Another controversy is rolling towards rapper R. Kelly. He is accused for sabotaging his rapper friend Joe. In a surprising interview, Joe says that R. Kelly has applied a pattern of stalled promotion by pressuring radio DJs, asking them not to play his record when it has started getting fans' attention.
Earlier this year after Jive Records has pushed back the release of his 2007 LP, "Ain't Nothin Like Me" for several times, Joe has decided to leave the label. Joe believes that his rival R. Kelly has been the one to blame, claiming that R. Kelly has put pressure on label executives to stall his album. "R. Kelly was very instrumental in making a lot of decisions when it came to my records being played on the radio," Joe said during the interview. "He would make a call to the radio station or to the label and say, 'Hey, this Joe record is too hot right now. Yall need to pull that back.' And they would oblige."
Joe is not the first rapper who has accused R. Kelly for career interference. In November 2007 Ne-Yo also said that R. Kelly had tried to interfere with his career. R. Kelly was reported to remove Ne-Yo from his tour as an opening act because Ne-Yo had successfully drawn more fans' attention.
Now that he has withdrawn from Jive, Joe signs a contract with Kedar Entertainment/Universal Records. Commenting on his new start in Kedar, Joe says, "It's incredible that now I get the opportunity to, I don't know, maybe pay [R. Kelly] back in some sort of side bar kind of thing." Meanwhile, when asked about what R. Kelly has done to him, Joe says, "I'm still very relevant in the game. But yeah, he did try to make some decisions when it came down to my records being on fire, and climbing up the charts and on the radio stations. He felt like they should pull back because he felt he was more important. And with their loyalty to him, they obliged."
Joe is now working on his seventh album "New Man" which will be released on September 22 under Kedar Group. For its distribution and promotional project, it will be handled by Universal's Fontana Distribution. Beside "New Man", another album, which is currently untitled, is expected to hit stores next year.