In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week: great songs by unsavory characters.
“Pregnant” wasn’t a huge hit for R. Kelly, but the song—from 2009’s tepidly received Untitled—encapsulates what’s deliriously great about the singer right alongside what’s so ridiculously wrong, that weird mixture that makes enjoying his music such a confusing proposition. On the one hand, “Pregnant” is massively catchy in its simplicity: The whole song is built around the vocal hook “girl you make me want to get you pregnant,” which is incredibly fun to sing along to and laugh at. Is R. Kelly the clown prince of R&B, destined to be snickered at by people who find his guilelessness funny? Or is that guilelessness—his truth—simply relatable and actually, intentionally funny? (I won’t attempt to answer that with anything more than: Both.)
But back to the indelibly catchy song and its troublesome and hilarious story. On the one hand, it’s kind of a soaring compliment. He just wants to fuck the other girls and never see them again, but this one—who has an unbelievable booty and is also a cutie—has made Kelly reconsider his life. Though he’s only seeing her in this club for the first time, her beauty (and booty) makes him picture picket fences… and a desire to “put that girl in my kitchen.” (Uff.) In order to further make his case, Kelly is joined by another shady character, Robin Thicke, as well as Tyrese and The-Dream, who advises this magical female to “put them pills on chill and girl give me my baby,” and later delivers this bombshell: “So don’t get it twisted for 30-somethin’ weeks / I’m still gonna hit it and babysit it, babysit it.” None of this is exactly forward thinking—and of course there’s Kelly’s well documented brush with the law, to put it in genteel terms—but that doesn’t stop “Pregnant” from being catchy as hell.