February 29, 2012 13 comments
All My Children, Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless and General Hospital—all are good soap operas with interesting storylines and well-developed characters. But each of those soaps are like candles in the sun compared to The R. Kelly & Mr. Biggs Saga. The Kellz and Biggs story had it all: Drama—check. Good storyline—check. Romance—check. Conflict, attractive women and lots of sex—check, check and check. Shit, not even the Goku vs. Frieza saga can compare to Kelly vs. Biggs.
And although Robert Kelly would go on to write the extremely entertaining “Trapped in the Closet” series, it pales in comparison to his original tale with Isley. Spanning over the course of nine years, the R. Kelly and Mr. Biggs story started with one song—a little tune entitled, “Down Low.”
R. Kelly – Down Low (Nobody Has to Know)
With these words, began one of the most epic tales of love, betrayal and infidelity. “Down Low” appeared on R. Kelly’s self-titled 1995 album and became an instant classic. In the video, R. Kelly is the right-hand man to Frank “Mr. Biggs” Biggs (Ronald Isley)—the baddest mob boss in town. Everything is cool until Biggs has to go out of town and asks Kelly to watch over his fine ass wife, Lila Hart (Garcelle Beauvais). Kellz tried to behave, but you know how these things go: When the cat’s away, fuck his wife—or something like that. The secret lovers are eventually caught by Mr. Biggs and his goons (Michael Clarke Duncan as Goon #1) and dealt with swiftly. Both Kelly and Lila get their respective asses beat—thoroughly.
Unfortunately, Lila succumbs to her injuries and dies holding Kelly’s hand. Looks like Kelly learned his lesson, right?
R. Kelly – Down Low (Remix)
One thing I miss about the ‘90s is that they really used to remix records—not just write new words over the same beat. The “Down Low” (Remix) video doesn’t advance the storyline any, but simply shows a reflective R. Kelly playing a boss ass all white Yamaha piano and recapping the events from the original.
Note: Every time I think of this song it reminds me of Jamie Foxx’s parody “Big Toe” from The Jamie Foxx Show, a show that also starred none other than Lila Hart (I’ll just leave one of her Playboy photos HERE.)
The Isley Brothers – Floatin’ on Your Love ft. Angela Winubsh, Lil’ Kim & 112 (Bad Boy RMX)
While most people have probably forgotten about this 1996 gem, everyone remembers that the mid-‘90s belonged to Puff Daddy and the Family. Back then, 112 were fresh faces on the R&B scene and Lil’ Kim was the marquee superstar rap hoe—the original Nicki Minaj. I love the fact that she says, “Get c-notes every time I deepthroat.”—oh, Kim. While Kimmy plays the mistress role, Angela Winbush, Ronald Isley’s actual wife at the time, plays the leading lady. Mr. Biggs was a true playa forreal, ask Puff Da-dy. Peep the cameos from Uncle Luke, Diddy and a very scraggly looking Jermaine Dupri.
Kelly Price – Friend of Mine ft. Ronald Isley & R. Kelly (Remix)
This is probably my favorite song from the entire saga. Kelly Price was singing her poor little heart out. In this 1998 video, Mr. Biggs is attempting to console his goddaughter (Kelly Price) whose husband (R. Kelly) is cheating on her with her best friend. See how them skinny bitches do? Anyway, the best part of the song is when Mr. Biggs tells her to call her husband on three-way and Biggs and Kellz start singing back and forth about whether or not he’s creeping on his goddaughter—all while R. Kelly is in bed with another woman. That shit will forever be hilarious.
Kellz: How you doing, Mr. Biggs?
Mr. Biggs: What the hell is going on?
Kellz: What you mean what’s going on?”
That nigga Kellz said, “Just because she see’s me with her, doesn’t mean I’m sleeping with her” and all Kelly Price could do after that was sing “She was my best friend, you were my husband.” Again, hilarious.
Chanté Moore – Bitter
Anyone remember seeing this video when it came out? Yeah, me neither. This one’s a little confusing. Chanté is halfway having a romp with a man, but seems conflicted. When we finally see the face of the guy who has been feeling her up, we see that it’s our favorite male homewrecker, R. Kelly. What does this have to do with Mr. Biggs, you ask? Well after she sets the bed on fire, Chanté receives a message on her 2-way pager from a man named “Frank” asking where she is.
The Isley Brothers – Contagious ft. R. Kelly & Chanté Moore
Ahhh—it all starts to make sense now. Mr. Biggs (First name Frank) was the one who sent Chanté the message at the end of the “Bitter” video. Which means, once again, Biggs’ main squeeze is creeping with Kellz. Frank hit the nail on the head when he said, “…the down low happenin’ to me all over again.” This is probably the video that most people are familiar with from this saga.
The dramatic exchange between Mr. Biggs, Kelly and Chanté has been embedded in my head since this song came out in 2001. Mr. Biggs needs to invest in a gun. I understand the cane-sword is a smooth look, but this all could have been over if he had the heat on him in the “Down Low” video.
