R. Kelly appeared to drop a new project this week, but it’s since been pulled from all streaming platforms after his label Sony Music indicated it may not have been authorized.
On Friday (December 9) a new release titled I Admit It landed on all streaming platforms, despite the fact that R. Kelly remains in prison under several federal indictments.
The 13-track album featured at least one previously released song: the controversial 19-minute title track, which was uploaded to Soundcloud in 2018.
Streaming services listed I Admit It as having been released through Legacy Recordings – a division of Sony Music specializing in new releases by legacy acts like Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley. Legacy is also the label home for reissues by Sony’s current and past roster of artists.
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) December 9, 2022
Hours after the project’s release, Sony informed TMZ that I Admit It was not an authorized release. The label indicated they were still trying to determine who released the new album and how.
Within one hour of TMZ‘s update, I Admit It had seemingly been removed from major streaming platforms including Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube Music.
You can hear some of R. Kelly’s I Admit It album below:
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I Admit It would have marked R. Kelly’s 19th studio album and his first full-length release since 2016’s 12 Nights of Christmas. The three-part “I Admit It (I Did It)” hears the embattled crooner address the many allegations against him.
“And if you really, really wanna know/ Her father dropped her off at my show/ And told this boy to put her on the stage/ I admit that she was overage.” he sings at one point.
In 2018, Spotify announced it was pulling R. Kelly’s music from all of its official playlists, stating that it wants its “editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values,” according to NBC News. However, the Chicago singer’s entire catalog remains available on the platform, as well as many of its competitors.
In 2021, R. Kelly was convicted on one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, the law that bars transporting people across state lines “for any immoral purpose.” He remains under grand jury indictment for 22 other charges, including child sexual exploitation, child pornography, kidnapping, forced labor, sex trafficking and soliciting a minor.
Following his conviction, some took to social media to demand that all R. Kelly music be pulled from all platforms, urging streaming services to take action to avoid providing a global platform and source of revenue to a convicted repeated sex offender.