If you needed more reasons to delete R.Kelly’s Chocolate Factory or 12 Play from your library, here’s one–the singer’s hit single “Ignition” featured innuendos about underaged girls, his former lawyer says.
In an interview with Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago criminal defense attorney Ed Genson candidly spoke about his time working with Kelly and how he kept the singer “out of trouble,” the same kind of trouble that led to his child pornography case in 2008.
One of those elements included vetting the singer’s music he released around the time of the trial like “Ignition.” Before breaking off fans the remix in 2002 that became one of his biggest hits, the original carried a more slow jam aurora with car metaphors for sex. Genson said the version he heard confirmed Kelly’s interest in underaged girls.
“I was riding in the car, listening to a song and said, ‘Are you crazy? This is all I need.’” he reportedly said to Kelly at the time. “He re-wrote it. It’s a song related to a guy driving around in a car with his girlfriend. It was originally a high school instructor in a class teaching people how to drive a car. I changed the words.”
Genson said he listened to songs in an effort to keep Kelly’s profile clean. “I did facilitate him in the sense I kept him out of trouble for 10 years,” he said. “I listened to them, which ones would make a judge mad.”
“Ignition” was featured on Kelly’s Loveland album, which was later shifted and filtered to create Chocolate Factory. Some songs from Loveland were leaked, including “Ignition” and gained radio play. Because of the public’s interest in the song and the studio’s liking to the end of the song, it remained on Chocolate Factory and the remix was released as the official lead single to the album in the fall of 2002.
“Ignition (Remix)” spent five weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 2003, with the album dropping in February. Amid reports about Kelly’s behavior and sex “cult,” “Ignition (Remix)” was still a popular song used in Spotify ads, and after the release of Surviving R. Kelly in January, returned to the Billboard R&B Digital Song Sales chart.
The visuals for “Ignition (Remix)” has continued to gain traction with 188,277,026 views on YouTube. His catalog also gets 5 monthly listens on Spotify.
Kelly brought up his music in his infamous CBS interview with Gayle King this week, before deflecting abuse allegations. “I didn’t do this stuff! This is not me! I’m fighting for my f**king life! Y’all killing me with this shit,” he said. “I gave y’all 30 years of my career! Thirty years of my career and y’all trying to kill me? You’re killing me, man. This is not about music. I’m trying to have a relationship with my kids and I can’t do it! Y’all just don’t wanna believe the truth. You don’t wanna believe it.”
Kelly was arrested this week for failure to pay $161,000 in child support.