Drake’s new album Certified Lover Boy is out and everyone has been busy dissecting the track list and credits. Unlike rival Kanye West, who did not credit any of his features on Donda, Drake has his contributors on full display via the track listing and album credit liner notes. Lil Baby, Giveon, Yebba and Jay-Z all contribute fresh ideas and vocals to the album. One feature that is proving super controversial however, is R. Kelly, who is featured in the songwriting credits of “TSU”.
So for the contrarian who is trying to be purposely dumb and go “but R. Kelly doesn’t own the music” — that’s not true. He currently doesn’t have a seller and the point I’m making is that by sampling that song, Drake is letting R. Kelly stay relevant when he doesn’t need to.— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) September 3, 2021
R. Kelly has been standing trial for weeks in connection to years of sexual assault against a group of people, both male and female, several of which were reportedly underage. Officially he is being charged with racketeering and sex trafficking.
In the midst of his legal troubles, he’s also struggling with some financial woes. R. Kelly has not been able to tour and support of his music has understandably dropped in recent years. At one point streaming services made a move to ban him, with Spotify pulling him off all their major playlists. They announced plans to reverse this move a few weeks back citing ethical contradictions. Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek admitted the idea was ill executed in an interview, adding that the company “could have done a much better job.”
We recently reported that R. Kelly and his team were making moves to sell his catalog in hopes of bringing in some money. Unfortunately, no one wanted to buy it or be associated with the singer. Several people reportedly turned them down and refuse to be associated with the Chicago R&B star.
Cue Drake. The Toronto music star has made it no secret his obsession with 90’s R&B and Hip-hop. He famously tatted Aaliyah on his body and has used samples of her music in the past. It probably is not a surprise then that he might be a fan of Kelly’s.
R. Kelly’s “Half on a Baby” was sampled for Certified Lover Boy track “TSU”, a track about a stripper looking to change her life so Drake lends her some money to start a business.
Drake has heard “I’ll see Ye featuring Marilyn Manson and raise him an R. Kelly songwriting credit.” pic.twitter.com/en9wL6SBpD— Hunter Felt (@HunterFelt) September 3, 2021
Twitter users chimed in saying “The biggest shock for me is R. Kelly getting a writing credit on the album [Certified Lover Boy]. That’s totally avoidable. I think these superstars are either often out of touch or they don’t mind the push back from moves like this. Drake could easily have passed on this one.” Another tweeted “Drake has heard “I’ll see Ye featuring Marilyn Manson and raise him an R. Kelly songwriting credit.”
His producer sampled a song that had really as a co-writer. Legally his name has to be there but he is not getting any royalties. It’s not that deep.— Chocolate Drip (@RaidenLeee) September 3, 2021
Check out more responses:
People are defending this R. Kelly credit, talking about “it’s a sample”… okay?????? So Drake chose to sample his work, knowing he’d have to clear it with R. Kelly, and that Kelly would get a check/royalties. He could’ve done away with the sample/track, he clearly doesn’t care. pic.twitter.com/CzOEkNjhjJ— JO (@byDonnaJo) September 3, 2021
R. Kelly, while currently on trial for sexual abuse of countless Black women and girls, is going to be making money off the most anticipated album of the year thanks to Drake giving him a songwriting credit on #CertifiedLoverBoy— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) September 3, 2021
And that's why both #CLB and #DONDA are trash.
R Kelly has a credit on Drake's album? pic.twitter.com/U2Iajaeu6W— Tianna, the Producer (@dontsmileattee) September 3, 2021
Drake has an R. Kelly writing credit on Certified Lover Boy (track 8). That’s enough listening.— 𝔯𝔬𝔫𝔫𝔦𝔢 (@phlfgt) September 3, 2021