Album: Chocolate Factory
Truth to tell, we could have filled this whole list with R. Kelly songs. "Feelin on Your Booty"? "You Remind Me of My Jeep"? "I Like the Crotch on You"? "Marry the Pussy?"
Aside from his God-given melodic gift and a propensity for, as Jay Z once put it, "spitting venom up in the minds of young women," R.Kelly's most salient quality as an artist is sheer shamelessness. How else to explain his branding himself the "Pied Piper of R&B" even as he stood accused of child pornography? How else to wrap one's mind around a song like "Heaven I Need A Hug" taken from the Loveland bonus disc of his post-sex-tape double album Chocolate Factory?
This song pulls out all the stops: Kells frames it as a prayer to his deceased mother, describes himself as the sunshine, just trying to shine on everybody, and finally asks "Is there anybody out there willin' to embrace a thug"? If by thug you mean a grown-ass man wearing a black mask while cruising for schoolgirls at McDonald's, then no. —Rob Kenner