R. Kelly says he's feeling a lot like Osama bin Laden these days, and not just because both of them have allegedly appeared on scandalous videotapes of uncertain origin. The R&B hitmaker, who has denied the child pornography allegations against him, says the fugitive terrorist is the only person who's as persecuted as he is. ''People can say whatever they want about you without knowing the facts,'' Kelly tells Blender magazine. ''They can criticize you without even knowing you, and hate you when they don't even know you. All of a sudden, you're, like, the bin Laden of America. Osama bin Laden is the only one who knows exactly what I'm going through.'' (No doubt the al-Qaeda leader is sitting in a cave right now, singing to himself Kelly's ''Heaven, I Need a Hug.'')
Despite being charged last year with videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl, Kelly has continued to enjoy a prolific career, with strong sales of his own recordings and his songwriting and production work for other artists. He tells Blender he's never short on ideas. ''I love music, and music loves me back. We're kind of married, and I'm pregnant by music,'' he says. ''I have three to four years' worth of work you've never heard in the vaults. I've come up with at least 20 to 25 albums.''