After announcing earlier this year that his next project would be dropping December 10, fans of the "King of R&B" have been waiting in anticipation for his upcoming album, Black Panties.
Last night, we caught up with Kellz in the studio to preview and discuss his latest project, while also finding out what's next for the self-proclaimed "Doctor of R&B.” While there, he chatted about his recent collaborations with Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, as well as the current state of R&B, his dream collaboration and what his recording process is like.
We also had to know who would R. Kelly love to play him if there was ever an Aaliyah biopic.
See what his response was to that and more below:
On how he wants fans to receive his new album, Black Panties
I just want all the ladies to love it because I did it for the ladies. And really for the fellas too. Because the fellas are gonna go where the girls are. But I really did it for the ladies, you know? Black panties!
On how the collaboration with Lady Gaga came about
Well it’s simple. I had a show about two months ago. And [Gaga] was there and she came backstage. I went on stage and she was on the side chilling while I did my show. After that, we chopped it up for a minute and she asked me to do a song that she had and wanted me to get on it. I’m like ‘Man, give it to me…I can’t wait to hear this,’ because it [was] like ‘What is this gonna sound like?’ you know what I mean?
When she sent it, it was so hot. And when we got together, she’s so hot! I’m like- I’m hot, we [so] hot can’t nothing happen but hotness! So it just worked out. I’m feeling good about it!
On who he'd love to collaborate with
Well, I’m really just about whoever wants to mess with me. I’m at my best when I’m wanted. That’s what turns me on and that’s what turns on the gift. You press the button and the light comes on and that’s it…
Trey [Songz] I’ve already done some stuff for. And I’ve done some stuff for Dream. Right now I just did a joint with Bruno Mars and that turned out really hot. The “Gorilla” remix. And Justin Bieber reached out to me, wanted to do an R&B joint. I did that and that’ll be out real soon. Hotness everywhere!
On the state of R&B music
I feel like it’s good but I feel l got something I could add to it to really just take it all the way there. To keep people inspired to follow the path of R&B.
It has definitely changed. But sometimes change could be a little strange so we gon’ get it back to hotness!
On if R&B music has changed for the better or the worse
I wouldn’t say the worse but I would say there [are] a few things, a few elements, that are missing in it and I feel like I’m the ‘Doctor of R&B’ in a way. So I feel like I know just what to do to get it right back up and running the way it’s supposed to be running.
On his recording process
Well first of all, depending on the kind of track it is, if it’s like one of those slow ballad joints that I’m trying to get in the mood for, on some sexual tip, we dealing with some stogie, cigar0, some cognac, the lights low. Female friend in there or something just chilling. And that’s it basically. Get it done after that.
On who he’d like to play him if there was an Aaliyah biopic
I don’t know. I can’t really say. Who could play me?
On what he’d like his legacy to be
I would just like to be known as the man who was not afraid. Not afraid to try different things. Go into different genres. And lead music to a place that it inspires everybody to want to do music. Not just one-hit wonders. But forever. To be in it [for] longevity. Because that’s the best way to do it.
Also during the listening session, R. Kelly, who is no stranger to reinventing himself or his music, said fans should expect Black Panties to be an extension of his classic 12 Play album but with a slightly stronger hip hop influence.
With tracks like "Marry the P--sy," "All the Way," and "Legs Shaking" we can tell you now that this is not your mama's R&B album. However, between Kelly's unmatched penmanship, and collaborations from Ludacris, 2Chainz, Young Jeezy and the lovely Kelly Rowland, this raunchy LP is a banger nonetheless.
Black Panties Tracklisting
1. Legs Shake ft. Ludacris
3. Throw Money On You
4. Poetic Sex
5. Marry The Pussy.
6. You deserve better
7. All The Way ft. Kelly Rowland
8. Right Back to my Niggas
9. Spend That ft. Jeezy
10 .Crazy Sex
11. Shut Up
Interviewed by Soraya Joseph
Photos and video by Patrick Neree