R. Kelly's Controversial Lyrics Take on Unsettling New Significance Amid Abuse Allegations

From "a young maid every hour" to references of his relationship with an underage Aaliyah, PEOPLE lists R. Kelly's most controversial lyrics/songs

A close look at R. Kelly‘s hyper-sexualized lyrics reveal disturbing similarities with the sexual abuse claims currently being leveled at him by women in an explosive new docuseries.

The 52-year-old hit-making singer and producer (born Robert Sylvester Kelly), who has collaborated with a star-studded list of musicians including Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, Destiny’s Child and many more, may or may not be detailing the horror that went down in his Georgia mansion over the years within his music with lines like “fruit platter from a young maid every hour” and a song titled “Trapped in the Closet, Part 4.”

Accusations of sexual misconduct have followed Kelly for years, and Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly — which first aired on Lifetime from Thursday, Jan. 3 to Saturday, Jan. 5 — features wide-ranging interviews with Kelly’s family members, former friends and colleagues, but most notably, women who claim that for decades the hit-making singer and producer used his power and influence to sexually and physically abuse women and young girls.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Jan. 11, Kelly’s Chicago-based attorney Steve Greenberg called the documentary “disgusting” and inaccurate. He further claimed that producers told “disgruntled” women incriminating things to say about Kelly off camera in an effort to incriminate the Grammy winner — a charge that producers deny.

2015 Soul Train Music Awards - Arrivals
R. Kelly. Earl Gibson/Getty

In the aftermath of the docuseries, The New York Times has reported that the singer is now under investigation in the state of Georgia.

Pulled from 17 studio albums and 119 singles, here are 10 of R. Kelly’s most controversial lyrics.

1. “12 Play” (1993)

In September 2017, Jerhonda Pace came forward with claims that she had an underage sexual relationship with R. Kelly in 2008 when she was 16 years old. What’s more, she said he introduced her to a female trainer who taught her sexual acts and trained her to “please him.”

In the 1993 song “12 Play,” the rapper seems to detail what he likes in the bedroom.

“Seven: spread your legs apart/Eight: Feel me, I’m so hard/Nine: See I want you from behind/With that bump and grind/10: Baby, climb on top of me/11: Up and down we’ll go, you’ll see,” he sings.

2. “If I’m wit You” (1998)

Dating back to the early ’90s, Kelly has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls, one of those being Pace. The documentary’s first episode includes an emotional interview with former backup singer Jovante Cunningham, who met R. Kelly at age 14. She claims she bore direct witness to his sexual encounters with underaged girls in the ’90s, including his one-time protégée Aaliyah Haughton.

“It really don’t matter, who’s first in the shower/Fruit platter from a young maid every hour,” sings Kelly about his interaction with “young” women.

3. “Tempo Slow” (1995)

Faith A. Rogers, who says she first began a romantic relationship with the R&B star in 2017 at the age of 19, sued the singer last May for “willfully, deliberately and maliciously” infecting her with herpes. According to Rogers’ court filing, she and Kelly first became involved in March 2017 following a performance in San Antonio, not far from the Texas native’s residence.

Rogers told the BBC that when she went to his hotel room one night, but conveyed “I wasn’t ready for sex,” Kelly said “nasty [and] degrading things” to her, referring to himself as “Daddy” and she “his little doll.” In her suit, she described the alleged contact as “non-permissive, painful and abusive sex.”

His desire to be called “Daddy” is highlighted in “Tempo Show.”

“Baby tell Daddy what it is you want/Come on and unravel those little secrets unknown/Time to taste what love has in store for me/So let’s take a sip of this love groove chemistry,” he sings.

4. “Tp-2” (2000)

Kelly’s 8,000-square-foot music studio in an industrial property on the West Side of Chicago was featured on Lifetime’s docuseries Surviving R. Kelly as being a so-called “sex dungeon” and living quarters for young girls in what they referred to as a sex cult.

