Singer Robert Kelly, better known as “R. Kelly” to the world, is trending on Facebook because of a 3-point shot that Kelly made when Kelly sank a 3-point basket prior to the Brooklyn Nets vs. Atlanta Hawks game. The video of the event is going viral, even as Kelly instructed those watching his 3-point shot to put that video on YouTube.
“Hey, that’s the one y’all send YouTube!”
Indeed, the video of R. Kelly sinking that three-point shot has been sent to YouTube and Twitter and Vine, as seen in the below videos of the event.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 17, 2015
Kelly’s basketball prowess may come as a surprise to some, but not to those who know “R.” as an ex-professional basketball player who actually signed an NBA deal years ago, as reported by MTV. Back then, Kelly wore the number 12 in honor of his “12 Play” album, an album that featured lyrics with Kelly waxing nostalgic about playing “ball right there on 18th Street” in Chicago, an area known for plenty of basketball pick-up games right under the elevated “El” train.
Those who attended Kenwood Academy High School with Kelly back in the 1980s remember him as the Renaissance man he was — one who was known as a basketball player and a man who could mount the stage wearing dark glasses and “blow,” [sing his heart out] a la Eddie Murphy imitating Stevie Wonder singing “My Cherie Amour.” And the high school crowd went wild. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, it was Kelly’s famous music teacher, Lena McLin, who encouraged him to undertake such a singing feat. It was Robert’s turn to help McLin save her home recently, as a way to say thank you for all she did to spur him forward in his singing career.
Although Kelly was at the basketball game on Tuesday to sing the national anthem at the Barclays Center, it was R.’s surprising 3-point sinker with the cigar that has tongues wagging and fingers typing and readers clicking on Wednesday. As SB Nation put it, watching Kelly warm up with a cigar in his mouth and hit a three-point shot with a turtleneck on is one of the greatest things to be seen — and makes one perhaps want to go listen to a Kelly hit like “Ignition” — although “Trade in My Life” might beat that one hands down.
Turtleneck – ✔
Cigar – ✔
3-point shot – 💰
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) November 16, 2015
After making the 3-point shot from the corner, a difficult spot to hit a three-pointer even where there isn’t a cigar in one’s mouth, Kelly greeted Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, a small forward. Reactions to Kelly’s 3-point shot are outweighing his national anthem performance prior to the NBA games. On Twitter, humorous tweets are comparing Kelly’s get-up to the one Will Smith donned on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when he pretended to be Ashley’s dad.
— Addy ✭ (@LethalHuxtable) November 18, 2015
Of course, despite the light-hearted nature of the basketball game, and the good deeds of Kelly helping McLin take care of her financial troubles, Kelly’s reputation and allegations follow him. Accusations of Kelly allegedly having illegal and inappropriate sexual relations with underage girls was a theme throughout some of the feedback on the videos. “Is it ok to listen to R. Kelly?” asked Vulture in a recent profile of the musical artist, pointing to the awful things Kelly has allegedly done.
One telling song from Kelly’s “Intermission” song speaks to the performer’s mental state of rejection by women during his formative years, as reported by the R. Kelly Forum Des Fans. It opens with Kelly describing how he dated some girls in his youth, but couldn’t get a lot of “play” from the ladies, at least not until his “Honey Love” hit dropped and Kelly “blew up” into the stratosphere. Reports of Kelly going back to his old Kenwood Academy High School haunts after he’d made it big have circulated online, claiming Kelly hung out in the parking lot — like a newly rich big man on campus, perhaps seeking to find the love from those who rejected him back in the day.
Back in the days I used to say: (oh yeah)
Can I get with you today?
And ya told me (No Robert) no (no way) aw yeah (no how, not today)
[Photo by Frank Franklin II / AP Photo]