Closing arguments were heard yesterday in R. Kelly's child-pornography trial, and the Pied Piper's continued freedom now rests in the hands of twelve jurors — three women and nine men — who deliberated for more than three hours last night and will be sequestered in a hotel until a verdict is reached. We're not yet sure about his guilt or innocence in this deathly serious case (we love his music, but if he's guilty, he certainly belongs in prison), but in the matter of the other case filed against Kelly yesterday, we've already made up our minds.
Henry "Uncle Love" Vaughn, a supposed former mentor of Kelly, is claiming he taught him the "stepping" dance featured in the video and lyrics of the 2003 hit "Step in the Name of Love (Remix)", and alleges he was promised half of whatever profits Kellz saw from the track and video (he was apparently never paid). This is patently absurd.
The video was simply a promotional tool (filmed aboard a yacht, which was probably very expensive) for Kelly's excellent album Chocolate Factory, and, thus, was provided to TV stations for free with no expectation of remuneration. And while "Step in the Name of Love (Remix)" reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was subsequently included on The R. in R&B Collection, Vol. 1, it was never released in the U.S. as a physical single, making it nearly impossible to calculate the profits from just that specific track. Kelly, no stranger to the music business, would've known all this and would probably have never made such an unkeepable promise, especially not to someone who acted only in the capacity of "unofficial choreographer" (and that's putting it generously!) who didn't even invent the stepping dance. Plus, come on, man — R. Kelly has a lot on his mind today!