During the week, a popular American RnB singer, Robert Kelly, aka R Kelly, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for using his celebrity power and financial muscle to abuse vulnerable women and minors for years.
Fondly called the ‘King of RnB’, quite a number of Kelly’s songs are popular in Nigeria. Saturday Beats take a look at some of his music that still resonate with Nigerians
‘Trapped in the Closet’
‘Trapped in the Closet’ is music series that tells the story of a one-night stand which set off a chain of events, gradually revealing a greater web of lies and deceit. The song series, which has 33 chapters, was released between 2005 and 2012. Although it had sine explicit content, it was a major hit in Nigeria.
‘Step in the Name of Love’
Many wedding guests can easily identify with R. Kelly’s song, ‘Step in the Name of Love’, because it was a staple at many weddings.
The song, which encourages intimacy, notes that though love could be tough, it is still a wonderful feeling that can bring joy to those who experience it.
‘You Saved Me‘
Contained in the album, ‘Happy People/U Saved Me’, which was released in 2004, this song is both inspirational and gospel in nature. The song tells stories of how people in difficult situations overcame them.
The song resonated with many Nigerians because it encouraged them that despite whatever they could be going through, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. It also affirms the popular saying, ‘When there is life, there is hope’.
Although released as a single in November 2001, it was used as a soundtrack in the movie, ‘Ali’, which was about the iconic boxer, Mohammed Ali (formerly Cassius Clay).
The song, which is basically contained positive affirmations about one’s life, was usually played at the end of sport competitions, graduations and other moments of breakthrough. Some of the song’s lyrics goes, “I’m that star up in the sky, I’m that mountain peak up high, Hey I made it, hmm, I’m the world’s greatest.”
‘I Believe I Can Fly’
Recorded as a soundtrack for the 1996 film, ‘Space Jam’, ‘I Believe I can Fly’ was the song that introduced R. Kelly to many Nigerians. The song, which is regarded as one of the singer’s most successful songs, went on to become an anthem of sorts, chorused by both the old and young.
Some of the lyrics of the song are, “I believe I can fly/I believe I can touch the sky/ I think about it every night and day/Spread my wings and fly away/I believe I can soar/I see me running through that open door/I believe I can fly…”