Who, exactly, were the fools deluded enough to wonder whether R. Kelly would return, as glorious and brilliant as ever, from the minor throat surgery he underwent earlier this year? We don’t really know; as far as we can tell, everyone assumed Kelly would make a fast return to the craft he’s perfected over 20 years and ten wonderful albums. But to hear the man himself tell it, the world turned on R. Kelly in those dark days — and now he’s having his revenge in song form. Earlier today, R. tweeted out a new track, along with the message, “It’s been a long time coming but I finally feel a lot better about my throat since the surgery and this is the first song I wrote.” The song’s called “Shut Up,” and it is a musical smackdown of each and every one of those doubting-ass doubters.
This continues R. Kelly week here on the Internet, which kicked off yesterday with the reveal of the excellent cover and excellent title of his (surely) excellent autobiography. It now turns out that Soula Coaster: The Diary of Me (yes yes yes) will not be out next week, as initially reported, but sometime next spring. Thankfully, R. Kelly has, for now, filled the R. Kelly-size hole in our heart: “Shut Up,” a blistering slow cut, is an unexpected wonder. More than anything, it renews our confidence in Kellz’s decision-making process.
As he explains, “Even before the doctors were done and I could awake / a tsunami of rumors had wiped my career away / after 22 years of a blessed career / had me lying in my hospital bed crying mad tears, oh woo.” He continues: “To everybody that be calling me / telling me what they be saying ‘bout me / bringing me all of this negative shit / ya’ll are the ones I ain’t fuckin’ with.” Which leads to this: “Time for me to evaulaute / the people that I let up in my space.” Look, we know it’s hard to cut out people that are close to you, Robert, and we’re proud of you for making such tough decisions. Now, as you move on to more awesome post-surgery songs, and to installing new shelving in your home to accomodate all the awards you’ll surely receive for Soula Coaster and your upcoming eleventh album Black Panties, you do so free of nefarious fifth columns. And to those haters, Grantland has a message, too: Seriously, shut up.