I Can't Sleep Baby (If I)

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"I Can't Sleep Baby (If I)"
Artwork for UK and Dutch commercial releases
Single by R. Kelly
from the album R. Kelly
ReleasedMarch 29, 1996 (1996-03-29)
Length5:31 (album edit)
4:41 (radio edit)
Songwriter(s)Robert Kelly
Producer(s)R. Kelly
R. Kelly singles chronology
"Thank God It's Friday"
"I Can't Sleep Baby (If I)"
"I Believe I Can Fly"

"I Can't Sleep Baby (If I)" is an R&B single by singer R. Kelly, from his 1995 eponymous album. The song spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart (Kelly's sixth #1 R&B hit); and it peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.


Kelly wrote this song after he split from his girlfriend at that time, whom he was deeply in love with. In 2010, Kelly said he still has not gotten over this girl, who remained anonymous. He ranked this song as one of his favorites that he has recorded.[1]

In his autobiography, Kelly states that he originally intended the song to be recorded by Toni Braxton. However, Braxton was unhappy about the fact that they would not be writing together, and she disagreed with Kelly over how the melody would be sung. They agreed to disagree, and Kelly recorded the song himself.[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video for both the original and the remix is directed by Hype Williams.[3] The music video for the original song opens with R. Kelly, driving on a snowy road. He is then shown singing outside a house and then inside the house. He drives to a phone booth, finishing the song outside. Finally, wearing a fur coat, he sees a helicopter, boards it, and it flies away. Puff Daddy features on the video of the remix.[4][5]

Live performance[edit]

R. Kelly does not often perform this song despite its huge success. The first time he performed this song was at "The Down Low Top Secret Tour" in 1996.[6]


The song was number one on the R&B/hip hop charts for two weeks and peaked at number five on the Pop Chart. In 2011, Gospel singer Genita Pugh sampled this song for her single "Can't Live" on her album My Purpose. In 2017, American hip hop rapper PnB Rock sampled this song for his song "Hanging Up My Jersey" (featuring Ty Dolla Sign) on his album GTTM: Goin Thru the Motions.

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWvv8iWP9bg
  2. ^ Kelly, R.; Ritz, David (2012). Soula Coaster. Hay House, Inc. pp. 216–217. ISBN 9781401931773.
  3. ^ http://www.mvdbase.com/video.php?id=15311
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvqnBgDT6pM
  5. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmDyBUSAIt8
  6. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdMR2_LhUI8
  7. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/277270/r-kelly/chart
  8. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/277270/r-kelly/chart
  9. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/277270/r-kelly/chart
  10. ^ "American single certifications – Kelly, R. – I Can%27t Sleep". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  11. ^ Samuels, Anita (September 19, 1998). "R. Kelly Aims To Fly With Double Set". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 110 (38): 41. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  12. ^ http://www.soulsystem.it/yend.asp?date=31/12/1996
  13. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Archived from the original on 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2010-08-27.

See also[edit]