Currently in the wild world of social media, the Number 1 topic of discussion R-Kelly is slowly dying down. The accusations of revolting, abusive and predatory behaviour against young girls and women that he has disgracefully gotten away with, despite clear evidence pointing against him over many years. This was addressed in a 6 part documentary and had the world going wild.
Before we get into the tea; let me just make this blatant. I DO NOT CONDONE THIS BEHAVIOUR IN ANY SHAPE OR FORM. All my opinions are my own and based on watching the documentary ‘Surviving R-Kelly’. If you haven’t watched it already and have clicked on this blog expecting a deep explanation into the allegations, this is not the place. Go and watch the documentary, but please do read on.
For as long as I can remember R-Kelly has had a major influence in my life from a young age. There are many songs that I can associate with different time periods and events that are all composed by ‘The king of RnB’. These are songs I probably wouldn’t have remembered otherwise due to my young age.
“If I could turn back the hands of time” – the untimely death of my uncle. “Happy people”- played at every family celebration I can remember and “When a womans fed up” – the Sunday kitchen sing alongs with the women in the family. These songs bring on a remembrance of emotions of how a circumstance had made me feel and snippets of conversations. From a young age I have always been mildly aware of the allegations that were made against R-Kelly, I even sang and knew every single lyric to the promiscuous songs such as “bump and grind” and “your bodies calling”, songs way before my time oblivious to the message.
Social media went wild, and there seemed to be so many questions that many couldn’t understand.
“Where were, these girls parents?”
“why didn’t they speak up sooner?”
“why didn’t he go jail?”
Secretly I must admit; even though it was evident that this man was old enough to be my father, I didn’t look at him in a fatherly way. Ive played his tunes many times to friends, commenting on how much I found him attractive, which more times than not was agreed upon. I could easily have been one of those girls sucked into a dream, sold in hope of something better. It could of been any of us.
Ok lets look at the bigger picture (this is me instructing you to get cosy).
First of all lets not beat around the bush and pretend the money and fame isn’t a factor, of course it is. A sense of security (Something R-kelly seemed to over exert), The idea of living a financially stable life, the fame and all the other exciting shit that comes with the ‘luxury life’ that this generation so desperately craves. So, Lets not be fake and pretend heads would not be spinning if a well known artist was showing you interest.
Anyway, the bastard (kmt) took advantage of, and manipulated many young black girls and women that came from poor, unstable backgrounds giving them a false perception of a ‘better life’.
Quickly – I really dont understand how the wife was completely oblivious about her husbands wrong doings but thats another story.
Clearly, there are many other causes for concern and issues among not only the music industry but the black community that need addressing. With allegations dating back to over 20 years ago, how on earth did he manage to get away with this? Despite being able to buy his way out, there were many other factors that allowed him to think and believe that he was untouchable.
But why did we as the black community continue to listen and support this guys career?
Did we feel as though he was another ‘targeted’ successful black man, we thought we needed to protect?
But the real question is.
Can we separate the artist from the allegations? –
This is something that can be understandably difficult when so many songs signify the events and lifestyle of someone that was clearly a predator.
I must admit, I played a song I have been playing for years in front of a friend, and she looked at me liked I had lost it. She told me to “turn this idiot off, we dont support him!”. Relunctly, I turned him off.
But get this – since the documentary has been aired R-kelly sales have rocketed. Is this a cause for concern ?
Are people simply able to separate Robert from R-kelly? or has curiosity got listeners trying to seek an understanding of who he is and how his behaviour was reflected in his music?
The positives of this documentary:
- It has shed a light on sexual abuse that is hidden within the black community.
- An understanding that not all predators are men and not all victims are female. (As R-kelly once expressed himself that he was a victim of sexual abuse from a young age).
- It’s gave an insight of the effects of sexual, physical and emotional abuse.
- Since the making of the documentary, other predators within the music industry have been called out.
Going forward, I do believe him and many others that helped him cover his crimes should face the consequences of their actions.
To my readers, feel free to share your opinion.
To my surviving/survivors that maybe or have suffered some form of abuse, please dont suffer in silence, here is a helpline.
Victim Support: 08081689111 (Mon- Fri: 8am to 8pm, Sat to Sun 24 hours service)
Lots of Love,