R. Kelly's new prison album I Admit It pulled from Spotify and iTunes
R. Kelly's latest album, released while the singer remains in prison, has been pulled from major streamers after briefly hitting platforms like Spotify and iTunes on Friday.
The R&B singer, currently serving out a 30-year prison sentence for sex trafficking, nevertheless released an album this week titled I Admit It. Despite appearing on iTunes and Spotify earlier Friday morning, it seems to no longer be available on the platforms. Neither streamer immediately responded to EW's request for comment about its apparent removal.
According to Variety, representatives for Sony Music said the album is an unofficial release, or bootleg, despite the copyright line on the album reading "Legacy Recordings," which is Sony Music's catalog division. Representatives for Sony did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
Kelly's attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, echoed Sony's statement, telling The Hollywood Reporter that the album is comprised of "stolen music."
TANNEN MAURY/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock R. Kelly walking to court in Chicago in 2019
"A police report was filed some time ago because his masters were stolen, but there's not much of an appetite to investigate these things," Bonjean told the outlet. "People have had access to his intellectual property rights that they are attempting to profit off of, but unfortunately that does not include Mr. Kelly."
She noted that Kelly was "not surprised" by the surprise album drop, adding, "But, of course, it's upsetting. It's very upsetting to see your body of work out there in that way."
In 2018, when Surviving R. Kelly was airing on Lifetime, and long-standing allegations of sexual abuse against Kelly were gaining steam, Spotify stopped including his music in playlists.
I Admit It consists mostly of tracks with typical Kelly titles like "Freaky Sensation" and "I Found Love." It ends with the three-part title track, which the singer originally recorded and posted to Soundcloud in 2018. The three parts of "I Admit It" find Kelly admitting to all sorts of behaviors (as innocuous as "I admit that I dropped out of school" and "I admit that I don't go to church") while also pushing back against the allegations that have now landed him in jail, with lyrics like "They're brainwashed, really? Kidnapped, really? Can't eat, really? Real talk, that s— sound silly."
Some Twitter users responded to the release by reposting the scene from a 2005 episode of The Boondocks in which protagonist Huey Freeman (voiced by Regina King) berates people for enjoying Kelly's music in spite of the allegations. Others compared the album's release to the publication of O.J. Simpson's 2007 book, If I Did It, and wondered why anyone would want to hear "more of his rape culture music."
Now we have to entertain this R Kelly mess 🤦🏾♂️
There's no saving R Kelly. Everybody been knew R Kelly is sick. Messing with kids underage is no excuse even if they throw themselves at you. You ought to know better! pic.twitter.com/NfDidLg3BN
— King Mfanelo (@Mfanelo) December 9, 2022
It's crazy how The Boondocks was so right about R. Kelly & his fans its still 100% accurate almost 20 years later.
— the coziestestestestestest (@Thecozyiest) December 9, 2022
I'm not shocked R. Kelly dropped an album from jail –– I have a friend who maintains an active Instagram story from jail –– but I'm shocked that R. Kelly thought ppl wanted to hear more of his rape culture music. :/
— gabrielle alexa noel 💘 (@gabalexa) December 9, 2022
R Kelly dropping this album from PRISON is the most shameless thing I’ve seen since OJ wrote the book about killing his wife pic.twitter.com/2ODzk7kpji
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) December 9, 2022