With all of the controversy that surrounded the Pied Piper in the past couple of years, Kells is back to doing what he does best… creating baby making music. Last night, Bossip was invited into R. Kelly’s home to listen to his new album. When we asked him about Trey Songz challenging the King of R&B, this is what he had to say…
“If you a true King, you don’t get into challenges. Hold on, let me answer that… I don’t get into the challenges anymore. I’ve passed that. You know, it’s like Ali, you know you get to a certain status in your life and you don’t have to throw another punch. You are who you are and people are pretty much going to recognize that if you walk that way. It’s like, what is an elephant going do when an ant or a fly land on him. You know what I’m saying… you not gone go out your way to swat an ant. These guys got some growing up to do and it’s all about growing up and then pretty much they’ll be able to say the same thing if they continue to write hits and get to where I am today. I’m past that, that’s something that maybe I would have answered 20 years ago.”
R. Kelly did what he called his homework on this album. He said that he threw parties at his house to test his songs to see what worked, what made the ladies move and what got the people on their feet. The Pied Piper even went as far as to work with artist and producers in the south to help mix the new sound with the R. Kelly old school flow.
On the tour of his studio, it was unexpectedly very small, no vocal booth which was copied from the late Marvin Gaye and also he never writes anything down. He was in the process of working on about five songs for Michael Jackson when he passed away and plans on finishing that project. The oddest part of the whole studio besides there being no vocal booth present, is that he had a mirror right next to the microphone and the keyboard that he records on.
The Pied Piper’s explanation on the mirror:
That’s ego, I’m not going to lie. If I can’t really feel myself, you know I like to go upstairs and change my clothes and get swagged out and put on my little stoney glasses and get me a stogie and I look in the mirror at myself sometimes and I can write and then the song will come. I’m looking in the mirror and I’m seeing Kells now, I’m not seeing Rob the mama’s boy. If I see Kells swagged out, then I say this is right right here. You have to have enough ego to be confident enough to get yo swag on while your writing certain songs. It doesn’t really hurt to look at yourself and really get into it.
Since you don’t write down your songs how do you relay the lyrics to people?
Some of them understand my process. Whitney that’s like my sister, we get into it all the time but she didn’t understand the process and Toni Braxton didn’t understand the process. You have to talk about them and crack on them. I’m a “mama jokes” specialist. Sometimes you got to get to cracking and ribbing on people to let them know how real yo a** is and ghetto you is and then once you get that out the way…
Kells: Now say this [starts singing] As I Lay Me Down… now say that
Whitney: what the f*ck you mean say that…. that’s all you got…
Kells: Hell yeah, that’s all I got but just say that for right now, you gone have to trust me some [ continues singing… “I Look To You”] and then now when it all starts to come together halfway through the song… Now yo a** wants to believe me… yeah whatever.
Is there anyone that you haven’t worked with that you would like to work with?
I want to get in with Stevie [Wonder] man… I want to get in with Stevie but I really want to get in with Stevie Wonder because Stevie continues my legacy and then I can continue his legacy. And then Stevie of course, he’s done so many hits, it’s like sometimes it’s hard to get with somebody else that’s going to continue your legacy. It was pretty hard for me and I understand I got to go to Atlanta to work with these new and younger producers and stuff if I want to stay current. I realize that I got something to give them too, I got something to feed to them but I got to realize they can feed me too. So it’s like hard to let your ego down and you’ve written so many hits for yourself and did everything, keyboard, production, everything yourself. It’s hard to all of a sudden say… Hold on Kells… so I think it was pretty hard for Stevie to just say, “Oh wait a minute, I got to do this with another younger guy.” Then Happy People kind of died out and then I ended up putting it on the Stepper’s Album. So it was cool though.
R. Kelly is releasing his album on October 13th and is also launching a 36 city tour, “Ladies Make Some Noise,” which kicks off right before his album drops on October 8th.
Untitled Track List
1. “Crazy Night” feat. Rock City (Produced by R. Kelly & Lil Ronnie)
2. “Outta the Game” (Produced R. Kelly and Chris Henderson)
3. “Exit” (Produced by R. Kelly and Jazze Pha)
4. “Echo” (Produced by R. Kelly and Infinity)
5. “Bangin’ the Headboard” (Produced by R. Kelly and Infinity)
6. “Text Me” (Produced by R. Kelly and GAZ)
7. “Number One” feat. Keri Hilson (Produced by R. Kelly and Roy Hamilton)
8. “Like I Do” (Produced by R. Kelly and Carlos McKinney)
9. “Elsewhere” (Produced by R. Kelly and Chris Henderson)
10. “Fallin’ From the Sky” (Produced by R. Kelly and T-Town)
11. “Religious” (Produced by R. Kelly and Todd Dixon)
12. “#1 Fan” (Produced by R. Kelly and Carlos McKinney)
13. “Be My Number 2” (Produced by R. Kelly and Jack Splash)
14. “Supa Man High” feat. OJ Da Juiceman (Produced by R. Kelly and Willy Will)