know, because she got balls. She don’t give a damn. She writes her music. She produces some of her music. She comes up with her own concepts. And I do the same thing. So, it was almost like a—it was a perfect match.”
Lastly, R. Kelly referred to Black Panties as an “explicit classic” and spoke on incorporating humor into his projects.
“But I think it’s explicit classic. You know, it’s sexual classy,” said the singer. “I think it’s an album that’s gon’ be around for a while. Just like 12 Play. It’s forever. You know what I’m saying? So, that’s what I’m expecting Black Panties to be. Just as long as women are gonna be wearing black panties, Black Panties will be around…I was always a house clown coming up. I would always make up songs and rhymes and stuff. And just have my family cracking up. My mom…And I would just joke a lot coming up. And when I got my music, my record deal, and I got musically inclined, and my gifts started to develop, I started incorporating that in there.”
Released on December 10, Black Panties serves as R. Kelly’s twelfth studio album. The album is expected to move close to 100,000 units in its first week.
UPDATE: The second part of the R. Kelly CRWN interview has been released.
In the new clip, R. Kelly discusses work with Jay Z and potentially working with Tupac on The Best Of Both Worlds.
The second interview clip is below.