By Nadeska Alexis with reporting by Rebecca Thomas
Beef is a natural part of the hip-hop game, but according to R. Kelly it should be left to the rappers, and R&B singers should remain focused on the music.
According to Kells, singers should leave the beefing to rappers and get back to doing what they do best: making music. R. Kelly, who has more than a dozen studio albums in his catalog, has some advice for the new generation of R&B singers, and most of it revolves around staying out of trouble and remaining focused on the music.
“I feel there’s a lot of talented guys out there when it comes to R&B, and what I urge guys out there to do, that’s coming up under me, [aiming for] longevity, is to stay away from beef,” R. Kelly told MTV News. “Stay away from beef, stay true and respectful to music and to the ones that inspired you to do what you do.”
A few of the recent R&B beefs that might have been fresh on Kelly’s mind: Chris Brown’s scathing exchange of words with Brian McKnight, The-Dream and the Weeknd trading jabs on Twitter and, of course, his own beef with Trey Songz. There has been bad blood between the two singers for some time now, but it seems like Kells is ready to move on as he named Trey Songz among a list of artists he listens to regularly (in addition to Jay-Z, Drake, Beyoncé and Kanye West).
The 27-year-old singer took issue with R. Kelly when he remixed his classic single “Trapped in the Closet” from the POV of the man hiding in the closet, and R. Kelly responded by debuting part two of the song and revealing that the man in the closet was gay. Since then, they’ve traded insults back and forth, with Trey Songz continuing to call out R. Kelly in interviews for using Auto-Tune and not being original, but that’s now a thing of the past.
“I think that’s going to be the key to having longevity and it’s also going to be the key to keeping R&B alive,” Kelly said of avoiding conflict between singers. “You don’t want R&B singers to get into beef. Leave that to the rappers, let them do that — R&B, be classy. That’s for the ladies and having babies and having fun.”