Yeah, If You’re Still An R. Kelly Fan In 2015 You Just Might Be A Worse Person Than R. Kelly » VSB

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Yeah, If You’re Still An R. Kelly Fan In 2015 You Just Might Be A Worse Person Than R. Kelly

I’m not going to say much about R. Kelly because, at this point, on the last day of November in 2015, there’s not much I can say about R. Kelly that hasn’t already been said. And repeated. And reported on. And recounted through anecdote. And even said by me on this very space two years ago.

With other artists guilty of criminal behavior, there can be a certain cognitive dissonance that can happen when the art and the unseemly acts by the artist have no connection. R. Kelly’s music doesn’t allow for that. His art and his actions are irrevocably linked. They can not be unlinked. It’s like shoes and soles. Or Knick fans and disappointment. He makes crazy, nasty, deviant sex music because he’s a crazy, nasty sex deviant. These are not two separate parts of him.

And also because R. Kelly is who he is. A talented musician — a person actually considered by many to be the most talented contemporary musician — and a man who, for years, used his considerable wealth and influence and status to prey on young Black girls. The word evil isn’t often employed when characterizing him, because using that term to describe someone so popular, talented, charismatic, and handsome seems counterintuitive. Troubled? Maybe. Conflicted? Perhaps. Complicated? Definitely. Evil, however, seems to be taking it too far. But the acts he committed are plainly and patently evil. Shit, while attempting to quantify evil is usually a fool’s errand, there aren’t many evils more evil than a rich and powerful man sexually violating poor and powerless girls. And then vaingloriously teasing us about it because he knows there’s not much we can do about it.

Which is why today, the last day of November in 2015, I can’t help but wonder if fans of R. Kelly today in 2015 just might be evil too. Or, at the very least, evil adjacent. And I’m not talking about the type of fan who might reflexively bounce and nod their head if his music comes on the radio. And might even have “Ignition” on their Game Night Spotify playlist. No, I’m talking about the fans upset that other people dare be disgusted by R. Kelly. The fans still paying hundreds of dollars to attend his shows. The fans who twist themselves into logical origami defending him, still. The fans who still say things like “R. Kelly can still get it” and “Those girls knew what they were doing.” The fans who parade him at concerts and honor him at awards shows. (Including, unfortunately, whoever decided to ask him to appear on stage at the Soul Train Awards.) The fans completely aware of his misdeeds but still completely apathetic to and unaffected by them. The fans — all of them — so enamored with and attached to R. Kelly the artist and his songs about sex that no evil act committed by R. Kelly, the person, matters.

Perhaps evil is too strong of a word to describe someone conscious of it who remains intentionally indifferent to it and arrogant about the indifference. But I can’t think of a better one. So if you can, please do.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • fxd8424

    Black girls and women are not protected.

    • I mean I don’t disagree but we can’t pretend that all of his fans are misogynistic self hating black men…

      • Word. At this point, it’s mostly women. The men have run for the hills at this point, even if they like his music.

        • Right. And I’m not out here tryna bash or dump on women. But we have to at least be real in acknowledging the situation for what it is.

          • Kels pedoishness has been common knowledge for about 2 decades now (word on the street was he was getting down like that in Chi-town unnoticed for a min).

            We can blame the unknown or imaginable powers that be for letting him be able to get paid despite people knowing he’s a POS, but that’s just a lame excuse…we’ve known how he gets down for 20 years, and yet he still manages to close the “Soul Train Awards” which is supposed to be the “BET Awards” for the Old and Bougie black people.

            20 years; let that seep in…

            • miss t-lee

              “Kels pedoishness has been common knowledge for about 2 decades now (word on the street was he was getting down like that in Chi-town unnoticed for a min)”

              Pretty much.

              http://www.villagevoice.com/music/read-the-stomach-churning-sexual-assault-accusations-against-r-kelly-in-full-6637412

              • I remember reading that Village Voice article and my skin crawling. We knew what he was about and it was still terrible to read.

                • miss t-lee

                  Yeah. Facts on facts on facts.
                  It was that and the Chicago Tribune article, plus hearing things from people who grew up in Chicago at that time.

                  • RagesAgainstMachines

                    My younger half sister went to Kenwood High in Chicago and said he’d be out there after school, posted up with his music blasting. He is a LITERAL child predator.

                    • miss t-lee

                      Wow. Thank you for this.

                    • Leslie Gray O’Neil

                      I went to the school next door to Kenwood. Your sister is telling the truth.

              • Epsilonicus

                Yup.

            • Exactly, it is a lame excuse. But it seems like nobody wants to be honest with themselves and admit that they’re willing to stay stanning for a child molester because they like his music.

              20 YEARS. I can’t even wrap my head around it. He’s been abusing girls for the majority of my life. I. Can’t.

              • fxd8424

                The BC gives a pass to murderers, rapists, pedophiles, drug dealers and all manner of society’s miscreants. .

                • It really does :(

                • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

                  So does every community if that person wields enough power or the victims are powerless enough. Our community simply can less afford this type of psychosis. And really, its just R. Kelly. It’s not even a sacrifice to simply cast him and anything that has to do with him out of your life.

              • It’s the same thing that happened with Donald Sterling…and in our culture in general.

                Just like people could’ve just refused to listen to R.Kelly or watch his music videos, basically exercise the power they have, they seek out someone higher in the hierarchy to deny them access to R.Kelly, that way they don’t have to make a decision. Same thing with Sterling, when offered the opportunity just not to attend or watch games, they rallied for the NBA owners to use grey lines in the rules (Sterling is still going to get paid from the NBA, when it’s all said and done), people protested and screamed for someone higher up to make the decision for them.

                When you don’t have faith in your own power, you’ll always seek out those with power to do things for you, the cost being that you lose even a greater amount of power to them. The difference between Sterling and Kels, is that those with power responded in the NBA, whereas those in the music industry did nothing, partly because the noise was never as loud.

                • THIS! I wish I could upvote this a million more times.

                  If Kels is in a commercial I won’t watch it, every single piece of music of his that I owned was destroyed when I find out about his deviance. If he is in a duet with an artist I like I wont listen to it. Heck, if his song is in a movie it gets put on mute. I refuse to support him in any way. Supporting him is supporting his behaviour.

                  I wish more people had faith in their own power. Heck I wish more people weren’t blinded by celebrity. I wish more people loved themselves enough to demand better of those they place in such high places. I can’t control any of that though, what I can control though is who I support, and that sure aint Kels.

                  • Erica Nicole Griffin

                    Exactly. The quality of my life (weddings and BBQs included) has not been downgraded because I refuse to step in the name of love. I have had friends suggest they will suffer without his music and therefore can’t commit to abstinence. #AsForMeAndMyHouse…

                    • Yes to ALL of this!!

                  • JennyJazzhands

                    I was very young when all of this happened with the tape and court case. But, when I got a little older and really put the pieces together I threw the chocolate factory in the trash.

                    • I used to be a HUGE fan. He was one of my favourite artists, I knew all the words to all his songs. But like you, as soon as those pieces came together it was Sayonara R Kelly. I’m not here for predators. Nope, not even a little bit.

                  • musiclover

                    “every single piece of music of his that I owned”

                    You’ve already helped him so anything you say is moot. The same goes for the others. I always see people say “I stopped buying R. Kelly’s music” or “I stopped listening to him” but fail to understand that you already gave him your money. Muting or not listening to collaborations won’t effect him when he’s living pretty well off your money and many others. But like you said you can control who you want to support but I just don’t see how that is any relation to you muting or not listening to an R. Kelly song when in the long run he wouldn’t be affected.

                    • Firstly you’re assuming that I paid for his music. And secondly nothing I can do can hurt him but I darn sure wont be helping him.

                • Amber

                  I think the reason that NBA owners and execs took so long to act on Sterling and why Kelly is still thriving in the music industry is because people are afraid that their own glass houses will be shattered. I’m not totally convinced that the owners disagreed with Sterling and just as Damon stated about folks thinking it’s just fast girls out here so we shouldn’t blame Kelly.

                  • I think it’s the exact opposite really.

                    I think people are scared that if they decide not to go to Clippers games, or not to listen to Kels, that they won’t be a part of the majority and that their stance will be meaningless. Thus they seek those at the top of the pyramid to offer them their wishes, so they never have to take the risk of taking a stance and no one caring about it.

                    The NBA owners didn’t want to do anything, whether they were black or white, because technically, it’s not their job to get rid of each other. They did it because, all the people who didn’t want to risk being by themselves on the issue of Sterling, handed them the power to get rid of him, and when they did, no one resisted.

                    • musiclover

                      “I think people are scared that if they decide not to go to Clippers games, or not to listen to Kels, that they won’t be a part of the majority and that their stance will be meaningless.”

