Say what folk will about R. Kelly, there’s no denying that his talent is unparalleled in the industry. Whether crooning, preaching, or partying, the man has blessed us with some of the most resonating music of the past 20 years.
Today’s From The Vault finds him stepping and spreading positivity the world over. This week’s pick is 2003’s ‘Step In The Name Of Love.’
The final single from the crooner’s fifth studio album ‘Chocolate Factory,’ the song serves as a celebration of love and also pays homage to the Chicago-birthed dance style “stepping.”
Like the entirety of its parent album, the cut was produced by Kelly and was a chart hit for the maestro peaking at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100; it also claimed the top spot of the Billboard Hot Hip-Hop/R&B Singles – his last effort to do so to date.
The video for the single was directed by Little X and is set at an elaborate boat party. Mr Kelly can be seen serenading the ladies (as her has for length of his career) before everyone reports to the dance floor for the classic instructional stepping dance break. For the last sequence of the visual, the singer gets all Zorro on us and freestyles by himself on the deserted boat. Class act!
Kellz’ ability to go from turn-up to classy and back has always been fascinating to us. Indeed it’s mind-blowing how he can seamlessly service a “fresh out the kitchen” remix to ‘Ignition’ only to effortlessly evoke gentleman with his stepping shoes…all on the same album.
It might sound trivial to some, but not many R&B artists have managed to master that craft; the newcomers have opted to ban most things “heartfelt” and focus on getting lit, crunk and faded.
Yet, R. Kelly reminds the best of the bunch can (and perhaps should) do it all!