“Just let me call the studio/Then we can go all night/Girl I hope you can hang/Cause I’m horny as hell tonight,” he sings on “Tp-2.”

5. “R&B Thug” (2000)

Jerhonda Pace also alleged that Kelly physically abused her, saying that he slapped her in the face and would lock her in a room for days at a time. She said she was able to escape Kelly’s house by making up a lie about getting shoes from her uncle’s house ahead of a party he was throwing. But once he permitted her to leave on the condition that she immediately return, she knew it was her way out.

In Kelly’s song “R&B Thug,” he refers to “throwing away they key.”

“On the low, fruit bowls and whipped cream/We can get up on a fancy suite/Thugged out with some Hennessy/See, see, see/Lock your body up and throw away the key,” he sings.

6. “The Greatest Sex” (2000)

Many fans have theorized that “The Greatest Sex” is about Aaliyah, who was born on Jan. 16 and is a Capricorn.

“And the window blinds are filled with rays of sun/And all you secret fantasies thy will be done/And inside of your walls there will dwell a Capricorn/That will feast your body all night/If we keep this up then a love child will be born,” he sings.

In the first episode of Surviving, former backup singer/dancer Jovante Cunningham gave a tearful interview claiming that she once witnessed Kelly have sex with underaged Aaliyah on a tour bus full of entourage members.

“We were all laying in our bunks and the curtains are open, everybody’s communicating, laughing, when the [room] door flew open on the bus. Robert was having sex with Aaliyah,” she claims in the documentary, describing what she saw as “Things that an adult should not be doing with a child.”

7. “Trapped in the Closet, Part 4” (2005)

Kelly and Aaliyah never addressed reports about the nature of their relationship, but in the documentary, his former personal assistant Demetrius Smith claims he was present at the wedding and says he obtained false documents for underaged Aaliyah.

“Robert came to me, we were in Miami,” recalled Smith. “Robert said, ‘Man we got Aaliyah in trouble’.” After asking about the problem, Smith says he got a heartbreaking answer. “Robert mentioned to me that, ‘I think she’s pregnant.’ That broke my heart right there because I really believed him when he said that he wasn’t messing with Aaliyah…Once he told me that I was at a loss for words.”

So is “Trapped in the Closet, Part 4” about the late singer?

“And that’s when I start goin’ crazy/Like I was tryin’ to give her a baby,” he sings.

8. “Sex Planet” (2007)

“Sex Planet” includes more than enough double entendres about sex, but one stands out above the rest.

“Girl I promise this will be painless, painless/We’ll take a trip to planet Uranus,” he sings.

9. “Taxi Cab” (2010)

Kelly has no shortage of sexual lyrics in his songs, regardless of whether it took place in his tour bus, music studio, Georgia mansion or a taxi cab,

“Looking at the rearview she said to me, let go and be free/Then she told the driver mind his business and then went there on me/Then I told her we’re just 15 minutes from my home/But she didn’t stop, she kept saying it feels so incredibly wrong,” he sings.

10. “I Admit” (2018)

While there are many things R. Kelly admitted to in his latest song “I Admit,” he repeatedly denies the numerous allegations of sexual assault that have been leveled against him throughout his career relating to his supposed “sex cult.”

“I admit I done made some mistakes/And I have some imperfect ways,” Kelly sings at the beginning of the track, before asking: “How they gon’ say I don’t respect these women, when all I’ve done is represent/Take my career and turn it upside down,’cause you mad I’ve got some girlfriends.”

“Said I’m abusing these women, what the f— that’s some absurd s—,” he continued. “They’re brainwashed, really?/Kidnapped, really? /Can’t eat, really? /Real talk, that s— sound silly.”

“What’s the definition of a cult?/What’s the definition of a sex slave?” Kelly asks later in his song. “Go to the dictionary, look it up/Let me know, I’ll be here waiting.”

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