                      I disagree. Many of R. Kelly’s music listeners have grown up to his music. For many there are many memories and inspiration there. You can’t really just tell someone to stop listening to a certain artist without understanding the depth of why they became a fan in the first place.

                • musiclover

                  There was no noise at all. You have to understand R. Kelly’s impact on music to get this. Even if there’s an artist who feels uncomfortable about R. Kelly I doubt they would speak up. I’m not sure regarding Donald Sterling but I don’t recall many commenting on him. Donald is just a team owner and would get paid regardless. There was and is an opportunity to close R. Kelly off but at the same time their isn’t due to his impact and power in the industry.

              • musiclover

                I’m sure you can wrap your head around the Michael Jackson stans tho…

                • Again, I can’t control who the majority supports, I can only control my actions and that’s what I do.

            • Janelle Doe

              I am curious about any correlation between his defenders and Cosby’s. But we may never find out.

            • lexdiamonz

              exactly Chi town folks KNOW and have LONG KNOWN how Kells gets down with these young girls …

            • Diva

              God only knows how many victims there are. God bless them.

            • musiclover

              It’s not the powers that be. Consumers hold the power. The fact is he has a loyal fanbase regardless of how you may feel. This is like wondering why MJ has so many crazed stans despite his child molestation accusations. Fandom is real.

              and 2 decades is a stretch but I guess you can say people have assumed about Kelly and young women since the early stages of his career.

        • musiclover

          It’s mostly women but he has a male fan base that’s just as strong as the women. Keep in mind that these people aren’t going to read these articles and even if they do they won’t waiver from being a fan of the man. It is what it is.

      • Cake211

        Internalized self hate is a thing.

      • fxd8424

        I was speaking to R. Kelly’s penchant for preying on young black girls, hence black girls not being protected and black women not being protected as a collective. I didn’t mean to imply that all of his fans were misogynistic, self-hating black men. He has legions of fans that are women too. Some dislike his actions but like his music. Guilty pleasures, no?

        • Guilty pleasures, that term has never been so fitting!

      • Freebird

        men are not checking for him like that.

      • Erica Nicole Griffin

        Some of his fans are misogynistic, self-hating Black women

        • Girl!… *sips tea*

        • Katrina

          Look above to Samantha’s comment, you have a great point.

        • Diva

          They sure are! I was so over those chicks today…as if the men defending him aren’t bad enough.

        • musiclover

          This isn’t true tho.

      • Don_Ready

        I dont think he has any male fans left, i thinks its mostly over 40 overweight women, like a male strip club lol

      • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

        I would venture to say that most of his remaining ardent fans are women.

        • And I’d agree.

        • musiclover

          There are many men. I see them on Twitter all the time.

    • Guest

      This (the R Kelly story) is a perfect explanation for why so many black girls are sexually molested as children.

      The people who defend him probably wouldn’t even defend or protect their own flesh and blood daughters from sexual predators, so of course they don’t care about anyone else’s child.

      • musiclover

        This is the biggest reach ever. Seek help ASAP.

    • menajeanmaehightower

      This is it.

    • Misogynoir is a muthafuh! Arhhhh

  • miss t-lee

    I mean,
    the capes were fully starched and pressed upon the twitters last night.

    I’ve seen every conceivable excuse for Kellz in the last 24
    hours. Talented as the man might be, you can’t overlook basic facts.

    Or as I’m seeing, maybe you can?

    Meh.

    • He and Floyd are the two cats that I give no wiggle room. The talent is so evident but I usually just walk away.

      • miss t-lee

        I believe it.

        • The fact that they are cartoons only makes it worse. Then again America loves itself some cartoons. see Trump, Donald

          • JamesInstagram

            “America loves its cartoons.”

            THIS. This is why I cannot understand why people call R. Kelly a musical genius, when I don’t think he’s that talented. His music doesn’t resonate with me. It’s mostly forgettable and average. It’s because “Trapped in the Closet” made people laugh. I didn’t think that pandering nonsense was funny. But like you said, America loves its cartoons.

            • I won’t deny his talent. He’s penned and produced a ton of songs but otherwise he’s a ridiculous person.

            • Stefanie Kelly

              TOTALLY agree. & get dogged out for it regularly. never got the worshipful love of this guy’s music. #never

    • cakes_and_pies

      An educated woman FB friend was capping for Kels so hard saying he was acquitted. Another male friend brought up the fact that so was Darren Wilson. This chic had the nerve to reply with the “But that’s not of my business” meme.

      • miss t-lee

        Wow.
        That’s grade A dense, mayne.

