Written by: Carla Bynum
The album seems to follow the familiar formula of his debut studio album, 12 Play but Kelly works to make Black Panties stand out on its own. The album features Kelly Rowland, 2 Chainz, Young Jeezy, Ludacris and Future on a special bonus track.
Most of the songs on the album detail Kelly’s sexual escapades. The album starts off with the Ludacris-assisted track “Legs Shakin” which is pretty self explanatory. He sings about how his tongue is like a taser and he’ll leave his lady’s legs shakin’. He follows with the song “Cookie” where he details his sex game even more and lets listeners know he plans to beat the pussy until it’s blue and lick the middle like an Oreo. According to Kellz, his tongue game will have girls wondering how he can do his mouth like that. He rounds out the top three with “Throw This Money on You” where he talks about throwing money on his woman during sex. Right, because every woman wants her man to treat her like a stripper.
Marry the Pussy
In the solo prelude on the album, Kelly takes on the role of himself and two nameless characters. The prelude starts with the two characters, a man and woman, arguing about bad breath and other unnecessary things. The man threatens to make his woman walk home again as he’s interrupted by a phone call from R. Kelly. To the man’s disapproval, Kelly is thinking about “popping the question.” But no, it’s not the romantic proposal you’re probably thinking of. It’s a sex proposal.
Kelly sings of putting a ring on the pussy in the song “Marry the Pussy.” It makes for the perfect proposal, I mean, he loves the pussy and the pussy loves him. His past sexcapades proves that he isn’t lying there.
For the Grown and Sexy
Don’t fret; the entire album isn’t overly sexual nonsense. Kellz takes things down a notch with “You Deserve Better,” a song about him throwing on his super-save-a-hoe cape and rescuing a woman who’s messing with a lame.
In one of the better songs on the album, “Genius,” he explains why he’s considered a sex genius and sings about making love to his woman and not only devouring her like an Oreo. It seems he finally realizes the difference between making love and having sex on this track.
The sensual Kelly Rowland starts of the sexy song “All the Way,” a tale of a romp in the sheets with someone she shouldn’t be with. Since there’s no such thing as a half mistake, they might as well “go all the way.” Kelly Row and R. Kelly’s voices surprisingly mesh perfectly together on this track, making it one of the standouts on the album.
R. Kelly tells a story
I guess Kellz couldn’t find another way to refer to his boys other than calling them “niggas” at least 50 times in the song “Right Back.” The song talks about how he aspires to get right back to the way things were with his boys before all of the fame. “Spend That” is a song about how much money he has and how he can buy his girl anything she wants.
The album’s first official single, “My Story” features Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz and is summed up by one quick statement made by Kelly in the first verse, “This is my story-money, cars, bad hoes.” Actually, that pretty much sums up the entire album.
On a serious note
“Shut up” was released a couple years ago following his throat surgery. Kelly sings about the surgery and how people said he wouldn’t be able to bounce back. He tells critics and skeptics to shut up because they don’t know what they’re talking about. He’s certainly proved them wrong. He’s released Write Me Back and Black Panties since the surgery in 2011.
In a special bonus track, R. Kelly brings along rapper Future for the song “Tear It Up.” There isn’t much to say about the song because at this point, the song doesn’t say anything that Kellz hasn’t already said in the 13-track album.
Following R. Kelly’s critically acclaimed albums Love Letter and Write Me Back, this isn’t what I expected from Black Panties. The title alone should have been a good enough warning but I ignored all signs and went in with an open mind. I don’t have a problem with the sexual content of the album, what I have a problem with is the way it is presented. Most of the tracks are overly vulgar and are hard to enjoy thoroughly for that reason. There is a thin line between sexy and too much. Black Panties definitely falls into the “too much” category at times but there are still some good moments for listeners.
Suggested tracks: “Genius,” “All the Way,” “Shut Up”
Overall, I give the album 2.5 out of 5 stars.