When R. Kelly dropped by the Rolling Stone offices last month, he did more than just invent immortal R&B classics like “Sex Dolphin” on the spot. He also talked to us about the creative process behind his latest album, Black Panties, which he dropped on December 10th.
“I really don’t chase songs,” he said. “I get in the studio, I know what I gotta do, I’m pretty much programmed to do it.” He compared his process to a seasoned movie director assembling all the elements needed for an action movie. “Going in the studio, I say okay I’m gonna do a Black Panties album. So I gotta have some nice titles to play with. What would excite the people the most, or get the people talking, like ‘Man, have you heard that song “Marry the Pussy?”‘ Now that I got those titles, all I got to do is put the lyrics to it and the melody to it and the beat to it. And once that’s done and everything marries each other, I feel like it’s completed.”
He makes it sound almost as simple as improvising sexy songs about ice hockey and Italian hero sandwiches. But Kelly says he’s the victim of a “beautiful disease,” where songs are coming to him constantly. “Before I can finish one song, another is knocking on my door in my head.”