      • I hate that people have to bring in other examples as a parallel. I shouldn’t have to bring in outside sources to alert you to the fact that you’re thinking is, at best, f u cked up.

    • Wild Cougar

      Yes, you can overlook them. By simply not caring.

      • miss t-lee

        Yeah, no.

        • Wild Cougar

          R. Kelly doesn’t move the caring needle for me. Neither does Chris Brown. Cosby does. I don’t apologize.

          • miss t-lee

            Well…we’re all different.

  • R. Kelly’s popularity scares me. I’ve literally seen a video of him urinating on a child. That’s not hyperbole. I have literally SEEN this,with like, my freaking eyes, and he’s still famous.

    • musiclover

      Creepy that you would watch the video.

      • I didn’t sit and watch the video. I walked in to the place and dudes were surrounding a TV and was curious about what they were watching. It was the infamous ‘R Kelly Tape’.

  • Pinks

    I’m that head-bopping fan who will look at the radio in disgust and be like “Da m nit, Kells!” before I turn the song down or something. I really can’t hear his music without thinking of his nasty ways.

    • miss t-lee

      Him, Cee Lo, Banner.
      RuinT.

      • I really like Cee-lo’s voice, too. Doggone shame.

        • miss t-lee

          Exactly. Fan since the Goodie Mob days. Then the ninja got all rapey and I can’t listen to The Ladykiller in peace anymore.

          • Question

            Cee Lo too??

            Nooooooooooo.

            • miss t-lee

              Rapey McRaperson.

              • cakes_and_pies

                With thoseT-Rex arms…

                • miss t-lee

                  *cackling*

            • Val

              Add Marvin Gaye to the list. He impregnated and married a 15 year old girl when he was in his early 30s.

              • AlwaysCC

                weren’t wanya and brandy together, too?

                • miss t-lee

                  Yup.

                  • AlwaysCC

                    i thought it was weird when i heard it (brandy is a little older than me). i remember thinking “he’s old” – not because it was against the law, just wondering why he appealed to her lol

                    • miss t-lee

                      Yeah, pretty sure she was like 16/17 and that grown ninja was like 25/26.

                    • AlwaysCC

                      the sad and crazy thing is most people refer to “under 18” but in a lot of states, that’s not the actual age of consent…it’s sometimes MUCH lower

                    • miss t-lee

                      Definitely.

                • Val

                  Never heard about that one.

                  • AlwaysCC

                    when “brokenhearted” came out there were rumors they were a couple. but rumors start a lot when people do a duet, so i wasn’t ever sure if it was true or not…”sources close to them” said it was

                    • Val

                      Never know with Brady. She has a track record of stretching the truth until it breaks. Lol

                • fxd8424

                  Yep. 6 year age difference but she insisted she was 18 when they got together.

              • Yup. But, he’s a cookout staple so no one will let you speak ill of him.

              • PaddyfotePrincess

                Yes, he started dating Nona’s mother Jan when she was a teenager. When he was married to his first wife Anna Gordy, she was in her 40s and couldn’t conceive so she faked her pregnancy. It was later revealed that the baby, Marvin III was the biological son of Marvin and Anna’s 15 year old niece, Denise Gordy.

                People tend to sweep Jay-Z and a young Foxy Brown under the rug too.

                • mssporadic

                  And Bey supposedly… I think in Drunk in Love he referenced to checking for her in ’97, which would make her 15/16 (if you believe she was born in 1981).

              • Tina

                Didn’t Bob Marley start grooming Rita when she was like 15/16?

                • Val

                  Really? Wow.

                • Stefanie Kelly

                  no. he is 1 year older than her. peer to peer.

                  • Tina

                    Ah, thanks. Apologies for the misinformation. I remember her recounting how they met in a documentary, but for some reason I thought he was much older than her.

                • Here We Go

                  No.

              • the more you know

          • OSHH

            As was I from the “Dirty South” days to Gnarls Barkley and beyond.

            • miss t-lee

              You know.

          • Pinks

            I don’t even know Goodie Mob music, but the title Ladykiller is so rude, considering his past allegations.

            • miss t-lee

              I’m still trying to recover from you not knowing Goodie Mob, but yeah…he was kinda flagrant with the title.

              • Pinks

                Besides Sick of being Lonely, I got nothing for em.

                • miss t-lee

                  That wasn’t even them, though.
                  *hollering*

                  • Pinks

                    Lmao…i tried it!

