23 December 2007

"The dashboard melted but we still have the radio." -- THE BEST THREE (3) SUCCESSIVE TRACKS- OTY (No Contest)

#1 R. Kelly - "I'm A Flirt (Remix)" > "Same Girl" > "Real Talk"
Even after these three untouchable moments of pop-music genius, it's hard to say R. Kelly is having the best year ever. Despite a pretty successful string of singles and guest appearances that really did remind everyone that he is the King of R&B (no T-Pain), the man is still in a lot of trouble. His previously delayed trial, in which he faces charges of child pornography, is finally getting under way. Unfortunately, no one told Kells and he missed an appearance, prompting a judge to issue a warrant for his arrest. So the Law isn't exactly happy with him and supposedly we're going to see a real trial. All of this on top of the departure of his longtime publicist (worst job ever?) who said, " "I ended my relationship with Kelly because there are some lines you just don't cross," prompting more rumors about his dalliances with young girls -- daughters, even -- of those close to him. Hmmm.

But STILL, this three-track streak of genius is enough to make an otherwise outrageous record/existence something worth talking about. With the release of the year's best hip-hopera, Trapped In The Closet 13-22, R. Kelly solidified himself as the most self-aware persona that exists in pop culture in which people continue to think "he doesn't get it." I think he does. K. Sanneh of the New York Times wrote of Trapped, "Many of its biggest fans seem to think they're laughing at Mr. Kelly not with him, as if the whole thing were some sort of glorious, terrible mistake." But while we may not be laughing at him anymore, it's clear he has become a caricature of himself, so overblown, egotistical and sexed-up, that it's nearly impossible to draw the line between straight-faced braggadocio and tongue-in-cheek pranksterisms.

The "Flirt" remix transcends all of it as soon as those first piano chords and R.'s canned stutter hit. Probably the only T-Pain appearance that doesn't grate after the 1,011th play, "Flirt" is a bragger's anthem and is responsible for the best punch-line of the year not authored by a certain Weezy F. Baby:
She be callin' me Daddy / And I be callin' her Mommy / She be callin' you Kelly / When yo' name is Tommy. Another classic R. Kelly remix where no one had any idea an original version existed.

"Same Girl" and "Real Talk," meanwhile, play on the whole conversation-as-song conceit Kells has been running with for a few years now. But where normally the element of dementia is played up by the fact that Kelly either sings back and forth to himself or plays every character, in "Same Girl" he somehow convinced Usher -- a pretty low-key guy as far as R&B personalities go -- to play his foil. The song is sort of an update of Joe's "Stutter" on 'roids where two men find out their sleeping with the ... get this ... same girl (!) and chaos ensues. It was surreal to hear this track on the radio and I couldn't believe there wasn't a twist ending involving identical twins.

The rest is after the jump, as well as two mp3s.

"Real Talk" speaks for itself:

Oh yeah, and "Speedin" is too great. Ricky Ross in '08.

Rick Ross ft. R. Kelly Speedin
Rick Ross ft. Flo Rida Street Money