Much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past. So in a quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday we introduced a new retrospective segment – ‘TGJ Replay’.
Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase albums (and eras) from a library of pop music hits. Today, we press play on ’12 Play’ – the debut solo project from King of R&B R. Kelly…
It all started 20 years ago.
The late 80s, early 90s saw Chicago-born crooner R. Kelly sharing the stage with group Public Announcement. After a string of moderate R&B hits and platinum album, the group parted following the announcement that Kelly longed for solo time in the spotlight.
Unbeknownst to him at the time, his first solo outing would not only become a modern R&B classic, but would also yield some of the most memorable hits of his career.
Certainly putting the ‘Raunch’ in R&B, the album – titled ’12 Play’ – was kicked off by the overtly sexual tune ‘Sex Me’…
Becoming an instant success on R&B charts and radio, its follow-up ‘Bump N’ Grind’, bumped its way right up to the top of charts and has become a signature tune for Kelly lovers.
‘Bump N’ Grind’
Also, with slow jams ‘Seems Like Ya Ready’ and ‘Your Body’s Callin’, the Pied Piper was undoubtedly claiming his position as frontrunner in the genre.
‘Your Body’s Callin’
‘Seems Like Ya Ready’
And, while a slew of hits and accolades would follow (including a ’12 Play’ pt. 2 and 3), it was this 1993 gem that not only changed the game but introduced us to the multi-talented R. Kelly. Acting as a catalyst for a career that has spanned 2 decades, sold nearly 60 million albums, and earned him immeasurable respect from peers and fans alike, the album is a “must-have” for any real R&B lover.
We know our favorite cut from the set (see: ‘Sadie’ below), but tell us yours: