He’s not the hit maker he once was in the 90s and 2000s with behemoth of hits like “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Ignition (Remix)” – sure he still makes money from these throwback hits as signified by the large streaming numbers on Spotify. However, streaming sales aren’t bringing in the big bucks the way physical sales did for an artist like Kelly who is no longer in the mainstream spotlight the way he once was. Though his last few albums do not bring revenue he once had, he still remains a prolific producer in the music industry. With a back catalog like his, Kelly is more than likely is not working for free and the artists with whom he works probably aren't taking charity. He’s been able to collaborate with many artists, writing and producing for them and with them. This post will list the people who have worked on Kelly's last two albums which were both commercial flops and did okay on the charts. Kelly's solo tracks on both albums perform significantly better than the collaborations which further begs the questions: why do you choose to work with R. Kelly? It's obvious Kelly wants to get back into the limelight he had with such frequent, high profile performers and he's just not getting there but the money can still roll in.
The issue is that these collaborations still help Kelly reach his untouchable musical icon status. It's easy to want to paint a picture of a predator who must now resort making jingles on a Fisher-Price toy in a shoddy apartment (and he doesn't even deserve that). Despite the decades long allegations and charges of child pornography, the Pied Piper of R&B can still be largely behind the scenes of not just his work but others as well. He has never been ostracized from the music industry until this last year but even then, he can still hold concerts, perform, release long winded songs and write and produce for mainstream artists. They are still willing to work with him and allow him to be featured on their songs and willing to help produce own Kelly's own albums.
It’s hard to not think the money he earns as a producer, collaborator, as an artist helps fund the silence of the women and girls he allegedly holds against their will, isolating them from their families, to buy the silence of past victims so he can continue to work with high profile artists. Money given to these collaborators on his own albums in a way buys the silence for them to not speak out against him. Years ago before the allegations, working with Kelly would garner lots a critical acclaim and sales but now... it seems that the money speaks a lot more than the stories of survivors or even that Kelly was charged with child pornography. With the Lifetime documentary premiering and legal troubles now surrounding the singer, these recent collaborations will more than likely come back to bite these people in the ass. If anyone of his collaborators speaks out, what exactly would their excuse be?
There is also a two-way street by which some of these artists are being paid to collaborate with Kelly. Beyond the money, these collaborations help the legitimacy of Kelly’s career because many artists are still willing to work with him. In OP's honest opinion, even without the sordid allegations, why would anyone ever choose to work with Kelly after the release of Trapped in the Closet, some of the dumbest songs ever put out in the universe.
Listed below are the people who have collaboration, writing and producing credits on Kelly's last two albums and other songs since 2013. He's quite prolific so this is not every artist or producer so it's got to be narrowed down. Unfortunately, Kelly's reach in the world of R&B and hip-hop is wide reaching. With people in line to work with him, these mediocre group projects are a strategic way to help cast doubt on the abuse allegations because it screams all these high profile people work with him and still work with him. Some of these artists absolutely do not need to work with Kelly and not just to avoid the bad publicity, but they have incredibly successful songs and careers without Kelly's contribution.
On Kelly's album Black Panties released in 2013
“All the Way” featuring Kelly Rowland
Producers and Cowriters: Sly Jordan, David Anthony, Rich Nice
“Legs Shakin’” featuring Ludacris
Producers and Cowriters: Ludacris, Lamar Edwards
“My Story” featuring 2 Chainz
Producers and Cowriters: Paul Jeffries, Tauheed Epps, Nineteen 85
"Show Ya Pussy" featuring Migos & Juicy J
Producers and Cowriters: Donnie Lyle, Quavious Marshall, Kirksnick Ball, Jordan Houston
"Spend That" featuring Jeezy
Producers and Cowriters: Dijon McFarlane, Mikely Adam, Jay Jenkins
"Tear it Up" featuring Future
Producers and Cowriters: Nayvadius Wilburn, Dennis-Manuel Peters, Daniel Coriglie, Mario Bakovic. The same team also produced two other tracks on the album.
On the 2015 album, The Buffet which is Kelly's lowest charting album to date and the artist has been dealing with declining sales for a long time, so one has to wonder since none of these singles blew up was it okay to turn a blind eye to everything for the cleared check?
"Anything Goes" featuring Ty Dollar $ign
Producers and Cowriters: Tyrone Griffin, Jr., Dernst Emile II, D'Mile
"Let's Make Some Noise" featuring Jhené Aiko
Producers and Cowriters: Jhené Chilombo, Keyel Walker, Anton Alexander, Johntá Austin, Bryan-Michael Cox, Kevin Hicks
"Marching Band" featuring Juicy J
Producers and Cowriters: Jordan Houston, Lukasz Gottwalk (Dr. Luke), Jeremy Coleman, Gamal Lewis, Ryan Ogren, Samuel Alexander, Castillo Vasquez
"Switch Up" featuring Lil Wayne and Jeremih
Producers and Cowriters: Dwayne Carter, Jr. Jeremih Felton, Jordan Holt, Matthew Coleman, Lisa Antwil, Richard Maclean, Brittany Hazzard
"Let's Be Real Now" featuring Tinashe
Producers and Cowriters: Tinashe Kachingwe, Magnus August, Hoiberg, Joshua Coleman
Kelly is also cowriter on "Let 'Em Know" by Bryson Tiller which was released on Tiller's album TRAPSOUL. Kelly has also written and produced songs for Jennifer Hudson, Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Pitbull and others.
Sources: sorry ass Spotify 1 2