Single Review: R. Kelly “Step In The Name of Love”

Step In The Name of Love
Album: Chocolate Factory
Year: 2003

R.Kelly’s inspiration from love makes him want to dance in the self-indulgent “Step In the Name of Love.”

Drowsy keyboards and bass begin the single. Kelly says he’s had countless relationships which have ended. He compares it to endless songs which are about falling in and out love. He says their love is immortal. (“Many lovers has come, and/Many lovers have gone/Similar to an old fashion song/(A thousand years from now/We’ll be still putting it down my baby.”)

He then uses two convoluted comparison which do not make sense together. He compares their love to a picture inside a ever-changing frame. For some reason, it’s like the clear blue sky filled with sun after a heavy rain. He then repeats that their love is immortal. (“You can change the frame/But the picture remains the same/Similar to the sun after the rain/(Thousand years from now, we’ll/Be still puttin’ it down my baby.”)

He pledges to be with her forever in a lyric which should’ve been edited. He’s been happy since the day he starting dating her. (“Baby girl in other words forever more/ I’ll be here. (I’ll be here)/Cause, my whole has been full of joy every since/You came here…girl.”)

She spins him round like a record, baby, round, round. Then, after they are intimate with each other, he wants to dance. Ow! (“My whole world goes around/Because you spin me yeah (spin me)/And every time we’re done making love girl/You makes me wanna:”) In the background of this section, Kelly can be heard singing “Goes around, goes around, goes around, goes around/Goes around, goes around, goes around, you spin me.”

The R. Kelly unoriginal hustle includes snap, clapping and then moving from side to side. (“Snap in the name of love, step in the name of love) (Snap my fingers)/(Clap in the name of love) (Clap my hands yeah)/(Step in the name of love) (Step from side to side)/(Groove in the name of love) (Groove and it’s alright.”)

He says some people think love is a realistic and positive while others think it’s made up by Hallmark. Somehow, it’s like a story which will people will be hearing many years now. Their called movies. Again, he says their love is immortal. He says some people are willing to get through the tough times while others bail. He uses the corny simile “love is like moving mountains.” (“Some believes in love/And some people don’t/Similar to a story, when it’s told/A thousand years from now/We’ll be still puttin’ down my baby/Some have cross the finish line and some gave up/It’s like moving a mountain/Love can be just that tough yeah/
(A thousand years from now)/(We’ll be still putting it down, my baby.”)

The entire pre-hook is repeated again (“baby girl in other words forever more…you makes me wanna:”)

Then the chorus is sung twice with Kelly adlibbing the moves.

R. Kelly laughs a bit and then says he is going to play a game. The first rule of the game: know the rules or else you can’t play. Second rule of the game: it’s for diehard R. Kelly fans only. Third rule of the game: don’t let anyone see you play the game: it’s embarassing and painful to watch. (“Ha ha! yeah! Uh – huh/Now we gonna play a little game/And this game is for all of those who/Know how to follow the rules of this game. Aight?”)

He instructs people on how to do the R.Kelly hustle. First, you step the left foot in, put the left out. Shake yourself around. And then slide. (“Listen. When I sing, I want everybody out there/To do what ever I sing. Aight? Come on./Here we go:/Step Step Side to side/Round and round, Dip it now/Separate, bring it back/Let me see you do the/Love slide/Step Step Side to side/Round and round, Dip it now/Separate, bring it back/Let me see you do the/Love slide.”)

The chorus is sung twice. And no, it’s not over yet. He says that their feelings for each other are true and encourages his girlfriend to do the dance. They go the club, get on the dance floor, and do the dance. He says when the DJ gives them a puzzled look they will reply that it’s for their relationship. (“Listen, Love brought us together/So keep on steppin’ because/Love’s gonna last forever/Clap in the name of love/Let’s step out, hit the club/DJ’s rockin’ that song for us/If anybody axe why we’re steppin’/Tell them that:/We did it for love.” Then, Kelly shows off his drippy, limited range with a pseudo-gospel emphasis on “love.” The unexpected tone change does not fit into the song. It’s a cut-and-paste effort.

Even though the song has been about a girl the entire time, he dedicates it to his uncle. Huh? He should’ve said a girl instead. But wait, that would be illegal and an admission of his pedophile ways. Then, the chorus instrumental is heard.

R.Kelly’s attempt to create the Hokey Pokey Dance of Love is unpleasing and tedious.


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