What’s The Deal With This R. Kelly Album That Dropped?

I Admit, a new R. Kelly album, quietly hit streaming. But singles for it have been dropping since early September.

R. Kelly is somehow releasing music during his 30-year prison bid. On Friday (December 9), an album called I Admit appeared on all major streaming services. While the 13-track has no guest appearances, it included tracks “I Found Love,” “Good Ole Days,” “Freaky Sensation,” and “I Admit It (I Did It).”

Kelly originally uploaded a full, 19-minute version of “I Admit It (I Did It)” on SoundCloud. On the song, Kelly divulges about helping people who have betrayed him before admitting to sexual intercourse “with a couple of fans,” and having an affair on a former girlfriend with her friend. Also on the song, Kelly professes his love for the late Aaliyah, who he married when the R&B singer was underage.

While Kelly doesn’t admit to alleged sex crimes on “I Admit It (I Did It),” he takes aim at victims who have accused him of kidnapping and food deprivation.

“They’re brainwashed, really? Kidnapped, really? Can’t eat, really? Real talk, that shit sound silly,” he sings.

Elsewhere in the song, he complains about not being able to continue his musical career.

“I got a life. I got a right. Cancel my shows? That ain’t right,” he continues.

Although DSPs attribute the album’s release to Legacy Recordings, which is Sony Music’s catalog division, Okayplayer reached out and received no official comment from the label. According to what a source told Billboard, Legacy Recordings was not involved with the project. The album was actually uploaded by distributor Ingrooves, which is backed by Universal Music Group. Soon after, Ingrooves executives requested that streaming services pull the release. By early afternoon, the album was down.

What makes this album’s release more complicated is that singles from it were being shared even before it dropped. A scroll through Kelly’s music on Tidal showed that songs “Air,” “I Found Love,” “Planet,” and “Where’s Love, When You Need It” have all been out prior to the album’s release. According to the streaming service, the singles came out September 9, September 30, October 21, and November 11, respectively. Similar to the album, the tracks are also attributed to Legacy. Some of the songs even made their way to TikTok shortly after they were released, with a pro-Kelly TikTok account sharing videos with “Air” and “I Found Love” in early and late September, respectively.

The disgraced singer-songwriter is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence for sex trafficking, and has also been convicted of a separate child pornography charge from September. Kelly, 55, has yet to be sentenced for the latter charge.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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Jaelani Turner-Williams

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