By / September 4, 2021

The Unfortunate Reason R. Kelly Is Credited on Drake’s Certified Lover Boy

Kelly in 2019. Photo: Getty Images If you made it to the eighth track of Drake’s new album Certified Lover Boy (congrats to you, that’s a lot of work), and happened to peruse the details of that song, “TSU,” you might’ve caught a couple big names, one less offensive than the other. First: Justin Timberlake.…



Kelly in 2019.
Photo: Getty Images

If you made it to the eighth track of Drake’s new album Certified Lover Boy (congrats to you, that’s a lot of work), and happened to peruse the details of that song, “TSU,” you might’ve caught a couple big names, one less offensive than the other. First: Justin Timberlake. Then, two names under him on the list of credited songwriters, R. Kelly. That’s Robert Kelly of both R&B and accused predatory fame, the same R. Kelly currently on trial in Brooklyn federal court for racketeering and sex-crimes charges. In fact, hours after Certified Lover’s Boy release, R. Kelly was back in court, wrapping up the third week of trial. So, how exactly did this songwriting credit happen? It’s yet another classic case of song publishing rights; as Billboard notes, “TSU” samples/interpolates some of the orchestral bits from R. Kelly’s 1998 single “Half on a Baby.” And so rather than wind up in Olivia Rodrigo’s current position, it appears Drake got ahead of divvying up songwriting royalties. (JT is credited because the song also uses NSYNC’s version of Christopher Cross’s “Sailing”; Timbaland is also credited.)

Following the trial on Friday, R. Kelly attorney Devereaux Cannick said of the credit: “It just speaks to his genius and the demand for his work. I mean, he’s a literary genius, it doesn’t surprise me. I don’t think it’s that much about the money, I think the public and other artists want his participation. I’m sure he’s totally unaware of it because he’s consumed right now but I will share with him.”

Reporting by Victoria Bekiempis.

Why Is R. Kelly Credited on Drake’s Certified Lover Boy?

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