Just like his one time collaborator Cassidy, R. Kelly had his drink and his two step ready Saturday night in Brooklyn. The Pied Piper of R&B brought his spectacular spectacle, "12 Nights of Christmas," in support of his newly released album of the same name to the Kings Theater.
Taking a break from his Buffet Tour, which had just been touching arenas across the country recently, Kells' new show brought out the festive mood, with a set designed as a fly living room augmented by a giant Christmas tree, a fireplace, a bar, and a little more than a handful of women from the audience.
With over two decades worth of classics, Kelly didn't dive into most of his songs too long. Instead he served the audience with potent small doses.
"Step in the name of Love," then "Love Letter," "Chocolate Factory," and "So Sexy" all delighted the crowd in a matter of minutes. "Home Alone," got the full play treatment, with Kelly bringing out his mascot to rap Keith Murray's bars, which were highlighted by the lines "Make you say 'my, my, my' like Johnny Gill."
Later Kells started "Wonderful," but stopped the music shortly after his famous opening ad-libs of "Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh." The Grammy winner told his fans that this show was for his "day ones" and they have to turn up more. "I want this muthaf-cka to feel like a rock concert," he exclaimed.
Shortly after, Kelly posed a tantalizing scenario: "What if I said I'm trying to do every f-ckin song I ever wrote? They gonna have to kick my black ass out."
He then went into beloved hook from Notorious B.I.G.'s "F-cking you Tonight."
Kelly spoke directly to the audience again, playfully stating that backstage he was informed of rules of what he could and couldn't do onstage. He was told not to get too wild, because among other reasons, there was "church folk" in the audience.
"F-ck that, it ain't Sunday" a woman yell from her seat.
"They should have got me before I started drinking," Kelly said with a smile. He then warned that it was about to get freaky and people should leave if they weren't ready. "To all the people who bought my music, made love to my music, even f-cked to my music, I appreciate you," he said.
As the night progressed, Kelly changed his outfit into a black tee, black jeans, and blue mink jacket. Heavily perspiring, he handed a towel to a lady in the front row and let her dry him off.
He crouched down and sang his command to wipe his forehead, then cheeks, then nose. "Keep wiping, babe," he sang, as he started to stand until the lady's hands were running his crotch area. She began to focus on his penis.
"Now grab it," he then told her. Not only did she grab, she began to get overly excited and looked like she was trying to pull "it" out. The R. jumped back out her reach. "You wilder than a muthaf-cka," he said. "It ain't gonna come off.
A short break followed, where a screen came down on the stage and music played that encouraged the audience to get loud. Moments later, Kelly appeared in the crowd at the back of the audience. The Chicago icon walked to the stage singing "Seems Like You're Ready."
He teased "Sex in the Kitchen," mumbling the words and asked the crowd to name that tune.
There was no guessing as he began to close out; Kelly's faithful go-to end game "Happy People" not only had people dancing in the isles, but it had them singing on their way out the building.
The R. already has a busy tour slate for 2017, as he'll restart his Buffet Tour, and has just been announced as one of the marquee names for the February 18 Soulquarius super show in Orange County, which also includes DMX, Jhene Aiko, Ja Rule and Ashanti, Brandy, Monica, The-Dream, and Erykah Badu.