R. Kelly’s genius knows no limits and he’ll influence musicians in the decades to come. That isn’t up for debate. Now that we’ve reminded our audience of that, the master needs to keep it fresh for his 12th album, Black Panties, releasing on December 10th.
The rollout for his upcoming album is very R. Kelly-like, complete with racy album covers and the option to pre-order the deluxe edition of his album that comes with a pair of black panties from BlackPantiesDropping.com. The bow on top is that it includes the tagline “Kellz is dropping Black Panties. No reason you shouldn’t be, too.”
Even better is his Black Panties phone hotline. An R. Kelly phone line!? My skin was crawling at the possibilities. Would his silky smooth recorded voice speak sweet nothings to me that were the audio equivalent to watching him do push-ups on top of Lady Gaga during their SNL performance? In other words, would it be awkward, amazing, and like a trainwreck that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from?
Let’s be real here. Before dialing this 312 number – would the more personal Chicago area coded number be sexier than an 800 number, I wondered? – I was hoping that I would have at least got a taste of what R. Kelly would have said preceding that immortal golden shower. Lord knows he must have sang something, anything, and maybe Black Panties would finally let us in on how he avoided all those charges.
Kellz would reveal no insights, though, and instead perkily spits out “Yo what up y’all, let’s turn up, blah blah blah” before the automated menu asks you to press 1 to continue. Maybe it was because my phone was on speaker, but what followed was him chirping over some garbled music, which is a clip from some song from his upcoming album that he is excited for me to hear.
My choices were more barren than the female menu operator. I could either repeat the message that I couldn’t really understand, leave a message presumably for him, press 0 for help, or hear these options again.
Naturally, I pressed 0 for help. I need help. I love “Do What U Want” so much, and am feeling particularly distressed after Lady Gaga announced Rick Ross would be on the remix. The icy, emotionless, computerized female voice – who could probably benefit from some Robert Kelly loving – didn’t calm my fears over Rick Ross derailing what’s already a glorious song. But, I did learn that my number is saved forever and they won’t spam me. Struggle rappers, take note.
What I should’ve done is leave a message for Robert, pledging my allegiance for his 2016 Presidential run and asking him in the same breathe to tell Stefani that I don’t want Rozay on the remix.
From what I can tell, Kellz wants my number for reasons unknown. Let’s hope he’s not in cahoots with the NSA, or a politician (I do, however, support Robert Kelly for President). In a move of delicious irony by the Pied Piper, Complex reported that follow up text messages would be sent to people who didn’t sign up for these special messages.
I vaguely remember the lifeless lady mentioning something about that, but I clearly didn’t have any hesitation about signing up to receive these updates so I didn’t get to experience that thumbing of the nose to our legal system firsthand. I guess that is about as close as we’ll come to the real Robert, zorro mask and all.
I know. I’m wrong for wanting the Black Panties hotline to be creepier, dirtier, and far more uncomfortable than it was. The female robot said that I can receive up to eight messages a month, so my fingers are crossed that they’re more in the spirit of what R. Kelly would probably say versus what the clip of his song that his label wants me to hear. Because who doesn’t want to wake up to “Got a sweet tooth for you girl/Baby I’m tempted to taste/I can’t wait to drink your milk/You’re lookin’ like a big ol’ piece of cake” morning text?
Previously: Tracklistings: R. Kelly’s ‘Black Panties’