Surviving R-Kelly: Celebrity Reactions
Yet again, R-Kelly has been outed for his disgusting sexual assault habits towards adolescent girls. Mr. Step-In-The-Name-Of-Love might be stepping right into prison this time. Robert Kelly’s behaviour is nothing new and his child predatory allegations have circled around the industry and the public since December 2000.
In December 2000, the former music critic Jim DeRogatis released a story to Chicago Sun-Times stating that Kelly was having sex with teenage girls. The alleged girl was 15 at the time and the singer was 24. She was the young girl who was in his child pornography video, where he urinates on her whilst she’s naked. Even with the tape and evidence given, the judge ruled Kelly not guilty on all 14 counts.
Fast forward to July 2017, the “Sex Cult” allegations were brought up stating that the artist had several young women living with him. Interviews from a worried parent quickly went viral. This incident led to the “Mute R-Kelly” movement which was made in attempt to get the artist off of the stage and radios.
Now the six-part series of Surviving R-Kelly is airing on on Lifetime, and countless celebrities are starting to weigh in, so let’s recap.
1. Nick Cannon
Nick Cannon released four clips from his song Gigolo featuring Kelly with a statement of self-reflection and regret. Cannon confessed that, “…in my past i’ve DEFINITELY turned a blind eye to a lot of darkness in this industry.” He then said, “The entire industry was established and built by evil and predatorily spirits and male chauvinistic behaviour.” What I can respect about Cannon’s stance is that he did not act like this was something new.
2. Master P
Master P made a response video that caused a lot of controversy. Why? Not sure. He said that he did not agree with the way the parents of the victims handled the hostage situations. Simply stating that if it was him, he ,as a father, would lose his character and break down doors. Because when it comes to his children, he doesn’t play. How people inferred that he was blaming the victims for their circumstances is baffling. I completely agree with Master
P. Watching the couple last episodes of the series, I too was confused as to why some parents behaved the way they did.
Ebro is a walking contradiction. Last year Ebro held an interview with rapper Kodak Black where he questioned him about his sexual assault allegations. Many respected his efforts to hold Kodak accountable for his actions, but boy is he a flip flop. When it came to Kelly, Ebro said in a tweet, “Can you separate art from the person? It’s hard but I can.” He said he still watches The Cosby Show and listens to Michael Jackson and R-Kelly. If you can separate the art from the person, then you should have kept the same energy for Kodak Black. Don’t pick and choose when you want to be an activists.
4. Chance The Rapper
Chance admitted in an interview that he knew what Kelly was doing to young women but he “…didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women.” Later, he made a written apology saying his words were taken out of context… You said what you said. No one lied on you; the video shows that those words came out of your mouth. You have a black daughter. Please do better.
In the midst of preparing for the Millennoum Tour, Omarion weighed in on the situation with a series of tweets. “Many have bared witness to the unthinkable and yet have remains silent.” “#Rkelly was both a victim & a predator & accordingly must be held accountable but also get professional help.” He went further to say that B2K will not be performing any songs that Kelly wrote for them. These include: Bump, Bump, Bump, Girlfriend and What A Girl Wants.
I personally believe Lady Gaga’s response was performative and was more so to protect her brand. However, I am not taking anything away from what she said or her past experiences; the tone just did not sit right with me. Gaga acted as if Surviving R-Kelly was her first time hearing the allegations. In her IG post she said, “What I am hearing about the allegations against R-Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible.” Later in the post, Gaga promised to remove her duet with Kelly from streaming platforms, and she delivered. The Kelly collaboration has been removed from iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify.
In an interview, Future said that the Kelly thing was gaining too much attention. As a result, his streams were skyrocketing. Although I kind of agree, Kelly’s music being played more fully correlates to ignorance. Then Future exclaimed, “…behind the scenes things are gonna get done but stop giving negative attention, attention.” Kelly had a field of workers to protect him and help lure girls in. Some parents were were fully aware of what was going on and gave their daughters to him. There was no way this could have been resolved quietly because those that could potentially call him out and have bared witness to his shenanigans are accomplices. There is power in numbers, if you can scream your truth to the mountaintop, tell anyone that will hear!
8. Lord Jamar
In an interview with VLADTV, Lord Jamar had a lot to say! Jamar said he knew Kelly liked younger girls back in the 90s. For example, he knew someone who was talking to the artist. However, once she finally told him that she was in college, he never spoke to her again. Not because he didn’t want to catch a case, but because she wasn’t young enough.
Jamar also said, “We have to really examine ourselves as a society, that we can watch this man commit pedofilia on film and still give him a pass because his music is so f****** good…a lot of his hit songs were him telling on himself.” This wasn’t even the climatic point of the interview. Vlad himself piggybacked off that point and said in the song Bump ‘n’ Grind the old school mix (which is about sexing little girls) he says “show me some ID before I go knee deep.” Please let that sink in.
R-Kelly needs help. We have to stop pretending like he is being falsely accused. Please be sensitive towards the victims and stop blaming CHILDREN for acting like CHILDREN. Also, save the art and artist arguments because it’s void. For anyone that thinks it’s acceptable to go and support Kelly while chanting “take me hostage,” please reevaluate your life. That makes you look sickening.
For the influencers and celebrities weighing in on the situation, please be very careful with what you say. For the artists that are being quiet, affiliated or doing the same thing…find peace. We at LAPP do not condone anything Robert Kelly is doing or has done.
To the victims, stay strong, and seek help wherever and however you can. We are sorry you have to relive this, and we thank you for your strength.
Written by Tolu Martins