R. Kelly Interviewed by Will Oldham/Bonnie Prince Billy (No, Really): The Highlights
The current issue of Interview magazine--the celebrities-talking-to-other-celebrities journal invented by Andy Warhol--features an interview with Aziz Anzari-impersonator (and strangest person in the whole music industry) R. Kelly. The interviewer?: indie man of many hats Will Oldham (aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy). Here are the highlights:
R. Kelly on 30 Rock, the Baldwins:
WILL OLDHAM: Do you watch 30 Rock?
R. KELLY: No. What's that?
OLDHAM: It's a television show, a comedy, that takes place in all of these hallways. It's pretty funny. It's, like, a good sitcom. It's got Alec Baldwin. You know Alec Baldwin?
KELLY: Alec Baldwin? Yeah! Don't he have a brother and they all kind of look alike?
OLDHAM: They're, like, four brothers.
KELLY: Steve Baldwin . . .
OLDHAM: Yeah, exactly. [laughs]
R. Kelly on being possessed by Sam Cooke:
OLDHAM: But do you remember the day when it started? When did you start to think, I'm making a record about love?
KELLY: Well, a party that I gave at my house influenced me. I gave a Christmas party last year--well, two Christmases ago--where I did a Sam Cooke show. I didn't perform as R. Kelly. I performed the Sam Cooke show from 1964, when he performed at the Copacabana.
OLDHAM: You performed the whole set?
KELLY: I did the whole set. [...]It was about a two-and-a-half-hour show that I put together in my living room. Built a stage and catwalk. I had the bulb lights and everything. I had tap dancers. I had a girl with me who sounded just like Billie Holiday. I had a guy who sounded just like Frank Sinatra. And then I did Sam Cooke. We had the marquee on the outside of the door, and I went and got old-school pictures of myself and we put them up like I was born back then and performing back then.
R. Kelly on how to throw a party, R. Kelly style:
KELLY: I wanted it to just be this thing that's special, where you don't want nobody else to see it--you just want to look at it yourself, know what I'm saying? I felt like people have fun with concepts like that--even when you throw a party. You say, "Okay, everybody gotta come in with a broom and a witch hat and it's a witch party." You know what I mean? "Everybody gotta come already drunk."
OLDHAM: Have you ever said that for one of your parties--like, "Everybody has to come drunk"?
KELLY: "Prove you're wasted. Walk a straight line . . . Oops! That girl fell. She gets to sit in the VIP section." [both laugh] Nah, man, I've never done that.
R. Kelly on making his version of Thriller:
OLDHAM: So what happened to the Zodiac album?
KELLY: I've changed the name to The Return of 12 Play: Night of the Living Dead. I think it'll be an R&B-like thriller album, if you will.
R. Kelly's endorsement of the vuvuzela:
KELLY: You ever see the movie Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , where all of the electricity is just going into one body? That's what I felt like. I felt like all of that love, all of that energy, and the sprit of Africa was being shot into me through the vuvuzelas, like I was a son of Africa. There's just no other way to describe it, man.
R. Kelly and Will Oldham maybe discussing weed or masturbation or suppositories:
KELLY: I don't fly around America. I flew to Africa because it was a mission. It was something that I felt that I should do. So I did it and I got comfortable with it a little bit. When I fly, I do something to get myself to sleep real fast when I get on the plane, if you know what I'm talking about.
OLDHAM: Yeah. [laughs]
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.