Prior to tonight’s Jermain Taylor/Bernard Hopkins middleweight title re-match, Jim DeRogatis nemesis R. Kelly performed a vaguely new jack-ish version of “The Star Spangled Banner” that was as lengthy as it was hacktastic. Kelly, introduced by Michael Buffer as “Jive Recording Artist….Mr. Show Business” (scoffed Lady CSTB, “yeah, ‘show me your daughters and I’ll do my business on them'”) was roundly booed by the Las Vegas audience, presumably not packed with “Boondocks” fans.
Though the sight of Oscar De La Hoya struggling to clap in time with the not-s0-phat beats couldn’t have helped much, this was all on Kelly — I can only imagine how much that great patriot Ronnie Isley would’ve been offended (and then left the younger vocalist to die in the Nevada desert). Kelly can now add his name to the pantheon of Rosanne Barr, Carl Lewis and Liz Phair in offending millions while performing a universally loved tribute to America, a pretty neat trick. I’ve finally found something about him to admire.
Gary Sheffield’s little mustache was unavailable for comment.