      • Banner out here trying to get the sisters back in his corner.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xduCVtXvIkE

        • miss t-lee

          If this was the plan, he’s failed.
          Miserably.

          • Lol! I alway thought he was trash musically.

            • miss t-lee

              I dug his music for what it was.

              • MsSula

                I used to love this dude. What he do?

                • miss t-lee

                  I added a link to what I was referring to. ?

      • Pinks

        What happened with David Banner?

      • Tina

        What did Banner do? All these deviants in our midst…

    • Wild Cougar

      I pretty much don’t think about artists outside of performance so it doesn’t bother me. It’s not like I have to push it out of my mind, I see a performer and don’t think about what they do in their private lives. Might be because I’m generally not interested in celebrities private lives.*shrugs*

      • AlwaysCC

        i’m the same way. the only reason i knew about r kelly is because of the video/trial…and then the rumors about aaliyah came out (or at least that’s when i heard them). i may be the last person on earth who’s never seen the video.

        • Wild Cougar

          I’ve never seen a video either. I’m just not the one that goes looking for celebrity gossip. It’s hella boring to me.

          • Stefanie Kelly

            …this isn’t gossip. it’s dozens of credible allegations. & a video. what are you talking about???

          • Stefanie Kelly

            gossip = sometimes made up statements/exaggerations about another’s private life. & it’s interesting that you hold Cosby responsible for a bunch of grown white women, but not R-uh for his FILMED indiscretions & SWORN STATEMENTS by actual minors/parents/aunties etc.
            not to mention that he taunts his victims/the listening public THROUGH his lyrics.

            you gotta draw a line somewhere. but who am i kidding? Black women who defend him are the same ones that would turn a blind eye to the rape of their own child if the boots were being properly knocked…

            by interesting, i do mean tragic.

          • Stefanie Kelly
      • Pinks

        It depends on the action for me, honestly.

        If it’s something like self-destruction, where they’re being consumed by their own demons in their personal life, I can look past it, but when they start doing things that negatively affect other people, I start to question my relationship to that artist.

        I’m not the one to tell people to boycott anybody, but I do think BET could’ve been more responsible in not exalting him for that performance.

  • DBoySlim

    Calling himself the Pied Piper, making an album called The Chocolate Factory and producing Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number are the Easter Eggs this sick fcuk has displayed. I can’t for the life of me understand how people give him a pass.

    • miss t-lee

      putting it all together, eh?

    • precisioncontrol

      I literally never thought about “The Chocolate Factory” until I read your post right now. Ugh.

      • DeebaCee

        I think it’s a case of Monday Morning, but what am I missing with Chocolate Factory?

        • Deepee

          Reference to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory….the story of the weird guy who lured kids to his crib made of candy.

          • AlwaysCC

            OH. i always thought he was talking about his p***s; see references to “lollipop”

          • Arlene Pitterson

            There is a real chocolate factory near his Chicago studios in the west loop. The neighborhood smells of chocolate every other day, and every day during the holidays

            • musiclover

              Exactly and his studio is actually named “Chocolate Factory” because it’s black owned. These people are twisted for thinking otherwise tbh.

          • DeebaCee

            Oooooooh. Thanks. And ughhhh

          • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

            OShite…I didn’t see that until just this second. Doesn’t matter…had no intention of messing with R. Kelly then, now or ever. He’s an affront to blackwomen everywhere and a walking personification of the sexual dysfunction that is unfortunately part and parcel of our collective cultural history. He should be beat by groups of men on sight.

          • musiclover

            It’s not a reference tot he Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

        • Question

          People don’t know – they’re just guessing.

          …doesn’t make RK any less of a pedophile.

      • Pinks

        Kind of makes your skin crawl.

      • musiclover

        Chocolate Factory is a reference to his studio being black owned. Those are his words.

    • R Kelly told on himself on so many records, yet there are women who want to give him the drawers.

      Then again Sandusky’s wife heard him humping their own adopted son and kept it moving. There’s a population of people deep into the enabling game.

      • TeeChantel

        That is deeply disturbing.

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        People will always keep their illusions a top priority over someone else’s reality.

      • Leggyladyus

        Damn Todd…..you gave it straight no chaser!!!

    • cakes_and_pies

      You can throw “It seems like you’re ready” in there too.

      • Elle

        That song disturbs me to no end. It’s basically “Statutory: The Soundtrack.” Smh.

      • APBT

        Nobody was more upfront with it than Keith sweat.
        “You may be young but you’re ready, ready to learn. You’re not a little girl, you’re a woman…take my hand.”

