Anything R. Kelly does anything on a stage, you owe it to yourself to watch. Kelly’s new album Black Panties comes out on Tuesday, and last night, he was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live, playing the outdoor festival stage to a louder reaction than most of the bands who show up there. Kelly took the opportunity to recreate the album’s absurdist cover — Phantom Of The Opera Mask, violin bow, pretty lady draped over him — while singing a medley of “Genius,” the 2 Chainz collab “My Story,” and “You Deserve Better.” 2 Chainz was there, and he looked really happy to be there. And because Kimmel will never resist an opportunity to make a joke out of something that’s already funny, he roped Benedict Cumberbatch, his other guest last night, into dramatically reciting Kelly’s “Genius” lyrics. Give Cumberbatch credit: He sells the living shit out of it. Watch the performance and the recital below.
Black Panties is out 12/20 on RCA, and it is good.