R. Kelly is not letting his reputation as a convicted sexual predator stand between him and music. Or at least that is what people believed when a new album, “I Admit It,” was released on his behalf on Dec. 9.
Prior to being incarcerated, Kelly’s last album was 2016’s “12 Nights Of Christmas.” The scandal-ridden singer’s project consisted of 13 tracks, many of which have existed online since 2018, including a three-part confession, which tackled some of the damning allegations regarding his relationships with women.
The records, titled “I Admit It (I Did It) 1-3,” consisted of lyrics such as:
“I done f—ked with a couple of fans”
“How they gon’ say I don’t respect these women when all I’ve done is represent… You mad I’ve got some girlfriends.”
“They’re brainwashed, really? Kidnapped, really? Can’t eat, really? Real talk, that s—t sound silly.”
It goes without saying that several music lovers were shocked to see a new project from Kelly appear on Spotify and Apple Music. Both streaming platforms distanced themselves from the formerly respected songwriter when he came under fire for alleged indecent sexual interactions with young women and minors over a year ago. “R. Kelly coming out with a song called “I Admit It” has to be the worst s–t i’ve come across by far,” tweeted one person.
“I want nothing of R Kelly and his prison album on my tl & if you listen to it you support a predator,” wrote another.
A third commented, “Who’s responsible for compiling an R. Kelly album and releasing it… that does not seem like a good idea.
However, hours after the music surfaced online, Sony Music confirmed to Variety that the album was an unofficial release. Kelly’s lawyer, attorney Jennifer Bonjean, told The Hollywood Reporter the songs and several other masters were stolen and that a police report had been filed.
“People have had access to his intellectual property rights that they are attempting to profit off of, but unfortunately that does not include Mr. Kelly,” Bonjean told the outlet. She continued, “When he was arrested, he had studio equipment that was taken,” she added. “His masters are missing. The music is somewhere out there, but who has it and who has profited off it — we don’t know entirely.” As a result, both streaming platforms removed the bootleg album.
Over the summer, rumors began circulating on social media that Kelly was working on new music as well as performing for his fellow inmates. Last year, on his 54th birthday, the incarcerated artist callously released his song “Shut Up,” taking aim at his detractors. He sang:
“After 22 years of a blessed career/ Had me lying in my hospital bed crying mad tears/ But just as I have many people hatin’ me, Had so many people loving me/ And let’s not forget the ‘hood around the world covering me/ And to everybody that be calling me, Telling what they’ve been sayin about me/ Bringin me all of this negative s–t, ya’ll the ones I ain’t f–king with.”
Kelly was convicted in September on three counts of producing child pornography and three counts of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity, dating back to incidents that occurred in Chicago in the 1990s. He faces 10 to 90 years in prison. In September 2021, while on trial in New York, he was found guilty of several charges, including sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, racketeering and sex trafficking. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.