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12 Play
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: R. Kelly (vocals, various instruments); DeAndre Boykins, Carey Kelly (rap vocals); Bobby Broom, Michael J. Powell (guitar); Mike Logan (piano, organ); Jim Slattery (keyboards); Timmy Allen, Ron Hall (bass); Peter Mokran (programming); Yvonne Gage, Robin Robinson (background vocals).
  • Recorded at The Chicago Recording Company, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Personnel: R. Kelly (vocals, rap vocals); Carey Kelly, DeAndre Boykins, Casey Kelly (rap vocals); Keith Henderson, Michael J. Powell, Bobby Broom (guitar); Michael Logan, Mike Logan (piano, organ); Jim Slattery (keyboards); Peter Mokran (programming); Yvonne Gage, Robin Robinson (background vocals).
  • Audio Mixers: R. Kelly; Peter Mokran.
  • Unknown Contributor Role: Yvonne Gage.
  • Arranger: R. Kelly.
  • Raised in the projects of Chicago's South Side, the young R. Kelly displayed an uncanny natural aptitude for the piano, and cut his teeth as a performer by playing a portable electric keyboard and singing with his homies out on the mean streets of the Windy City. The sounds of gospel music and the great romantic balladeers suffuse R. Kelly's work, and on 12 PLAY, his libidinous follow-up to BORN INTO THE 90'S, this gifted singer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist draws upon all his formative experiences to create a sensual, evolutionary style of contemporary R&B.
  • Evolutionary in that Kelly's a classic heart-throb (with virtuoso chops the likes of Freddie Jackson and Luther Vandross) who walks that historical line between the sacred and secular streams of black music. By overlaying a street-smart contemporary sensibility, with a gangsta-style image and discrete hip hop punctuations, Kelly has transformed R&B into a music that can hold its own on the charts with today's rhythm heavy rappers.
  • Animated by Kelly's keyboard prowess and arranging skills, the R&B hybrids on 12 PLAY reach extraordinary sensual heights on such foreplay classics as "Bump N' Grind" and the title tune, a heat and serve, oven ready dish on how to do the nasty: and from all the evidence, one can only assume R. Kelly's 12-play is thrice as nice as your standard, garden variety lover's 4-play. "Your body is a playground, let me lick you up and down" he urges his partner on "It Seems Like You're Ready," growing more fervent with each chorus, as background singers coo away suggestively. On tunes such as "Freak Dat Body," "Homie Lover Friend" and "I Like The Crotch On You," Kelly alternates hip-hop choruses with his own yearning tenor to powerful effect.
Professional Reviews
XXL (Magazine) (p.121) - "[I]t's on the step-inducing 'Might Be Mine' where Kelly hits his stride, demonstating his dramatic storytelling ability."
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