Sometimes great art is made by despicable people. Does that matter? Should it?
These questions inevitably confront anyone who thinks seriously about popular music - so, needless to say, they've occurred to every voter contributing to this poll. On December 6, R. Kelly dropped one of the most anticipated releases of 2013, his 12th studio album, Black Panties, which arrived after months of hype that found him duetting with Lady Gaga, headlining the Pitchfork and Bonnaroo music festivals, and popping up beside Phoenix at Coachella. It was his year as much as anyone else's.
So why is he nowhere to be found in this year's Pazz & Jop poll results? Is this the year people stopped ignoring R. Kelly's many crimes? Why, after my 15 years of reporting on those many crimes, have people started to take notice?