“My mind is telling me no… but my body’s telling me yes”
This week’s From The Vault comes courtesy of the King of R&B himself, R.Kelly and his 1994 classic ‘Bump ‘n’ Grind’.
Released as the second single from the crooner’s solo debut and R&B landmark ’12 Play’, it was produced, written and arranged by the musical genius that is Kelly himself. As it is the case with the great majority of its housing LP, ‘Grind’ deals with Robert’s favorite subject: sex!
The mother of all slow jams, this song is iconic for so many reasons – namely its acapella intro (album mix), unabashed lyrics as well as its suggestive choreography.
Released when R&B actually charted on major tally’s, the jam proved to be a hit for Kellz and claimed the ever-so-coveted #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as spending an impressive 12 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B count. It was also a smash in the UK where it peaked inside the Top 10. It remains a staple of American urban radio with numerous stations still playing it in all its over-4-minutes glory.
The track’s live-performance themed visual, directed by Kim Watson, saw Robert (armed with two female dancers) showcase his best “bedroom moves” to an audience of screaming fans. (Side note: Where have the “live-performance” music videos in the vein of this one, TLC’s ‘Diggin On You’ or Janet’s ‘Black Cat’ gone?)
R.Kelly is undeniably the master when it comes to sensual jams, yet what set him apart from his past rivals as well as the new crop of R&B crooners is his ability to tap into other themes and being excellent at it too. The Pied-Pipper is a man of many tricks.
With the next installment of his ‘Trapped In The Closet’ as well as his new LP ‘Black Panties’ set to drop this year, the year 2013 looks like a busy on for R., and we definitely “see nothing wrong” with that!