It’s a strange, perhaps undesirable, thing to admit to, but Torontoist spends a lot of time thinking about R. Kelly. Generally it comes down to one core question that we just can’t answer (nor do we think we ever will): Is R. Kelly a genius or a lunatic? Here is a man who has produced some of the most pitch-perfect songs in the sickeningly syrupy ballad category (including possibly the pinnacle, Michael Jackson’s “You are Not Alone”) but recently released Double Up, an album that is either the most astonishingly insightful work of parody, damning the entire current culture of hip-hop and R&B, or the drivelings of a man with the attention span of a dog in an exploding fireworks factory.
This is an album that features roughly eight songs where “Kells” raps about his sexual prowess, including his ability to have two women at the same time (“Double Up”) pick up women easily at clubs (“Freaky At the Club”) and explicitly warns his friends and family to keep their women away from him in “I’m A Flirt,” directly before a song where he appears to have a screaming argument over the phone with his wife, swearing his fidelity (specifically that he doesn’t go and pick up women at clubs) “Real Talk.”
That’s not to mention the absolute genius of arranging an album so the mighty “Sex Planet” comes directly before a touching tribute to those lost in the Virginia Tech massacre. We refuse to believe you could do that and still be serious.
However, as we all know, it probably doesn’t get any better than his “Hip-Hopera” Trapped in The Closet. The sheer gall of a man willing to use one, what, 30 second loop of music? for several hours of cast-iron entertainment is something else, and tomorrow, Wednesday, night you can actually see it on the big screen at the Royal at 9:30 p.m. Thrill! As Kelly rhymes “dresser” with “Beretta”. Gasp! As he forgets he’s singing the opera in first person! Sigh! When he realizes that people aren’t taking it seriously and starts putting daft stuff in on purpose! It’s an unmissable opportunity! [One you can take advantage of if you missed the last unmissable opportunity.––Ed.]