Above is "I Know You Are Hurting," a new song by R. Kelly written in response to the recent tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut. This is a very good, uplifting, well-written song that features some of the best vocal work from R. Kelly in years.
Making inspirational songs following national tragedies is kind of R. Kelly's "thing." Consider "Rise Up," a response to the Virginia Tech shooting, or "The World's Greatest," which is somehow about both R. Kelly and how 9/11 sucked. Of these three tracks, "Rise Up" is probably the most nuanced despite coming as the incongruous end of Kelly's crazy-as-fuck Double Up album, while "I Know You Are Hurting" seems the most pure and sincere.
But do we really want R. Kelly to be America's go-to guy to give us uplifting songs in the face of national tragedy? Sure he's probably the greatest songwriter of his generation, but there's no getting around the fact that he fucked a kid that one time. It seems like Kelly making these songs is an act of hubris, as if he's saying, "Only I, R. Kelly, the man who made 'Sex Planet,' can heal the nation's pain such a terrible time as this." Or maybe R. Kelly just wants people to feel better and I'm reading way too much into this.
Drew Millard thinks too hard on Twitter - @drewmillard
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