On Monday night, a collection of songs purporting to be R. Kelly’s 12 Play: Fourth Quarter showed up on a few of the leak blogs I read, prompting Vulture to send itself into a tizzy, and Digital Music News to cluck its tongue about the early release’s effects on the biz. But 12P4Q doesn’t even have a release date yet, and the blog where I first saw it, the kooky Music Is The Heart Of Our Soul, had a disclaimer that read “For your own information, this isn’t the retail version just a compilation of tracks that might be on his album but it is still great to enjoy and to listen to.” Which I think means that it’s not really the official version of the album, but a bunch of tracks that were laying around the studio that happened to make it outside the Kells compound. Further confusing the whole picture are the torrent sites that had versions of the album marked “[RETAIL]” (which signifies that the version being traded is, in fact, the commercially available one) floating around their ether. So what gives?
The songs are, perhaps unsurprisingly, unsubtly libidinous, with titles like “Wanna Make A Baby” and lyrics that would have sounded great in court like “You know the sex is good when you tell your best friend, ‘He was screaming!’ ” and “I’m just trying to knock you up so you can have your Mini-Me.” There are also a couple of previously released tracks–”Hair Braider,” “Playas Get Lonely”–in there, as well as the obviously written post-not-guilty-verdict “Relief.” (You can probably ballpark the lyrical intent there.)
So here’s the question that’s been eating at me since I saw that blog disclaimer up top: Is this “leak” legit, even though 12P4Q won’t be out for two months at the earliest? And more questions that stem from that: Did someone deliberately put these tracks online as a way to “get back” at Kells, or is he just so prolific that this venture shouldn’t be seen as the album, but instead a full-length, mixtape-like prelude to 12P4Q? MTV got in touch with Kells’ label, Jive Records, but they weren’t talking, except to say that the album would be coming out later this year. Perhaps R. will release another freestyle over “A Milli” that clears all of this up sometime soon.
R. Kelly’s Mind Is Still In The Bedroom On New Tracks Leaked Online [MTV]
R. Kelly: New Album [Music Is The Heart Of Our Soul]