R. Kelly is trying to get some cash in the bank, but before what seems to be one of his first paid events in a while ... he's already getting ahead of potentially bad optics.
The embattled R&B singer took to Instagram Saturday to record a video of himself in front of what appears to be his Trump Tower residence in Chicago. He says he's gonna be at an event tonight in Springfield, IL ... one that's gonna line his pockets, apparently.
R. Kelly asks the media for a big favor -- to "take it easy" on him, as this is one of the few ways he can make money at the moment. In the clip, he says if and when the media sees him in the club with a couple drinks in his hand -- which presumably means photos or video of this will be leaked at some point -- just know he's only there to collect a check.
It sounds like R. Kelly was anticipating his appearance getting out to the public, and wanted to get ahead of a bad look of him partying in the middle of a serious criminal case. It's unclear where exactly he'll be Saturday night ... he didn't mention the venue by name.
As we've reported ... R. Kelly's been stuck between a rock and a hard place financially these past couple months, with people having to put up major dough not once but TWICE to get him out of jail. He's partially blamed his ex-wife for hindering his ability to make a living.