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Posted by J. Tinsley on June 9, 2009

Trey Songz was right.

The R. Kelly we all grew to love was innovative, witty, & trendsetting. If you were to say that R. Kelly has excited you musically as of late, I would question your ears. When I heard JayZ’s “Death of Autotune” my first thought was when will R. Kelly stop using it; The King of R&B with a autotune filled mixtape (not to mention a auto tuned “Double Up” album) disappoints me. If throwing rocks at the throne wakes up the King, consider them thrown.

In a statement taken directly from his blog, the R&B crooner from Petersburg, Virginia, simply stated what had been wandering through the minds of many for months.  To question R. Kelly’s musical legacy would be nothing short of asinine, but to question his music as of late only seems reasonable. Since his ascension into the world of music almost five years ago, Songz, as he stated before, has always drawn comparisons to the legendary hit maker from Chicago, and for good reason. Their distinct voices have made them favorites among male and female listeners alike.

While Trey has yet to fully receive his just due for his talent as an artist, one of his most endearing qualities has always been his exceptional ability to remix records to a highly impressive degree…something the elder Kelz has made a career out of. Last week MTV presented the question of who was the R&B remix king. This week, Songz sent a musical warning to his idol, which could be argued as one of the better “diss” records in quite some time.

To clear the air, it must be stated that Songz was not “blind dissing” Kelly. In fact, on the track “Unsolved Mystery”, which draws obvious influence from R. Kelly, Trey closes the record with this message…

“Kelly you the king, I ain’t beefin’ ’bout a thing/ But if it’s really a problem, give the celly a ring…”

And that was recorded in 2005.

The comparisons between Kelz and Songz and who is the superior “artist” must first be placed into context.  If “all-time” is the debate, then the self-proclaimed “remix killer” wins by default. From his on record battles with the legendary Ron Isley to the countless number of assists he’s handed out during his career, Robert Kelly is undoubtedly one of the most gifted musicians of any generation, let alone the ’90’s.  However, with dominance is often accompanied with a fall, which he has become all to familiar with in recent years.

“Remember Aaron Hall, where the hell he at?/ Trey Songz comin, where Kelly at?”

In 2005, Trey Songz burst on to the scene with a powerful young voice and a knack for snatching other artists’ tracks and turning them into his own. Something seen often in the rap world, but no so in the R&B realm. His countless mixtape appearances and two very respectable albums gave the Virginia resident his own lane in the music industry. One thing he could never shake, however, were the comparisons to the aforementioned Kelly.

“This is a farewell, throw ’em down a stairwell/ And if you was to compare sales with old Kelz/ That ain’t fair, well, he’s a legend but I’m fresher/ Check out my dresser, I’m such a dresser…”

On the contrary, if the current state of both of their records are compared, Songz wins out, thus justifying his words to Kelly over Jay-Z’s autotune audio funeral. The initial reaction to Songz’s move was that of disbelief and shock with many proclaiming Songz had performed a move which would prove more harm than benefit to his career. However, beyond the lyrical shots was a fan who harbored more disappointment than anger and more confusion than hatred.

In an industry that constantly calls for opinions, Songz simply stated his the only way he knew how, through a song. While Rob has had a hot remix here and there over the past five years, the quality of his music pales in comparison to that of yesteryear. It’s not like the two have subject matters which differ by much either. Both cater to the females, and since his debut, Songz has had the more impressive resume’ with his cover tracks, features and remixes ranking as some of the most respected in the business.

And keeping it strictly 100, finding a person to say Trey Songz didn’t have an impressive showing on the track is almost as crazy as saying old school R. Kelly didn’t have classics.

“Who you got around you? Them people tryin’ to drown you/ You put that autotune on, yo’  homies shoulda clowned you/ Kelly you the king, but you tryin’ to be The-Dream…”

All too often in music is a younger artist crucified for verbally attacking a “legend”.  Many times the stunts are unwarranted, but in this case, it wasn’t. The usual “new guy trying to gain a buzz” was not the case, but rather an established artist who had choice words for one of his musical prophytes was. In a world that lives and dies by the adage, “what have you done for me lately?”, seniority in the music industry does not prohibit one from facing criticism. Interesting to note, however, Songz never mentioned any of Kelz’s personal demons, rather keeping it strictly music by questioning the drive and passion of the man who was once considered the #1 R&B artist. Sometimes a person, let alone one who is known throughout the world through his/her profession, needs a kick start and a figurative slap on the back of the head to get their creative juices flowing.

“I ain’t tryin’ to make Mr. Kelly an enemy/ But he should try to be who these singers pretend to be…”

Regardless of how you package it, truth is truth.

Flashback: Trey Songz–Death Of Autotune (R. Kelly diss) | Trey Songz–“Always Twisted” x “Wake Up” | Trey Songz: “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”


  1. Byron06 said

    Yup! Great write up, hopefully this gets Songz the attention that he deserves. I will say it… Trey Songz has the purest voice in R&B! Yep better than Usher, better than Dream, better than (fill in your favorite R&B singer). Someone on the previous post about Trey said it best, he is a singer not a entertainer, you won’t catch him shucking and jiving, but when it comes to singing… (In Katt Williams voice) This ish right here!!!

  2. YM said

    Mane my 804 boi is going hard, R. Kelly is kinda lame right now. Trey Songz is goin to make his name to the causal fan finally….YUUP!!!!!!

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