The scandalized R&B musician R. Kelly, who is presently serving a 30-year prison term for federal racketeering and sex trafficking crimes, has managed to release a new album with the provocative title “I Admit It.”
The 13-song album features Kelly as the primary songwriter and “D. Johnson” as the producer.
Up until the final three tracks, a 19-minute triptych where he “confesses” to relationships with fans and cheating on a partner while subtly acknowledging and protesting his lengthy, scandalous list of sex crime convictions, Kelly’s usual ground is covered on songs like “I Got It” and “Good Old Days.”
“Really? They’ve been brainwashed? Really? I was kidnapped? Really unable to eat? Real talk, it seems foolish,” he says in one song, alluding to claims that he oversaw an organization that was essentially a sex cult.
These last three album tracks were first shared by Kelly in 2018 on Soundcloud. Prior to being removed on Friday by both Apple Music and Spotify, “I Admit It” was temporarily streamable on both platforms. Ingrooves, a unit of Virgin Music Group, a branch of Universal Music Group, distributes the album.
Legacy Recordings, the company listed as the label on “I Admit It,” is a Sony Music back catalog imprint. Following the premiere of the documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” Sony dismissed Kelly in 2019. Kelly’s lawyer told Variety that the singer isn’t responsible for the album and is “having intellectual property stolen from him.” Sony claimed that “I Admit It” was a bootleg and not an official release.
With the release of hugely popular singles like “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Ignition (Remix),” Kelly was a mainstay of pop and R&B for much of the 1990s and 2000s.
However, he was dogged by allegations of sexual assault and child abuse throughout his career, which led to his eventual federal convictions in June. In September 2021, he made his final official release, the track “No Problems.”
In February, Kelly will be sentenced once more for a child pornography conviction in Illinois.