Published Jun 04, 2009We never did officially get 12 Play: 4th Quarter, and having heard it, I kind of know why. So R. Kelly has put that entire record behind him (much like Jive has) and gone straight to the mixtape - his first release since being acquitted of child pornography charges. The Demo Tape is actually his first ever, and with the help of DJ Drama and DJ Skee, Kells is trying to build up some of that cred that understandably flew out the window when he allegedly (read: totally) filmed himself fornicating with a minor. In a recent interview with MTV, the self-proclaimed "King of R&B" said the mixtape was a chance to go "all the way back to when I first started; all I had was my demo. It's a way to start fresh, be humble. It's like being a new artist. This is my demo tape for my fans." Well, bad news first: he still loves auto-tune. Yep, "Hair Braider" turned him into a robotic monster, who still lurches all over this tape, but considering he tackles joints like Kanye's "Love Lockdown" and Lil Wayne's "Fuck Every Girl," are we to expect anything less? The good news: the Pied Piper adds his flavour to a bunch of the hottest tracks in the universe. This automatically makes it an improvement over 12 Play, which he references in the-Dream's remix on the second track. Best of all though, Kells kills Drake's "Best I Ever Had," which I'm kind of happy is about Alicia Keys, considering the inspiration could be so much worse. But more than anything, The Demo Tape confirms that in 2009, all this man wants to do is get raunchy to the point of an NC-17 rating. He just can't resist the temptation to make us cringe with that infamously dirty mind of his. He perverses Jeremih's "Birthday Sex" to the point of adjusting yourself in your seat multiple times, drops that he has "a couple bad bitches in Toronto" (hey, shout out!?) and boasts about making that p-u-s-s-y cry in, ahem, "Pussy Cry." It sounds bad, and sometimes it really is. But as "Chopped & Screwed Remix" brings it to a hilarious and satisfying close, The Demo Tape has moments that make me think he hasn't entirely lost the plot just yet. I know I keep saying that and defending him, but I'm waiting to pass judgment on the forthcoming Untitled. After that, I swear I'll either be in or out for good... I think.
Download The Demo Tape here.