Shut Up

Album: Black Panties (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • In July 2011, Kelly underwent throat surgery amidst chatter that he was a has-been. Four months later the R&B star posted this song to his Twitter account, which takes aim at the "tsunami of rumors had come to wipe my career away" while he was awaiting his surgery.

    "It's been a long time coming but I finally feel a lot better about my throat since the surgery and this is the first song I wrote," Kelly posted, before adding: "Now seriously, after all these hits, and melodies, and memories, you compare me to someone else? O-M-G/No offense to the other artists, but come on darlin', let's be honest: how many babies been made off me? O-M-G."
  • After finding himself in severe pain following a show, Kelly was rushed to the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago to undergo emergency throat surgery. This was the first song he wrote after the frightening experience. He recalled to The Boombox: "It was during a real serious time in my life as far as my vocals were concerned. I had a real big abscess, or something like that, on my vocal chords, [and] after doing a show, I collapsed and ended up in the hospital and doing surgery to get it off. After being in the hospital for two days — I was actually in there for six days — but after two days I started hearing rumors and getting texts and hearing people on the radio saying I'm done and this that and the other — although the doctor did tell me that there was a chance I would not be able to sing as strong or something would be a little different."

    Kelly added: "I was really in the dark. I didn't know what was going on, but they told me not to go in the studio for another month or two weeks or something like that. That's like telling me to hold my breath for two weeks, and I couldn't do that. So I got out the hospital six days later, and went right to the studio and started writing this song called 'Shut Up.' I was bleeding, I was crying, I was emotional. I was pissed because you give all these people all of this music for all of these years and you work your butt off to be somebody and to be a legend, and the minute it all looks like it's going down, they just count you out. I was really hurt by that. So all my emotions went into that song."
  • The song finds Kelly boasting about how many babies have been made to his music and hitting out at critics. He told The Sun: "That's me bragging and having fun and at the same time getting my message across."

    "You can crack a joke to get my point across," he continued. "That's me ribbing on the haters. I'm being compared to these people, yet how many melodies, how many hits, you compare me to him? OMG, I can't believe it!"

    "And like I say in the bit at the end, if the shoe fits go on and wear it," added Kelly. "You know who I'm talking to! They know who it is!"

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