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Reply to "The Juice..."

The R. Kelly Dilemna

(Sep. 12, 2003) What do we know about R. Kelly? Think about it. Does anyone even know his wife or children's names? Has there ever been a picture of them together in public? Does he have a twin brother? Did he & Aaliyah actually marry when she was 15? If so, exactly how does that happen? There are so many things we don't really know about R. Kelly.

Let's examine what we do know:

We know that Kelly was born in January 1969 in Chicago's South Side and released his first CD "Born in the 90's in January 1992 with the group Public Announcement.

We know he has worked with The Isleys, Michael & Janet, Luther Vandross, Celine Dion, Biggie, Mary J. Blige, P.Diddy, Jay-Z, Foxy, Nas, Tyrese, Nick Cannon, B2K, Aaliyah, Syleena Johnson, Kelly Price, Fat Joe, Ludacris, JaRule, Chante Moore, Ginuwine & Toni Braxton. He's introduced us to Sparkle, Changing Face & J.S.

We know he knows a woman's feelings. Besides Babyface, what artist has connected more to a woman's psyche? Listen to "When a Woman's Fed Up," "Heart of a Woman" "Be Careful" and "A Woman's Threat." He breaks it down for the thugs, explaining what a woman expects, how men mess up and the consequences of our wrongdoings.

We know about the freak side from songs such as "Sex Me," "Bump & Grind," "12 Play" & "Feelin on yo Booty." The metaphors of "You Remind Me of Something" & "Ignition," all balanced by the spiritual nature of "I Believe I Can Fly," "The Storm is Over," "Heaven I Need a Hug" & "I Wish." The conflict of secular & spirituality had previously been seen in the works of Marvin Gaye (who went from "What's Going On" to "Let's Get It On") and Prince (remember the recital of "The Lord's Prayer" in the middle of the song "Controversy").

We know that he works well under pressure. Facing the greatest challenges of his life, he's produced more hits this past year than anyone in recent memory. Steadfastly denying any wrongdoing, he has continued to produce masterpieces and satisfy his legions of fans.

We know that a man is innocent until proven guilty. We'll be hearing R.Kelly's music for the rest of our lives. His fans have demonstrated an unimaginable type of loyalty, despite the seriousness of the charges levied against him. Sources have said that Kelly has over 10 CDs worth of material already completed, proving that he'll be releasing music in a manner that would make Tupac proud. Time will show which R. Kelly song will best apply: "I'm Your Angel" or "I'm a Bad Man."