      • PhlyyPhree

        When he sang the opening to “I don’t see nothing wrong” I had to get up and exit the room. I feel like at the LEAST he could pretwnd to be repentant and not do the blatantly obvious songs referencing his predilection for young children. But no, not Sylvester. NUH uh. Nope!

        • cakes_and_pies

          Who knew the two biggest bald-headed R&B crooners (Aaron Hall) turned out to be the biggest creeps.

      • RafW

        That right there. “12 play” took on a sickening bend when this all tumbled out…

        • Garcia Tyner

          Oh No…with an emphasis on “12”? #IJustGotReallyad

    • cakes_and_pies

      i forgot about the “Bump and grind” remix lyric “Show me some ID before I get too deep..”

      My 13-year old self took a pause like 0_o

    • Qris_10

      I always thought that was creepy after everything came out as truth and not gossip….you’re being accused (at the time) of having sexual relationships with minors one after the other, and have the nerve to call yourself the “Pied Piper”? That was/is disgusting

      • PineappleUpsideDownCat

        That creeped me out most exceeding. I was like Seriously, he’s going to reference an actual CHILD-LURING myth, all out in the open like that?? ::: shudder:::

        • That’s what pi$$es me off the most.. HE IS COKKY AS FCUK!

      • musiclover

        He’s functionally illiterate and sadly doesn’t know the story behind the Pied Piper. I’m surprised no one has brought it to his attention yet. Seems like shade to me lol.

    • Kdubbya

      https://www.change.org/p/tim-jorgensen-cancel-the-r-kelly-concert

      Here’s a link to a petition. Gotta start somewhere and if no one else will hold him accountable for the things hes done I think this could be a start for some traction. #LBGLM

      • ‘little black girls’ lives matter’? reaching i know but i took a wild guess

        • Kdubbya

          And your wild guess is correct , happy someone caught it?

    • he has a penis.

    • Jasmine

      The same way Chris Brown gets a pass for his misogynistic lyrics that push rape culture…….its all got a beat you can groove to.

  • -h.h.h.-

    surprised shaming hasn’t been an effective technique.

    maybe ‘the magazine’ should take a ‘shot’ at mr kelly as done with mr. cosby?

    • cakes_and_pies

      It’s impossible to shame narcissists

      • -h.h.h.-

        i’m not necessarily speaking about the artists. but generally speaking, social media has been utilizing shame tactics to silence people who are allied with a person “they” deem problematic.

        i’m just wondering why that hasn’t been done with the fans of r. kelly, whether they go to a concert, or buy an album on the low.

        • cakes_and_pies

          Because she was a “fast tailed girl” and should have known better. That narrative will never go away and many Black men and women will never hold men accountable because of that narrative.

          • Bingo

          • miss t-lee

            I actually saw some of this last night. All the blame was on the “fast” girls…

          • Ghettoprincess

            Even though I don’t agree, I can at least understand the misguided “fast girl” take on it. But there were so many other girls than Aaliyah and the girl on the tape. I think it was the Village Voice article that described how he mentored a high school gospel choir, told some girls he would work with them privately, that they could be famous, that he was falling in love and then moved on to another young girl after he was done with them. Not random girls on the street who might look older than their age or might be “fast” but gospel choir girls. Evil isn’t even a harsh enough word.

            • cakes_and_pies

              I wasn’t actually calling her fast, that just what Black girls are called once they hit puberty.

              • Ghettoprincess

                I didn’t think you specifically were but there’s so many that use that excuse.

        • mssporadic

          I’m assuming the majority of his fans are >30. I was in high school when Bump n’ Grind came out. Older fans may not care as much about social media shame tactics as millennials.

  • What did Pedo-Kels do recently?

    • PhlyyPhree

      Live.

      And perform at an award show and sold out arenas nationwide

    • He peed on a child and we are still asking “What else he do?” Umm, he still peed on a child…

      • He also married a child before that and no one did anything.

        Precedent is a moth@effer

        We’re all to blame…

        • Val

          How he got away with that astounds me. Money talks I guess.

          • Money always talks.

          • Not just money…

            No one wanted to put him away.

            A couple people broke his albums (which they paid for); a couple DJs decided not to play his records on radio; but when it’s all said and done, no one wanted to do what was necessary (including the infamous 14 yr old) that would’ve ensured he got the Subway guy treatment.

            • Val

              There needs to be a documentary on how so many people failed to do anything and how he got away with everything he did. Most of which we don’t even know about.

