Dissecting R. Kelly's Ignition (Remix)

By Maddie

With over 70 albums and 2,000 singles (1,572 of those being Number 1 singles), R. Kelly is one of the most popular music acts of our time. Some of his greatest songs are “Bump N Grind,” “Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby,” and “Feelin' on Yo Booty,” but his greatest--and most influential--is undoubtedly “Ignition (Remix).” Here, I will do a close reading of the Song of Our Generation.


“Now usually I don’t do this but uh....
Go 'head and break ‘em off wit a lil' preview of the remix....”


This part sounds so good to my ears. I get so excited for the song to kick in that I actually forget how terrible the rest of the song is. Kelly states this is only the preview of the remix, so I still have my fingers crossed that we will be able to hear the full remix sometime soon.

“Now I'm not tryin to be rude,
But hey pretty girl I'm feelin you
The way you do the things you do
Remind me of my Lexus coupe
Thats why im all up in yo grill
Tryina get you to a hotel
You must be a football coach
The way you got me playin the field”


The first line of this verse sets the tone for the song: Kelly is not trying to be rude. If this song could be summed up in one word, it is polite. Aside from Kelly’s manners and his beautiful half-singing voice, the strong point of this verse is where Kelly tells the pretty girl that she reminds him of his Lexus coupe. Now, if there is one thing a pretty girl likes more than a football metaphor, it is being compared to a car. It makes her feel powerful, sexy, and expensive. Kelly knows what the ladies want, and he delivers.

“So baby gimme that toot toot
Lemme give you that beep beep
Runnin her hands through my 'fro
Bouncin on 24's
While they say on the radio...”


This is repeated throughout song, and to great affect. He asks the pretty girl to give him that “toot toot,” to which he returns a “beep beep.” I assume that toot toots and beep beeps are slang for sexual favors. Although I can't say for sure because, admittedly, I do not know what terminology is "in" to men in their early 40’s.

“It's the remix to Ignition
Hot and fresh out the kitchen
Mama rollin that body
got every man in here wishin
Sippin on coke and rum
I'm like so what I'm drunk
It's the freakin weekend baby
I'm about to have me some fun”

Kelly's song is newly released, and he is watching his mother roll her body (that is a sexy dance move). Just like any 42 year old man, he is drunk, and he don’t give a fuck. Further, it's the weekend, so he's letting lose.

(Let me see you)bounce-
Bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce
Bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce
(Now let me see you) bounce-
Bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce
Bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce


Cleary, Kelly wants us to bounce.

“Now it's like murder she wrote
Once I get you out them clothes
Privacy is on the door
Still they can hear you screamin more
Girl I'm feelin what you feelin
No more hopin and wishin
I'm bout to take my key and
Stick it in the ignition”


This is the climax of the song. The pretty girl is naked, she is wanting more, and that is exactly what Kelly gives her: At last, he takes his key (penis) and sticks it into the pretty ladies' ignition (vagina).

The only puzzling part about this verse is the first line, “Now it’s like murder she wrote.” What exactly is “it?” And how is anything Kelly does comparable to “Murder She Wrote?” The only conclusion I can draw is that this reference is an ill-fated attempt to appeal to our grandmothers. We all know that every grandmother’s favorite Kelly song is “The World’s Greatest.” Nice try, R.

“So baby gimme that toot toot
Lemme give you that beep beep
Runnin her hands through my 'fro
Bouncin on 24's
While they say on the radio...”


Second time we’ve heard this, and it is just as great the second time.

“This is the remix to ignition
Hot and fresh out the kitchen
Mama rollin that body
Got every man in here wishin
Sippin on coke and rum
I'm like so what i'm drunk
It's the freakin weekend baby
I'm about to have me some fun”


Same with this.

“Crystall poppin in the stretch Navigator
We got food everywhere
As if the party was catered
We got fellas to my left
Hunnies on my right
We bring em both together we got drinking all night
Then after the show its the (after party)
And after the party its the (hotel lobby)
And round about 4 you gotta (clear the lobby)
Then take it to your room and (…) somebody”

The first lines are pretty self- explanatory. There is expensive alcohol flowing and food is everywhere. And, of course, the painstakingly obvious equation of fellas + hunnies = drinking.

The last line of this verse has always been a favorite. When this song was released when I was in the 8th grade, everyone at grade-school dances would sing, “Take it to your room and fuck somebody.” But when I listen to it now, it is not so clear. Is Kelly saying anything? I don't think he is. Once again, a genius move on his part, allowing the audience to create their own meaning. I know I sing “Take it to your room and pee-on-an-under-aged somebody,” but you can sing whatever you want. Be creative, people!

“Girl we off in this jeep
Foggin windows up
Blastin the radio
In the back of my truck
Bouncin up and down
Stroke it round and round
To the remix
We just thuggin it out...”


Kelly and the pretty girl are now having sex, again, this time in his Jeep truck. I know this because I have seen Titanic. Always the gentleman, Kelly ends the classic “Ignition (Remix)” with a command to his pretty lady: stroke it round and round to this very song. Don’t judge! I know there is nothing I enjoy more than getting hand jobs to my own music, either.

9 comments:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this, Maddie. I love this song and I love R. Kelly. I especially love the song "Sex in the Kitchen," which features the great build up to a line about tossing salads.

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  2. The Murder She Wrote line is R. Kelly revealing his secret crush on Angela Lansbury.

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  3. This article was so good it made ME want to pee on someone! I was alone though so I had to just wet my pants. You should start a music deconstruction series.

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  4. Amazing, and informative. I would appreciate a breakdown on Kelis' "Milkshake" as a follow-up.

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  5. This is one of my all time favorites. I will not comment on any of Glenn's articles until he comments on this! WHAT THE FUCK DUDE!?

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  6. FINE I'M COMMENTING. I DON'T LIKE R KELLY THOUGH. I HAVEN'T HEARD ANY OF THIS SHIT. BUT MADDIE IS FUNNY.

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  7. When he says mama rollin that body he doesnt literally mean his mother you assclown

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  8. thanks for reading, anonymous!

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  9. i disagree with anonymous. i am a huge robert kelly fan. after dating and peeing on underage women i think he decided to go back where his sexual disfunction occured and i myself welcome his choice. this youthful and joyous song is the result.

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