R. Kelly “I Believe I Can Fly” Lyrics Meaning

“I Believe I Can Fly” is a song by R. Kelly, an American singer. It was written, produced, and performed by him for the soundtrack of the 1996 movie Space Jam. The song was first released on November 26, 1996, and later included in Kelly’s 1998 album called “R.” In early 1997, “I Believe I Can Fly” reached the second spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“I Believe I Can Fly” is a song that encourages people to believe in themselves, to keep moving forward, and to never give up on their dreams. The repeated phrase “I believe” emphasizes the importance of self-confidence and determination.

In this article, we’ll dive into the meaning behind the lyrics of this inspiring song.

“I Believe I Can Fly” Background

R. Kelly wrote this song for the 1996 movie Space Jam, which featured Michael Jordan and famous NBA stars in a world with cartoons, including Bugs Bunny.

The song is heard in the movie’s opening scene, where a young Jordan is practicing basketball late at night. During this scene, Jordan and his father discuss Michael’s dreams: to play for North Carolina, to make it to the NBA, and even to fly.

Space Jam was a hit at the box office, but the song “I Believe I Can Fly” became even more popular. It became an inspirational anthem played at weddings and used in video tributes.

In a 2013 interview with The Boombox, R. Kelly talked about how the song came about:

“When I met Michael Jordan on a basketball court at an athletic club — we hooped together in Chicago — he came to me and asked me if I wanted to do a song for his upcoming movie. I was like, ‘Yeah!’ I didn’t even ask what it was. [Eventually] he let me know what it was, we went to a screening to watch it and that’s when I ended up coming up with ‘I Believe I Can Fly’. I knew from the first melody that was gonna be the song that was gonna take me out of R&B and into another genre of music.”

“I Believe I Can Fly” Lyrics Meaning

[Verse 1]

I used to think that I could not go on

And life was nothing but an awful song

But now I know the meaning of true love

I’m leaning on the everlasting arms

In Verse 1, R. Kelly talks about a time when he felt like he couldn’t continue in life, and everything seemed difficult. But now, he has found the true meaning of love and feels supported by something strong and everlasting.


If I can see it, then I can do it

If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it

In the Pre-Chorus, R. Kelly expresses a powerful belief. He says that if he can imagine something or see it in his mind, then he has the ability to achieve it. He emphasizes that believing in something is the key, and if he truly believes in it, there are no limits to what he can accomplish. 


I believe I can fly

I believe I can touch the sky

I think about it every night and day

Spread my wings and fly away

I believe I can soar

I see me running through that open door

I believe I can fly

I believe I can fly

I believe I can fly (Woo!)

In the Chorus, R. Kelly shares his belief in his own abilities. He sings that he believes he can fly and touch the sky, and this idea occupies his thoughts day and night.

He wants to spread his wings and soar through an open door, signifying his desire to achieve his dreams and reach new heights.

[Verse 2]

See, I was on the verge of breaking down

Sometimes silence can seem so loud

There are miracles in life I must achieve

But first I know it starts inside of me, ho-oh

In Verse 2, R. Kelly talks about a difficult time in his life when he felt like he was on the verge of breaking down. He mentions that sometimes silence can feel overwhelming and loud, indicating inner struggles and challenges.

Despite these difficulties, he acknowledges that there are important achievements and miracles he wants to accomplish in life, but he understands that it all begins with a sense of belief in himself.


Hey, ’cause I believe in me


In the Bridge, R. Kelly reaffirms his belief in himself. He declares his strong faith in his own abilities with the words, “Hey, ’cause I believe in me.” This part of the song serves as a powerful statement of self-confidence and self-assurance. It reinforces the message that believing in oneself is the key to achieving one’s goals and dreams.



(Fly, fly, fly)

In the Outro of the song, R. Kelly concludes with a reflective and contemplative tone. He hums the word “Hmm” as if pondering his beliefs and dreams. This part of the song doesn’t contain lyrics but adds a sense of introspection. 

Deeper Meaning Behind “I Believe I Can Fly”

“I Believe I Can Fly” is a song known for its themes of hope, determination, and self-belief. R. Kelly uses the idea of flying as a metaphor for achieving our dreams, no matter how challenging they may seem. The lyrics convey the message that we all have the potential to overcome obstacles and achieve greatness.

Regarding the song’s creation, Kelly met Michael Jordan on a basketball court in Chicago, and Jordan asked him to compose a song for the upcoming movie Space Jam (1996). Kelly agreed without knowing the details. After a screening of the movie, he was inspired to create “I Believe I Can Fly.”

The song features in the movie’s opening scene, where a young Jordan practices basketball late at night and talks with his father about his dreams: playing for North Carolina, making it to the NBA, and flying.

“I Believe I Can Fly” has received praise for its inspirational message and powerful performance. Critics have highlighted its gospel-style ballad with choir and orchestration, creating a majestic sound.

The repeated phrase “I believe” emphasizes the importance of self-belief and determination, making it a message that resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds. 

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