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CD review: R. Kelly’s ‘Black Panties’

Smith Galtney

Three stars

R. Kelly Black Panties

On his 12th album, R. Kelly seems to set a record for saying “pussy” on a single record. He says it more times than Joe Pesci said “f*ck” in Goodfellas, and that was three times as long. But R.’s never been big on subtlety. He wants to be sure you and everyone else knows that Black Panties is an unabashed hymn to his favorite lady part.

Its centerpiece, “Marry the Pussy,” is at once the most raunchy thing you’ll ever hear and brilliantly admirable for its honesty. As Kelly sings of wanting to marry a chocha, you initially imagine him going downtown, singing away while pleasing the woman he loves. But several verses in, and after umpteen utterances of “pussy,” it’s clear the woman doesn’t even exist. Kelly just wants to walk down the aisle with a disembodied vagina. Talk about tunnel vision!

I know what you’re thinking: Why didn’t he call the album Black Pussy? Because this is still the guy who sang “I Believe I Can Fly,” a savvy businessman who likes to keep his career’s legs spread wide open, with one ankle wedged firmly in the gutter and the other way up in the air, pointing toward Jesus. Another song, “Crazy Sex,” sounds as risqué as Carrie Underwood after hearing “Marry the Pussy.” Nothing else matters after hearing “Marry the Pussy.” Do you understand? Marry. The. Pussy.


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