R. Kelly calls himself the Pied Piper of R&B. His detractors have far less flattering epithets for the star.
The Chicago artist has been accused of heinous acts that have tarnished his reputation. Some people adamantly refuse to listen to Kelly’s music. For dedicated R&B fans who were raised on the long string of hits that began with “Sex Me” in 1993, however, boycotting Kelly is neither possible nor desirable. As Kelly suggests on his bouncy song “Thoia Thoing,” “what’s R&B without the ‘R’?”
Not even his critics can deny Kelly’s musical genius. Lurid songs like “Bump n’ Grind” apply the spiritual yearning of gospel to lusty odes of desire. His optimistic anthems, including “I Believe I Can Fly,” have inspired millions. The over-the-top “Trapped in the Closet” song cycle was the basis of one of the first series of memes embraced by the millennial generation. Kelly is also a dynamic performer. He possesses the charismatic stage presence associated with the late Marvin Gaye.
Noting that it’s “the freaking weekend, baby, I’m about to have me some fun” on his jubilant crossover hit “Ignition (Remix),” Kelly details the sequence of the celebrations that follows his concerts. Saturday’s show will offer copious amounts of good dirty fun.
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Tickets range from $65 to $125 in advance through axs.com.