Review: "I Admit" is career-ending dumbness we all need to hear

SELF-RELEASED 2018

SELF-RELEASED 2018

A bizarre trait of our new dystopian culture is that it gives abusive men the ability to gaslight entire countries. To be successful, one needs to have a Twitter presence that convinces their hordes of grotesque, hog followers that they are, in fact, the Alpha Chimp. Fortunately for us, R. Kelly has no such broad and devoted fanbase. So watching him barrel through nineteen minutes of career-ending half-truths may be one of the most entertaining music phenomena of the year.

Most outlets have gone so far in their attempt to dismiss this song that they’ve insinuated they only listened to it “so you don’t have to.”  However, I think we’re kidding ourselves if we don’t admit that this song is hilarious and entertaining. It’s stuffed with so many dumb quotable lines  and stupid motifs. Simply reading a list of everything R. Kelly “admits to” won’t do justice to the listening experience which is almost equatable to watching The Room for the first time.

“I Admit” carries a remarkably familiar tone to R. Kelly’s previous magnum opus “Trapped In the Closet," both sonically and narratively. Let’s not forget what made Kelly’s ambitious web series so successful in 2005. Not only did it have a ridiculous concept, but its moral standpoint was hilariously confused. The narrative encompassed multiple entrapping closets, tons of stupid plot twists, and even a “midget” thrown into the fray out of nowhere. And yet, so much comedy came from the metanarrative where Kelly expected us to sympathize with him in a story where his bumbling-yet-monstrous character is cheating on his girlfriend with tons of women while being simultaneously ready to bust a cap in her for doing the same with just one other guy. The same anti-social dynamic between artist and listener exists in “I Admit,” only in this case the stakes involve shit that happened in our real, material world.

This song definitely isn’t for everyone, but neither is huffing glue. While both activities are likely to kill just as many brain cells, this song might keep you giggling longer. There’s nothing quite like having Kelly angrily demanding that you (the listener) look up the definition of “a cult” and “a sex-slave” in the dictionary mid-song. Apparently, the fact that he’s technically a pedophile is actually “an opinion.” Another favorite moment comes during a fade-out around the 4:30 mark that then fades right back up into the same instrumental as if to mark R. Kelly rushing back into the studio just to fuck his own shit up even more. Over and over again on this track, Kelly begs not just for your sympathy, but for your solidarity and support. To be fair, he makes a good case. Who wouldn’t wanna be on the side of a man who says “don’t push your daughter in my face… and get mad when it don’t go your way.”

Perhaps thirty years from now, roaming carnivals will charge $8 to step inside a dark tent and listen to this song in its entirety. In the meantime, let’s be grateful you can hear it on SoundCloud for free. 

6 - Neat

For Fans of: The Room, Fateful Findings, gawking at memes of The Joker posted to Facebook by men's rights activists.

Pros: An artist’s vision successfully executed

Cons: You're probably a worse person for listening to this (even ironically)

James Dellasala Comment