People always remember firsts. First kiss. First love. First ~romantic~ partner. And the first time they heard R. Kelly. For me it was in 1996 when I, in yet another important first, watched Space Jam. Sure, that was the movie that sparked my love of basketball, but it also managed to do something much greater than that. It was the beginning of the greatest love affair I would ever know. The one between me and R&B music.
A few highlights from our relationship:
• Next reminding me that maybe I shouldn’t dance too close to certain gentlemen.
• Brandy and Monica letting me know that some boys really aren’t worth fighting for.
• 112 teaching me about the abundant places one could have sex.
• TLC helping me say no to scrubs.
• Boyz II Men opening my eyes to both love and heartbreak.
• Ginuwine letting me know it’s okay to jump on it.
• Mary J. Blige doing… just about everything.
• Usher causing my adolescent sexual awakening.
• Aaliyah getting me through middle school.
• Beyoncé continuing to remind me how flawless I am.
• The Weeknd making me feel aroused yet totally uncomfortable with his lyrics.
It’s a fact that R&B and I have gotten quite close over the years. I’ll always defend it and embrace it until the bitter end. Because, isn’t that what you do for the things you love?