Sometimes the celebrity interviews in Interview lead to circle jerks where celebrities just talk about how awesome they are. But this one’s nuts: Will Oldham (aka Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy) interviews R.Kelly in the latest issue, and they talk about everything. Sam Cooke, fear of flying, parties, wanting to go back in time, and Love Letter. Here’s a sampling:
OLDHAM: Has there been a time, like, in the last 12 months, where you’ve felt, like, “Oh, I just learned something specific about myself?”
KELLY: Oh, absolutely. Since “Trapped in the Closet,” and then this new Love Letter album, I’ve definitely learned things. I think that took me to 50 percent, as far as knowing who I am and what my gift is capable of. I’ve graduated, in a way, musically, because I feel like I’ve got this musical time machine, now, that I can just get in and travel anywhere I want now.
OLDHAM: Do you think you’ll visit another era?
KELLY: I’m thinking of going back to the Shaft  days next year and just see what it’s like to bring that back to R&B. It’s interesting because when I was a kid I used to watch, like, Back to the Future , where the man would call “Marty!” and they would jump in the little car and go back to the future. And I always said, “Man, that’s how I want to be able to travel with my gift.” So it’s funny that I just sit here now, and I feel like I can get in my musical time machine and just travel anywhere I want. And when I get there, I can take some of those elements and bring them back to these days, and it’s authentic. It’s almost like I feel like it’s unfair, but it’s not, you know? I didn’t give myself this gift, so I must be meant to do something with it.