.R. Kelly, the disgraced R&B singer who is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence for federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges, has managed to release a new album, provocatively titled “I Admit It.”

The 13-song album, credited to Kelly as lead writer with “D. Johnson” as producer, covers Kelly’s usual ground on tracks like “I Got It” and “Good Old Days” through to the final three tracks, a 19-minute triptych where he “confesses” his fan relationships and strays over a partner, while obliquely acknowledging and protesting his long and sordid list of sex crime convictions.

“They were brainwashed, really? Kidnapped, really? Can’t eat, really? Real talk sounds silly,” he sings on one song, referring to testimony that he ran what amounted to a sex cult.

Kelly first posted a version of those final three album tracks to Soundcloud in 2018. “I Admit It” was briefly available to stream on Apple Music and Spotify before the two services took it down on Friday. The album is distributed by Ingrooves, part of Virgin Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group.

The label credited on “I Admit It”, Legacy Recordings, is Sony Music’s back catalog imprint. Sony dropped Kelly in 2019 after the release of the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary series. Sony said in a statement that “I Admit It” was a bootleg and not an official release, and a lawyer for Kelly told Variety that the singer was also not responsible for the album and that he “stands was stealing his intellectual property”. ”
Kelly was a pop and R&B staple for much of the 90s and 2000s, releasing hit singles like “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Ignition (Remix)”, though allegations of sexual assault and of child abuse have dogged him throughout his career. career until his eventual federal convictions in June. His last official release was the single “No Problems” in September 2021.

Kelly will face additional time for a child pornography conviction in Illinois in February.

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