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
Released March 29, 1996 (1996-03-29)
Format CD
Recorded 1995
Length 5:31 (album edit)
4:41 (radio edit)
Label Jive
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"
"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 album R. Kelly. The hit song spent two weeks as number one on the US R&B chart (Kelly's sixth #1 R&B hit), reaching number five on the US Hot 100 chart.

The song is about someone who accidentally ruins his relationship with his lover by distrusting her and, realizing he was wrong, wants her back.


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]


See also[edit]