R. Kelly is on the latest cover of V Magazine, and the interview with the R&B legend starts off with a question that seems to ask how he's dealt with the reemergence of the allegations of sexual abuse that resulted in a 2008 trial. But the question is worded like the writer is taking his medicine, and because of that, Kelly brushes the question away with a barely coherent answer.
"You described yourself as a survivor," writer Patrick Sandberg begins. "When critics try to bring up certain things from your past, how do you weather that?" To that, Kelly responds that he's been able to shield himself from controversy with his music (which, it should be said, is true). "The more a soldier wins, the more the other soldiers want to take him out. You have to know how to metaphorically and spiritually use your gift to be your shield. So I shield myself with my gift," Kelly says.
"I stay behind it and I continue to make music. And when the music is sharpened, I shoot it out there. I’m not a master, but I learned a lot from my teacher Lena McLin," Kelly says, referring to the Chicago pastor/music teacher who also nurtured the talents of Whitney Houston and Jennifer Hudson. "She was basically my Ms. Miyagi and I was her Daniel-san. I would listen to everything she would tell me and I’m still doing that today."
Later in the interview, Kelly reveals that he's planning a sequel to his recent album Black Panties called White Panties (there are so many colors of panties, just think of the possibilities!) and that he may record a duet album with Mary J. Blige, who he's soon going on tour with.
But the bizarrely blithe opening to the interview looms heavy.