The Isley Brothers – Secret Lover
Man, Mr. Biggs can’t do anything in peace. All he was trying to do was kick it on a boat with a few manila-folder looking honeys and maybe get a little head at the end of the night, but noooooo—Shemar Moore had to mess everything up. After making a quick call to Kellz, Shemar and company confront Mr. Biggs, but Frank has them handled swiftly. Out of nowhere, reinforcements arrive to assist Shemar, but they’re not enough. Mr. Biggs keeps his lady and wins this round.
Note: Two of the three background singers in this video are JS (Johnson Sisters), a female duo that R. Kelly and Ronald Isley mentored. Kim Johnson will star in one of the videos later in the saga and Mr. Biggs makes a cameo at the end of JS’ lone video, “Ice Cream.” ALSO, in 2005, Isley (63, at the time) and Kandy Johnson (28, at the time) got married. I still don’t know how the hell that happened. She has to already be planning for her second husband.
The Isley Brothers – What Would You Do?
Now this is where everything starts getting a little hazy. In 2003, the Mr. Biggs character makes five appearances on songs/videos from three different albums, making it almost like a puzzle the way you have to piece it together.
In “What Would You Do?” we’re two years removed from the “Secret Lover” video. Kelly decides it’s about time he checks up on his old friend Mr. Biggs. This was definitely one of the calmer face-to-face run-ins between the two. Kelly crashes Frank’s concert and the two battle it out in a, surprisingly, gentleman-like manner. When they bump into each other in the hallway after the show, again, the two choose to be cordial—for the moment.
Note: In the upcoming videos in the saga, Mr. Biggs and Kelly are involved in yet another love triangle. This time, the love interest is a woman who they describe as a “Black and Asian girl,” fittingly named Asia. Since the woman on Mr. Biggs’ arm in the “What Would You Do?” video looks Black and Asian and smiles extra heavy at Kellz as they walk by, it only seems right to assume that this is Asia. The Asia in this video, however, will be replaced by one of the members of JS in the final video of the saga.
The Isley Brothers – Showdown Vol. 1
No video for this track, which appeared on The Isley Brothers’ Body Kiss album. Now let me take this opportunity to say that when it comes to looks, Biggs has excellent taste in women. When it comes to loyalty—not so much. Frank’s latest boo thang, Asia, has been stepping out on him and he already knows whom with. That’s right—Kelly.
R. Kelly – Showdown ft. The Isley Brothers
This eight-minute song appeared on R. Kelly’s 2003 album, Chocolate Factory and is basically Showdown Vol. 1.5. Mr. Biggs is still trying to locate Asia, however, this version of “Showdown” starts out from Kelly’s point of view while he’s with her. I love the way Mr. Biggs comes on the track humming “Contagious” and how he sings “Asia, where are you” behind the main vocals on R. Kelly’s second verse. Ultimately, Kellz and Biggs meet up on horses (Corny as hell) and recap the entire saga up to this point.
The only thing I don’t understand is when Kelly says he dated Lila in “’98 of September.” The video for “Down Low” came out in ’95-’96 and was even nominated for the “Best Male Video” award at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. My best guess is that he was referring to his song “Down Low Double Life” that appeared on his 1998 double-disc album R.. Although they make it sound like this is the finale, this ‘showdown’ isn’t quite the end of the saga.
B2K – Girlfriend
This one threw me for a loop. Out of nowhere, in B2K’s 2003 video for “Girlfriend,” it’s revealed that Mr. Biggs has a teenage daughter named Jennifer. I don’t even know where to start with this. Here’s my train of thought while watching this video in 2012:
-B2K had bangers
-Damn, I used to want to boink Jennifer Anne Freeman sooooo bad. I can’t believe she married Earl Watson.
-Yup, Raz B was dripping with gay—even back then.
-Big Boy looked a lot better when he was actually, you know—big.
-Was “What a Girl Wants” on that Pandemonium! album too? I need to see if I can find that chopped n screwed.
-Omarion gets attacked by a gang of dangerous ass bodyguards and the first person he calls is J Boog? He deserves to get his ass beat.
-Vivica Fox probably gives great head.
-Flex Alexander has been overacting since Homeboys in Outer Space. WORST. SHOW. EVER.
-Will Smith as the godfather? His kids must have been HUGE B2K fans.
-Kellz should have been the godfather for the ki…nevermind.
-So Mr. Biggs just let Omarion come in and get the drawlz? Oh.
The Isley Brothers – Busted ft. JS
Yup, that’s right—bring that ass on in the house. In “Busted,” Biggs catches Asia (Kim Johnson of JS) sneaking back in the house at 2 a.m. after a night out with Kellz. I’m with Frank on this one. Bitch, how the hell is she your friend and you don’t know if she got kids? I think Mr. Biggs has a future as an interrogator because he had her tripping over her words something serious.
After seeing the closing notes at the end of “Busted,” this seems to be where R. Kelly and Ronald Isley chose to end the saga. 2013 will make a decade since the last video. Maybe they’ll pick it back up next year for its 10-year anniversary.
Who do you guys think won the war, Mr. Biggs or Kellz?