Name: R. Kelly
Mixtape: R. Kelly Presents the Pied Piper (Chocolate Factory Pt. 2)
Joints to check for: "Hold On," "Apologies of a Thug," "What Goes Around," "Hotel" by Cassidy featuring R. Kelly
Previous mixtapes: Kells did have a tape out on the streets last year that caused quite a stir, but it wasn't a mixtape
The 411: To quote Busta Rhymes from the record "Light Your Ass on Fire": "Hmmmmm!" That's the first thing that comes to mind upon seeing R. Kelly Presents the Pied Piper (Chocolate Factory Pt. 2). The poor copy of the album artwork makes the CD look like a bootleg copy of an official album, but Kelly's record company said it does not know of any upcoming Kelly album hitting the black market.
When you listen to the CD, it clearly doesn't sound like a traditional album, either. Whatever you want to label it, somebody has compiled a large selection of the hit records that Kelly wrote and produced for everyone from Ginuwine to B2K since last year.
The disc starts off with the Pied Piper telling everyone that they are about to hear one of the greatest remixes of all time as what sound like munchkins repeatedly chant "Chocolate Factory." This mini intro segues into newcomers JS and their remix of "Ice Cream," where the female duo equate their body parts to one of America's favorite desserts.
Other records that Kelly helmed for others, such as Nick Cannon's "Gigolo," Nivea's "Laundromat" and Ginuwine's "Hell Yeah" remix, are also included. While the person who compiled this CD may have their ear out for Kells' music, they obviously haven't been paying attention to actual song titles. Marques Houston's "Clubbin' " is listed as "Up in the Club" and Cassidy's "Hotel" is named "Six in Da Mornin'."
The R. does take center stage on a couple of cuts on the CD. He raps throughout "Apologies of a Thug," which was a last-minute cut from the officially released Chocolate Factory LP (early pressings of the album listed "Apologies of a Thug" on the CD cover, but the song in that slot actually is the Fat Joe-featured "Who Dat").
"What I feel, you feel, what I go through, you go though," he rhymes. "That's why I have no right to hurt you/ And even when I was going through all that bullsh-- in the media, it was you who made it easier/ Which is why I write this piece to ya."
When he's not on the mic performing, Kelly speaks out on this street CD. Brief snippets of his May 2002 interview with MTV News are used for interludes (see "R. Kelly: In His Own Words).
Elsewhere on the streets, there's no mistaking what DJ Absolut's Shyne: The Most Authentic is: a mixtape of some of the incarcerated MC's rare records. As we know, Shyne recorded a ton of material that hit the black market in dribs and drabs before he debuted in September 2000. Since he went to prison in 2001, more of his unofficially released material has been making its way to the pavement and Internet and Abso says he has some joints that nobody has ever heard.
Another disc possibly worth looking into this week is The Black Instrumentals by DJ Wats and Young Jux. For years people have been trying to rhyme like Jay-Z, and guess what? Just because you get this mixtape that contains the beats for every song on The Black Album as well as other Hov classics doesn't mean that your spit game will be on par with the Jiggaman's ... but at least you can dream.
For other artists featured in Mixtape Mondays, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.
For a full-length feature on the role of mixtapes in the music industry, check out "Mixtapes: The Other Music Industry."