We ask the ''I Believe I Can Fly'' singer ten stupid questions

By Matt Diehl
November 15, 1996 at 05:00 AM EST

R. Kelly may be infamous for salacious seduction jams like ”Down Low,” but after women, the self-proclaimed King of R&B’s greatest passion is… basketball. No surprise, then, that Kelly, 29, jumped at the chance when his idol, Michael Jordan, asked him to pitch in on the Space Jam soundtrack. The result: the slam-dunk hit ”I Believe I Can Fly.” ”I prayed over the project!” exclaims the bald-headed lover man from Chi-town. ”The movie’s very big and very positive, and that’s where I want to go. The rest is history.”

1. So what does R. Kelly have in common with Bugs Bunny?
I’m adventurous, I love to have fun, and I’m not afraid to jump where no man has jumped before. I’m silly like that — I’m just silly. And I love carrots.

2. How about Michael Jordan?
My game is kind of similar to his [laughs]. I love basketball like Michael — you can definitely say that! I may not dunk like he does, but I have a love for the game. And I love my moms.

3. Have you and Michael ever gone one-on-one?
Not one-on-one, but we’ve played together quite a few times at the athletic club. It was inspiring to play with him, to see that he’s approachable, real down-to-earth. The game was to 32 — I scored 6 points. Pretty good when you’re going against the man!

4. Do you and Michael get your heads shaved at the same place?
No. I cut my own hair, and I think he cuts his. It’s easy to cut a bald fade.

5. Why didn’t you get Jordan to bust a move on the mic?
He’d never do that. He’s a shower singer, that’s what I’ve heard him say. It would really take some work to get him to sing in public, I believe.

6. Are you the Tazmanian Devil or Roadrunner on the court?
Both. Sometimes I get in my wild mood and get like Taz — hackin’ and doin’ what I got to do to win. But if the people playing against us are slow, I like to run like the Roadrunner.

7. What female cartoon character would you like to get ”on the down low” with?
I’d put just a touch of tan on Jessica Rabbit. She’s smooth and pretty, but I’d get rid of the cigarette.

8. Do you really believe you can fly?
Absolutely — there’s no way I could’ve written that song without believing it. I’ve always wanted to write a song for kids, to let them know they can do anything they want to. My inspiration when I was little was George Benson’s ”The Greatest Love of All.” I’ve always wanted to do a song like that.

9. This is a really stupid question, but what’s your favorite basketball team?
The Bulls — they’ve got a lot of heart. I predict another NBA championship. And I also predict I’m gonna get some free box tickets. Please let Michael read this!

10. Finally, have you ever eaten rabbit?
Never. I couldn’t do Bugs like that, man. If he ever heard I ate rabbit — that’s funny!