Real life crime series are all the rage at the moment. The podcast Serial brought the genre to peoples attention, but it really exploded with the critically-acclaimed Netflix series Making a Murderer. It’s since gone one further, with the dramatised realisation of the OJ Simpson trial in The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story.
Clearly, there is big money to be made in this general area, and luckily I have just the case to cash in on this phenomenon.
She’s Got That Vibe by R Kelly.
She’s Got That Vibe was the debut single from American pop weirdo R Kelly in 1992. Whilst a modest success at the time (it reached Number 7 in the UK chart), it was the start he needed to turn his career from a trickle to a full stream and yes, that is a urination joke and no, you aren’t better than me.
Now, along with Ignition (Remix), I Believe I Can Fly and Bump ‘N’ Grind, it’s one of the songs that you’d be disappointed not to hear at an R Kelly concert if a) R Kelly actually does concerts, and b) you were insane enough to go to an R Kelly concert. Personally, I’d probably prefer if he just ran through the entirety of Trapped In The Closest, but I’m an idiot like that.
Anyway, the song.
Generic, vaguely sexual, up-tempo gushings to an indiscriminate female. Pretty early 1990s. Oh, and he says the word “vibe” 50 times in under 4 minutes. Yeah, pretty 90s.
However, if you know anything about R Kelly beyond his guilty-pleasure three main hits, it’s probably his, ahem, legal history.
According to Vibe Magazine (what was it with the 90s and that word?) R Kelly got married to his protégé Aaliyah in 1994. She was 15.
Both Kelly and Aaliyah afterwards claimed that no such relationship took place, even though there were marriage records? I don’t know. Anyway, eight years after the supposed marriage, R Kelly was arrested for allegedly urinating on an underage girl. He was later found not guilty.
Fair enough, I guess. I’m not sure exactly how one innocent person could end up in those two scenarios by accident, but whatever. I’m not a judge, and I have faith in the criminal justice system. I preached about innocent until proven guilty in my review of Making a Murderer, so I should certainly stick by innocent when proven innocent.
But then you look at She’s Got That Vibe and… I don’t know, man.
It’s a pretty nondescript song for the most part, featuring general things about feeling turned on and asking the DJ to turn up the sound (I have no idea what the deal is with the poor volume control at these R’n’B parties). There’s also this line, which I find hilarious for some reason:
“It’s one o’clock
And the party’s just beginning
The place is jumping
Ooh, what a lovely scene”
I have no idea why that keeps making me laugh, but it just does. Maybe it’s because I keep reading it in an Alan Partridge voice.
By the time we hit the third verse, he starts talking about, well, this:
“Yeah, cuddle me in your arms
Like I’m your teddy bear”
Eesh. Given what we know about him, this is a particularly unfortunate turn of phrase.
No, hang on a minute. I’m being unfair here. This is just a rapper (kind of?) saying things in a song. We can’t apply too much attention on this.
“Like Flintstones we’ll have a yabbadabbadoo”
He’s just referencing the popular children’s cartoon The Flintstones. That’s fine. Nothing to get bent out of shape over.
He then goes on to list all the girls who have “got it”. They include (deep breath) Joanne, Leonice , Theresa, Tonia, Cheryl, Betty, Chip, Ann, Gail, Stephanie, Sabrina, Rachelle, Gladys and Fontina. I’m pretty sure Chip is a guy’s name, but whatever.
“Little cute Aaliyah’s got it”
Oh, that’s… wow.
That’s Aaliyah, who was his protégé. Aaliyah, who he apparently ended up marrying. Aaliyah, who at the time of the recording was twelve years old.
And not only that, but he calls her “little cute Aaliyah”? That’s ballsy, you have to admit.
But, hey, let’s not get carried away here. This is just one song, written by one person. I’m sure if we look at Aaliyah’s back catalogue, there’d be nothing concerning there.
Hang on, is that R Kelly in the background of the photo, watching her from a distance?
Still, could be a coincidence. After all, the release of the album and the wedding were probably a long time apart. I mean, they were *checks calendar* less than three months apart?
Okay, Larnerholt, breathe. Lets not jump so very easy-to-jump-to conclusions. Normally, when a 15 year old brings out an album a lot of the material is written by other people. So it could all be one huge coincidence.
“All songs written and produced by R Kelly…”
She’s Got That Vibe Rating: I’m going to feel very, very weird next time I hear Bump ‘n’ Grind. Turns out I see a lot wrong with it, Mr. Kelly. A lot.
This isn’t the only brilliantly rubbish thing I’ve analysed. You can take a look at the others here:
- Yeah by Usher
- It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy
- It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy (video version)
- Mysterious Girl by Peter Andre
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