Music

R. Kelly's timing , and his message , are off

Jeneé Osterheldt
McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

While the pop-culture world is catching whiplash trying to figure out the details of Tiger Woods' transgressions, R. Kelly continues to slip by as one of the biggest sexual deviants around.

Cheating on your wife? Big deal to everyone not involved.

Hypersexuality? Well, that's just another day in pop culture, it seems.

Last week, R. Kelly released a new album. It's cleverly titled "Untitled." Only R. Kelly, who refers to himself as the "Pied Piper of R&B," would release an album drenched in hypersexuality and perverted spiel on World AIDS Day.

When most people are raising awareness about a virus that affects more than 33 million people worldwide, R. Kelly is singing a song about impregnating a girl he met in the club. Unprotected sex with a stranger? How encouraging.

To all of the ladies with their hands in the air, singing along, note that AIDS is the No. 1 killer of black women between the ages of 25 and 34.

I don't know why I'm surprised by his nerve. Several years ago, he was slapped with more than a dozen child pornography charges after a sex tape surfaced showing him urinating on an underage girl. At the time,the writer, producer and singer made hit record after hit record, selling millions and earning numerous nominations.

Last year, the Grammy-winning crooner was inexplicably acquitted of all charges. But it doesn't change the fact that he married the late pop star Aaliyah when she was merely 15 years old. The man has a habit of going after young girls, and his songs often mimic the hormonal thoughts of a teen boy. His musical catalog alone raises a few eyebrows.

His single "Number One" compares sex to making a hit record. And according to Billboard, it's Kelly's 35th Top 10 single on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, eclipsing Nat King Cole's record of having the most Top 10 hits on that chart.

So let me get this straight. Adam Lambert's sexual mischief is intolerable, but R. Kelly breaks records with his sexploitation. The album, overall, is a sex album. As Newsday says, no one writes pop songs about sex better than R. Kelly.

He has two more songs getting spin. One is "Echo," in which he yodels about sex all day and night. Another is called "Religion." But if you were thinking Kelly was taking it back to the Bible and spreading the word, you'd be wrong. He just decided to compare his love for a woman to church.

Some may think its no big deal, it's just music. And to an extent, there's truth in that argument.

Still, there is a big difference between sex and sexy. It's bothersome that on World AIDS Day, when people should have been learning more about HIV/AIDS, abstinence, safety and getting tested, many were buying an album by a man who treats sex like a sport.

So those R. Kelly fans looking for the bedroom soundtrack and living that casual sex lifestyle, that's your prerogative. But when you buy that album, also buy a condom. It could save your life and someone else's, too.

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