R. Kelly, 12 Play (1993)
Prodigy: “That song ‘Honey Love?’ That was dope, yo. His voice is incredible. He don’t sound like nobody. When he first came out everybody said he was biting Aaron Hall. I guess that might’ve been his favorite group, like Guy was his favorite group probably. So you know you get influenced by your favorite people.
“But once he found himself, it was over. Once he found his own voice and his own self...beyond what Aaron Hall ever did. It’s crazy. I listen to R. Kelly before I write rhymes. Like I got to listen to R. Kelly because his pen game is ridiculous. I do that a lot. I listen to a few R. Kelly songs and then I go and write my songs because he reminds me of how easy it is. It’s not easy, but for us, this is what we do, so to me it’s easy to write lyrics. He reminds me how easy it is.
“When I listen to his songs, I’m like, Damn, he’s effortlessly making the ill lyrics. It’s not like Snoop. Snoop sound like he freestyling—he just saying whatever and he make it sound good. R. Kelly is saying incredible shit, but you can tell it’s easy for him. And you like, ‘Damn, yo—that’s crazy how he put that together.’ It’s that easy.”