100 Best Albums of the Nineties

88

R. Kelly, 'R. Kelly'

A man who could stir both Saturday-night dreams and Sunday-morning sanctity into his music, R. Kelly sang, wrote and produced an album that made him essential to contemporary black music. Gliding over a slick sound that gleams like the hood of a new Benz, Kelly opens his mouth and lets you hear the church in his phrasings, the street in his grit and the classic loverman in his allure. Who else could sing alongside both Ronnie Isley and Biggie Smalls? Who else could say, "You remind me of my Jeep.... I wanna ride it," and have you unsure whether it was sexist or funny or both — and make it sound so fly that you never stopped grooving.

Rolling Stone's Original 1998 Review

Video: R. Kelly Wishes Himself A Happy Birthday

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