11 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

R. Kelly got his first national exposure in 1992 with Born Into the 90’s. Originally credited to R. Kelly & Public Announcement, the album’s production and lead vocals are handled entirely by Kelly, while Public Announcement (a three-man group Kelly fielded in Chicago) provides backing vocals. While Kelly hadn't yet developed the outlandish persona and songwriting concepts that would distinguish his subsequent albums, Born Into the 90’s is more than stellar, especially considering Kelly is singlehandedly accountable for the writing, singing, and production—a rarity in the manufactured R&B world, and an early sign of his productivity. As far as New Jack Swing goes, “She’s Got That Vibe,” “Definition of a Hotti," and “Hangin’ Out” make the grade, though they're inevitably dated. The silky “Slow Dance,” “Honey Love," and “Born Into the 90’s” have aged much better, and together they work as a lead-in to 12 Play, Kelly’s creative and commercial breakthrough. Meanwhile, “Hey Love (Can I Have a Word)” is an airy piece of early-‘90s pop that could have been a much bigger hit had it ended up in the hands of someone like Mariah Carey.

EDITORS’ NOTES

R. Kelly got his first national exposure in 1992 with Born Into the 90’s. Originally credited to R. Kelly & Public Announcement, the album’s production and lead vocals are handled entirely by Kelly, while Public Announcement (a three-man group Kelly fielded in Chicago) provides backing vocals. While Kelly hadn't yet developed the outlandish persona and songwriting concepts that would distinguish his subsequent albums, Born Into the 90’s is more than stellar, especially considering Kelly is singlehandedly accountable for the writing, singing, and production—a rarity in the manufactured R&B world, and an early sign of his productivity. As far as New Jack Swing goes, “She’s Got That Vibe,” “Definition of a Hotti," and “Hangin’ Out” make the grade, though they're inevitably dated. The silky “Slow Dance,” “Honey Love," and “Born Into the 90’s” have aged much better, and together they work as a lead-in to 12 Play, Kelly’s creative and commercial breakthrough. Meanwhile, “Hey Love (Can I Have a Word)” is an airy piece of early-‘90s pop that could have been a much bigger hit had it ended up in the hands of someone like Mariah Carey.

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About R. Kelly & Public Announcement

The onetime backing group for R. Kelly, Chicago's Public Announcement made their solo debut in 1998 with All Work, No Play, scoring a Top Ten hit with the single "Body Bumpin' Yippie-Yi-Yo." Kelly moved on to contemporary R&B stardom while the group remained in semi-retirement until late 2000 when they released their sophomore album, Don't Hold Back. Their third album, When the Smoke Clears, appeared in 2005 on the Boss Entertainment label. ~ Jason Ankeny

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