We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
It’s hard not to think about sex when an R. Kelly jam comes on the radio. After all, Robert Sylvester Kelly is one of the foremost sex crooners of our time. But Kelly doesn’t just toss around sexual euphemisms in his songs—-he mixes them up in ways that are often misleading, confusing, and maybe—-just maybe—-transgressive. Is R. Kelly unintentional invoking anal sex and phallic imagery in his heterosexual love songs, or is it all just clever wordplay? Take a tour of R. Kelly’s twisted sexual vocabulary, after the jump.
UNDERLYING MEANING: Butt. “1. A process inside the anus which produces shit as we know it. 2.The name of R. Kelly’s new album. Coincidence? I think not.”
R. KELLY USAGE: R. Kelly’s lady. (Seriously, dude?) “candy carmel coated, taf-fies, chocolate covered strawberries, love so sweet / you’re my chocolate factory, gum drops / mixed with chocolate, milk bars, there’s so much variety / love so sweet, you’re / my chocolate factory.”
UNDERLYING MEANING: Secret homosexual liaisons. “when black males try to remain straight by having sex with other men then go home and sleep with their wives.”
R. KELLY USAGE: Secret heterosexual liaisons with a woman who already has a man. “Secret lovers is what you wanna be / While making love to him girl you’re silently calling on me.”
UNDERLYING MEANING: Slang for male genitalia. “Penis.”
R. KELLY USAGE: The way a woman moves her body. When this song declares, “love the way you put that thing on me no doubt,” R. Kelly insists he’s referring to the way “you move your body like a snake.” And not the other thing.
R. KELLY USAGE: “The Package,” in epic R. Kelly hip-hopera “Trapped in the Closet,” is a mysterious threat to group of people linked through a chain of casual sexual encounters. It’s probably HIV, but we can’t be sure—-until R. Kelly comes out with more episodes, the series ends on a cliffhanger. Urban Dictionary confirms that “package” also means “AIDS—-derived from prison slang: the complete package.” Knowing R. Kelly, the “Package” will turn out to be something completely different.