              • Honestly, I think it’s those segment with all those teenage girls during Maury…that’s the only thing I can think of. It desensitized people (We make a big deal about teachers, but that has less to do with outrage and more to do with it being a narrative that draws in viewership). Yes, statutory r@pe is very much against the law, but among many individual people, it’s not viewed as terrible as it is, as you’re supposed to act like it is in public.

                That’s why I’m not really shocked that Kels got to perform at the Soul Train Awards. 20 years ago, when rumors were spreading that he had tried to marry Aaliyah, he released 4-play, which went 5X platinum. It’s much easier for him to get away with what he did to the unknown 14 year old, than what he did to Aaliyah, who many still consider “a goddess” and hang posters of her all over the wall.

                By us letting what went with Aaliyah slide, we pretty much set up every one of his victims after the fact.

              • Qris_10

                Money. That’s what this all leads back to. He used is money and influence to connive these young women AND their families. You take a girl whose family likes R.Kelly and sees him as a hometown hero, and on top of that thinks he can get their daughter some kind of recognition, also is breaking off the entire family thousands of dollars worth of hush money? It’s sick but all of these girl’s families, the music industry, the fans of R.Kelly, and the legal system all let this man slide and money and/or influence are the common denominators. Love of money is the root of ALL evil

    • Val

      edit; Misread your comment, sorry.

      • PaddyfotePrincess

        There’s no telling when that relationship started. In his first single “She’s Got That Vibe,” he ad libs at the end of the song “Little Cute Aaliyah’s Got It.” She was 11 or 12 when that song was recorded.

        • And just when I thought the depth of my disgust for him couldn’t be any greater, I read this.

        • miss t-lee

          Yup. No shame, whatsoever.

        • Epsilonicus

          And now I feel sick. I did before but I did not know it could be any worse

        • Val

          Yeah, he should have been under the jail for that. I think one of the reasons he got away with that was because so few people knew at the time. If there had been social media back then I pray things would have been different,

          But, we have social media now and he’s still popular so…

        • I should do a study on the bystander effect as it concerns celebrities. R.Kelly had a gaggle of people surrounding him who engaged in and were privy to these activities. No one tried to stop him. No one stood up for all the girls he hurt. It’s amazing what kind of effect being a celebrity has on other people.

          • AlwaysCC

            there were bystanders and then there were those who i believe actually enabled/encouraged him.

            • But there’s something to be said about the dirt that celebrities do and why the people around them ALWAYS turn a blind eye. The perceived power play that celebrities have keeps people from doing the right thing.

              • AlwaysCC

                very true. i wonder are they getting paid? do they just want to stay in the entourage? do they not want to be the “one” who tells him no? it happens with people at all levels with perceived power…

                that would be an interesting study.

                • I think wanting to stay in that inner circle is a big part of it. There are perks to being the perceived friend of a celebrity. The residual pussea that comes your way. Access to the hottest parties, clubs, restaurants, etc. Putting that in jeopardy isn’t worth it to people once they’ve had a taste of the “high life”.

                  Why should I turn in my friend when I’m out here catching free flights to foreign countries?

                • Val

                  They’ll be getting paid until the statute of limitations runs out.

          • PaddyfotePrincess

            I think what’s consistently lost in these discussions is that these were girls – not women. Regardless of their level of fame or ties within the industry (I believe one of the young ladies is Sparkle’s niece), they were girls. His actions were completely foul and swept under the rug.

            • Our society only sees girls as girls before they hit puberty. Apparently having b r e a s t s and hips makes you a woman regardless of age. This is especially true for little black girls who sometimes look far older than they are. We have a nasty habit of projecting s e x onto little girls at a very young age.

              “Uh oh you’re having a daughter? You better get the shot gun.”

              • “Uh oh you’re having a daughter? You better get the shot gun.”

                Bomani Jones said it best. The fact that phrase “You’ll think differently when you have a son” has never been uttered is proof to how skewed gender roles and double-standards are built in regards to adolescent s8xual behavior.

                • It’s such a dumb double standard too. How can you be happy about your son being a “mack at daycare” but want to keep your 16 year old daughter in the house all the time?

            • RewindingtonMaximus

              They were but there is a whole industry built on secrecy, and he took advantage of it, as many celebs don. Even when you’re not a celebrity, that industry still exists, except, instead of paying people money, those involved willingly turn a blind eye because they aren’t interested in being responsible for anything.

