Billie Woodruff: "You never know what's going to happen when you walk in an R. Kelly studio, sometimes you feel like you're in the world of Beethoven. He's yelling 'Bring up the strings,' there's all this classical music going, and he's acting like maestro. Another time he'll have people playing spades in the sound booth while he's recording because he wants that vibe. He's a musical genius. He totally goes there."
YouKnowIGotSoul: Another song I heard around that time was the song you had with R. Kelly “Everywhere I Go”. Was that from that same period?
"Yea, that was when I was signed to Jive."
YouKnowIGotSoul: Was that a song you’d say was the style you liked?
"Pretty much R. Kelly is one of my idols. I think that he’s such an incredible artist, he’s one of the greats regardless of what his personal life is like. I supported him 100% when everyone was kicking him down, I love R. Kelly, I’ve got all of his albums, I study him. Again, I was excited to know that we were going to Chicago to meet with him and I was going to sit down with one of my idols and get a record from him. It didn’t happen that way. We went to Chicago, we went to the Chocolate Factory, and Kelly is a busy dude, he writes for a lot of people and he’s got his own career. He was pretty much busy and he wasn’t able to come down and meet with us. We spent two days in Chicago waiting on him and never got to really sit with him at that time and pick a record myself or give him an idea of what I wanted to do. I didn’t pick the record, but I heard through the grapevine that Kelly had said that this was it, this was a magical record, this is what people want to hear right now, this is hot. I went ahead and recorded the joint and it was leaked out and never really got put out. It’s not even mixed or mastered, it’s just somebody leaked it out. A lot of people ask for the record, they think it’s a great record. I think the whole idea of being able to record a record that R. Kelly wrote is highly appreciated, I’m grateful and I thank God that I got to record a record that a musical genius wrote. How many individuals can say that? Was I happy with the record? I can’t say that. I’m grateful and I’m honored, but I wasn’t happy with the record because I wanted one of them baby making love joints. I wanted to sing. If Kelly was going to write me a record, I wanted to smash it, that was it. It wasn’t it. Then I recorded the record, then about three weeks later I’m watching BET, and I hear these young kids, I forgot their name [ATL], and Kelly had wrote them a record. The record was so similar, the wordplay and the melody and surrounded by pretty girls, it was crazy to me. Not only was it a record that I didn’t want to record, but it was a record that was so similar to something that he had given somebody else. Again, I was honored and grateful and I thank God for that, but it was like “Wow”.
Fat Joe: “He’s the best… If you love music, you love R. Kelly. I just heard the remix to ‘Ignition,’ it’s phenomenal …’ Can I get a toot toot! Can I get a beep beep!’ I was like, ‘Oooohhhhh! Oh my God! What is this? That’s that thing, man. The R. gives you that, man!”
Adele says she loves R. Kelly (2011):
Chris Brown talks about being starstruck by R. Kelly (2010):
Chris Brown talks about the impact of "I Believe I Can Fly" (2007):
Big Boi talks about R. Kelly (2007):
Rodney Jerkins: "Personal problems or issues doesn't stop genius. You know what I mean? We all have problems. We all have struggles. That's life. You go through different things but it doesn't stop the genius in that man. That man is incredible. [...] He's a genius. I mean, I think for our era, for this era, he's the modern day Marvin Gaye meets Babyface. He's able to do music that can penetrate the Pop audience as well as penetrate the Hip-Hop audience. No one does it better than him." (2007)
Dizzee Rascal: "R. Kelly's TP-2.com is baby-making music. I used to fuck to this album, Make that clear: this was my fucking album. What's the scenario? She comes back to the bedroom. You offer her a drink and some crisps. R Kelly comes on and, very shortly after, the clothes come off." (2011)
Neyo: "R. Kelly always does his thing. R. Kelly is one of those cats that can write a joint that is strictly for the hood, and then turn around and write a joint like, “I Believe I can Fly.” Or do a song with Celine Dion or something crazy like that, like he is one of the few writers that can get away with that." (2007)
During that time when you and Will.I.Am worked together, there are surely some interesting things that happened. Can you please tell us some of those?
CL: When we went to Will house, and ate food that he made himself, and talked about music and shared some memories, that was a very precious moment for me. Specially we enjoy James Brown and R. Kelly, that particular taste we had in common. (2012)