R. Kelly – Bump ‘n’ Grind

First Hit #1: April 9, 1994

R. Kelly is a crazy person, as can be evidenced by his ambitious and completely insane Trapped in the Closet series. But before he was a crazy person, he was an incredibly horny person, and his music has been primarily centered on how awesome it would be if a lady would have sex with R. Kelly. At his best, or at least his most entertaining, he creates a world of sexual gratification that’s so insane and over the top that it becomes hilarious, and sometimes actually kind of worrying, like when he sang about having sex in the kitchen, which is just unsanitary.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself. Kelly’s first trip to the top is consistent with his general horniness, as it’s basically a song about how there’s nothing wrong with having sex with R. Kelly, and unlike his more fanciful diversions into the world of pleasure, is a relatively simple ode to the joy of lovemaking. It’s nothing too far out there, the central thesis is that Kelly is really good at sex, so why not have sex with him? It’s not perfect, Kelly’s voice has power but the performance has a tinge of aggression that is a little unwelcome for the subject matter – Kelly seems frustrated that the person he’s singing to does feel that there might be something wrong with a little Bump N’ Grind, which is possibly thematically appropriate but also makes him sound like a bit of a prick. Still, like Silk in 1993, it’s making the pop charts sexier, and a bit more open about that sex.

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2 Responses to R. Kelly – Bump ‘n’ Grind

  1. RBerman says:

    Once again the mellow (if earthy) side of R&B asserts itself on the charts, after a few weeks of letting the Europeans and Canadians play. R. Kelly’s most enduring legacy has proved to be the inspirational “I Believe I Can Fly,” which barely missed the #1 spot in 1996. Despite only having two number ones, he’s one of only five black artists in the Top Fifty Bestselling Artists list. (The others, are Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Prince, and, surprising to me, Tupac Shakur.) He may have some more hits in him, if he can stay out of trouble with minors.

  2. Pingback: Madonna – Take a Bow | We Are Number Ones

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