THE highly sexualised lyrics of R. Kelly are being reexamined in the wake of further damning claims against the singer – who is due to stand trial for allegedly heading up a sex cult.
The R&B hitmaker, real name Robert Sylvester Kelly, 54, will appear before courts in Brooklyn, New York, and refutes all of the sex trafficking and racketeering charges.
These are the latest in a flurry of allegations to be made against Kelly, who along with employees and his entourage, is accused of having “preyed upon women and girls who attended his concerts”.
It’s claimed they were made to “be available to engage in illegal sexual activity with him at a moment’s notice” and were not allowed to “leave their room without permission”.
Since the two-part documentary series Surviving R. Kelly aired, many have poured over the singer’s life for clues to hint at the behaviour he is accused of.
Some raised concerns after reexamining lyrics from 17 studio albums and 119 singles in the wake of the most recent allegations.
Sexual desires lyrics
Jerhonda Pace claimed she had underage sex with Kelly in 2008 and that she was groomed to become part of his alleged sex cult.
On TV show The Real in 2017, she spoke out and said a female trainer taught her how to “please him” – referring to Kelly – and showed her specific sex acts to do with Kelly.
In Kelly’s 1993 track ‘12 Play’, he seemed to divulge sexual desires in a list of instructions including: “Seven: Spread your legs apart; Eight: Feel me so hard.”
Other lyrics included, “Nine: See I want you from behind”, “Ten: Baby climb on top of me” and “Eleven: Up and down we’ll go, you’ll see”.
‘Young maid every hour’
In the 1998 song ‘If I’m Wit’ You’, which featured on album R, Kelly referred to “young” women.
Kelly sings: “It really don’t matter who’s first in the shower; Fruit platter from a young maid every hour.”
The lyrics were seen as controversial to some after the musician faced allegations of sexual misconduct with women and young women in the Nineties.
During that period, Kelly married his 15-year-old protege Aaliyah Haughton – who claimed she was 18 during the ceremony but was later discovered to be underage.
Jovante Cunningham, a former backup singer, who met the singer at the age of 14, claimed to have witnessed Kelly having sex with the teen and other underage girls.
Haughton, who was married to Kelly between 1994 and 1995, died in a plane crash in 2001.
Through his lawyers this year, the singer admitted to having had “underage sexual contact” with the teenager.
‘Referred to himself as Daddy’
In 2018, Faith A. Rodgers spoke out after having a one-year relationship with Kelly, when she was 19 years old.
She sued the singer after claiming he had “willfully, deliberately and maliciously” infected her with herpes, filmed her during sex without her consent and other charges.
Faith told the BBC that she “wasn’t ready for sex” and that Kelly said “nasty, degrading things” to her and referred to himself as “Daddy”.
The nickname appeared in his 1995 hit ‘Tempo Slow’, in which he sang: “Baby tell Daddy what it is you want.”
Kelly’s attorney rejected the allegations made by Rodgers, who is believed to be part of a federal court case against the singer.
The lawyer claimed to be unaware of the “lies and distortions” about his client and argued that accusers were “profiteers” and “not victims”.
They continued: “Both of these women are simply out to exploit their past connection to R. Kelly.”
‘Lock up your body’
Jerhonda Pace has also claimed Kelly physically abused her and would lock her in a bedroom for several days at a time – something other women previously alleged.
It followed accounts of a “sex dungeon” at a music studio, within an industrial property in Chicago, that had living quarters for young women.
Pace claimed to have felt trapped and said she was only allowed to leave with Kelly’s permission.
In Surviving R. Kelly, she claimed to have escaped after making up a lie about retrieving shoes ahead of a party and fleeing.
Some have made connections with the allegations of entrapment – which Kelly denies – and the 2000 song ‘R&B Thug’.
In the lyrics, he sang: “Lock your body up and throw away the key.”
‘Feast your body all night’
In previous years, fans believed lyrics from the 2000 hit ‘The Greatest Sex’ could have referred to Kelly’s underage lover Aaliyah.
Their suspicions arose after he referenced a mystery Capricorn – the star sign of his late ex-wife – who appeared to please him.
The lyrics read: “And inside of your walls there will dwell a Capricorn; That will feast your body all night.”
Sources close to Kelly claimed that during their relationship he was concerned about having impregnated the young singer.
In Surviving R. Kelly, former personal assistant Demetrius Smith said the singer admitted it to him after telling him “we got Aaliyah in trouble”.
Some speculated the pregnancy could have been referenced in the performer’s 2005 song ‘Trapped In The Closet, Chapter 4’.
He sang: “That’s when I started going crazy like I was tryna give her a baby… Then I flipped back the cover; O my god a rubber.”
‘A trip to planet Uranus’
Kelly is well-known for his highly sexualised lyrics and double entendres.
They include in the 2007 song ‘Sex Planet’, which included the words: “Girl I promise this will be painless, painless; We’ll take a trip to planet Uranus.”
Some believed lyrics in ‘Taxi Cab’, which came out in 2010, showed Kelly liked having sex in vehicles.
In the song, he sang: “Looking at the rearview she said to me, let go and be free; Then she told the driver mind his business and then went there on me.
“Then I told her we’re just 15 minutes from my home; But she didn’t stop, she kept saying it feels so incredibly wrong.”
This was linked to Cunningham’s claims in Surving R. Kelly, where she claimed to have witnessed the singer “having sex with Aaliyah” on a tour bus.
She claimed Aaliyah was underage at the time and said Kelly was doing “things that an adult should not be doing with a child”.
‘I made some mistakes’
In the 2018 song ‘I Admit’, Kelly denounced allegations made against him – and has continued to do so in court.
He addressed many of the claims including those that suggested he was the leader of a “sex cult” and others that referenced the “abuse” of women.
In one lyric, he sang: “What’s the definition of a cult?; What’s the definition of a sex slave?”
Later in the song, Kelly said: “Go to the dictionary, look it up; Let me know, I’ll be here waiting.”
Kelly also referenced claims of him “abusing these women” and responded: “What the f*** that’s some absurd s***”.
He continued: “They’re brainwashed, really? Kidnapped, really? Can’t eat, really? Real talk, that s*** sound silly.”
At the beginning of the song, Kelly argued that he respected and represented the women who were allegedly trying to derail his career.
He said: “I admit I done made some mistakes; And I have some imperfect ways.”
However, he ultimately accused his accusers of being “mad” because he had “some girlfriends”.