              • PaddyfotePrincess

                Turning a blind eye is the crux of the problem. I’m telling.

                • RewindingtonMaximus

                  Always has been. That’s why we gotta do better.

                  I’m always going to remember the look on my best friend’s face when she found out her daughter’s were molested by a man she trusted, a man she let in her bed. And his whole family knew he did s h i t like that, and never said nothing to nobody.

                  • PaddyfotePrincess

                    We definitely do.

                    That’s terrible about your friend’s daughter. Someone should have stood up and protected her and the other victims.

                    • RewindingtonMaximus

                      He didn’t even get busted on what he did to the girls. he went to jail for something totally unrelated, and despite the evidence of his other crimes, only spent a year in.

                  • Julie Mango TheGladiator Staff

                    Damn!!! I hope he was thrown in prison!
                    More importantly I hope the girls and their Mom are in therapy and not blaming themselves.

                    • RewindingtonMaximus

                      It was real messy at first. My homie took it extremely hard, she was very hurt. The effects, even with help, are long lasting though. Those girls remember everything.

                      It also didn’t help that he only served a year of jail time.

                    • Julie Mango TheGladiator Staff

                      It’s always seems that Black Girl/Woman Trauma is often disregarded.
                      We are expected to “get over it” :(

          • LMNOP

            Honestly though, I feel like this is how sexual violence usually plays out. I know when I think of people I know who have been molested and raped, there were no celebrities involved but also very, very few people who ended up facing any serious consequences, and I think that’s probably pretty typical.

            • Janelle S

              You heard about that guy who *admitted* to sexually abusing a girl over 600 times and his entire town is still all “she’s just making it up for the attention”?
              People want to believe what they want to believe.

              • LMNOP

                People can be so awful. This is exactly what allows people to keep abusing children.

        • LMNOP

          I want to stab him just thinking of this. And all of the many, many other people who rape children and go about their lives like nothing’s wrong.

        • TeeChantel

          Man… I had to look up the lyrics just to see if it was true. It is definitely in there.

          • PaddyfotePrincess

            Take a look at the “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number” video. She’s wearing a monogram necklace with the letter R.

            • miss t-lee

              Plus the album with that title, came out right after the marriage. I remember all this.

              • PaddyfotePrincess

                Exactly.

            • Julie Mango TheGladiator Staff

              OMG!!!!
              How did I miss that?!?!

              • Val

                I feel the same way. How did I miss that?!

                • AlwaysCC

                  because normal adults don’t marry 15yo girls. why *would* you look for it?!

              • PaddyfotePrincess

                It sort of looks like an “A,” but if you look closely, it’s definitely an “R.”

            • PaddyfotePrincess

              I referenced the wrong video. It’s the “At Your Best” remix video.

              http://youtu.be/8D1Zn-Ij6Mw

        • Qris_10

          Aww, Gross! Just when I thought I couldn’t be more disgusted by that fool….

        • DBoySlim

          Eww. She was close to some of my family and we never heard anything about Kellz and this foolishness until after she was famous.

    • -h.h.h.-

      he performed on a tv show.

  • Aprill

    Evil works fine. Evil enablers works also.

    • YES, ENABLERS. That’s exactly it.

  • I don’t Eff with Kels. I used to, I used to be a HUGE fan. But I don’t separate the Art from the Artist, no matter how much I love the Art. So I can’t compartmentalise like others seem to do with him, and I don’t know that I’d want to.

  • PhlyyPhree

    I felt so conflicted last night. I wanted to dance. Those were the songs of my childhood and they’re tied to a lot of my happy memories.
    But he ruined a LOT of young women and their happy memories so…no.

    • Val

      I can’t even listen to his music. I have an involuntary response to his music that causes me to change the radio station when a song of his comes on.

    • JamesInstagram

      I think there comes a point where you have to be willing to give up a certain amount of nostalgia if it means you won’t have a guilty conscience, and simply look ahead. For me, it was easier to let go of my nostalgia for R. Kelly’s music when I remembered that Usher also came out with a bomb-ass debut album around the same time. As far as we know, Usher’s still awesome, so I bang with him.

    • mssporadic

      I enjoy the old music on my own time, but I was baffled when he appeared on tv last night. I feel like no one is checking from him but BET. I’m pretty sure he did the same thing on the BET awards a few yrs ago.

      We can’t do anything about him paying for his crimes. He’s free to make records and tour. If people want to buy records and tickets that’s their business. However, he shouldn’t be on tv or at award shows anymore. Fade into the background, Kels.

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