About that R. Kelly child abuse article and the complicity of the audience…


Ignorance is no defense, I’m well aware. But before yesterday, I really didn’t know the extent of R. Kelly’s crimes. I’d heard the rumors, the jokes, the Aaliyah situation, the tossed off “child predator” label. A week ago, I thought R. Kelly had a problem with statutory rape of a handful of teenage girls. I did not realize the extent of his crimes until everyone began writing about this very disturbing Village Voice piece – go here to read it. The piece is an interview with music journalist Jim DeRogatis, who spent 15 years tracking the accusations and stories of the dozens of young girls R. Kelly preyed on time and time again, sometimes abusing the girls for years before throwing them over for someone younger. I’m not going to excerpt from the piece because it’s really depressing and I think it’s worth it to go read the piece in its entirety.

I’ve written about Kelly a few times in the past month, and it was when I was covering his absolutely insane Guardian interview (where R. Kelly discussed how he was the victim of sexual abuse as a child too) that I prefaced the discussion with my mixed feelings about his past. At that point, I was ignorant to the extent of his crimes, as I said. I wrote: “Some people can separate his personal problems from his music and public persona. Can you? Can I? I don’t know.” I still have to ask – can we separate his music from his crimes? If I’m being completely honest about it… I’m capable of separating the artist from the art in other occasions. I not only saw Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, I recommended it to people. I went to see Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris and Blue Jasmine in the theater and I enjoyed them both. I also have some Michael Jackson songs on iPod. So, I’m knee-deep in denial and hypocrisies, I suppose.

But that’s what gets people into trouble, right? It’s not enough that we acknowledge that the lauded artist is actually a monster. We have to shun him, erase him, make him into a virus that infects other artists by mere proximity, right? Eh. I don’t believe that. Personally, I think “Benedict Cumberbatch performing a dramatic reading of R. Kelly lyrics” is a completely different situation then, say, Jodie Foster openly and repeatedly defending and praising Mel Gibson. Or is it the same thing? Is an acknowledgement and appreciation of a criminal’s art some kind of complicity of their horrible acts?

Anyway… we’re not going to solve this and there is no right answer. I think it’s the wrong move to cast about for secondary villains, claiming that Cumberbatch or fans or the music industry as a whole is to blame for one f—ked up man’s criminal acts.


Photos courtesy of WENN.


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182 Responses to “About that R. Kelly child abuse article and the complicity of the audience…”

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  1. dahlianoir says:

    We can’t separate his music from his actions, since he brags about the latter in his songs. Thank you for writing about that article, there’s another on buzzfeed which gave me the chills. I can’t believe massive popstars like Lady gaga associate themselves with that waste of oxygen.


    • Jill says:

      Very good article. Especially the last paragraph.

    • Cortney says:

      Agreed. Many artists who did horrible things didn’t glorify it in their art. This makes it easier for us to appreciate the art while remaining detached from the artist’s behavior. R. Kelly on the other hand glorifies his actions in his art, making it impossible to separate the two.

    • Lori says:

      Its the double standard or at least unclear standard that we hold these famous/celebrity criminals to that confuses me. Like……Charlie Sheen Vs. Mel Gibson? Not that much difference as far as rage goes…..but Charlie’s issues so often get laughed about, and he still gets to work. Paula Dean Vs. Joan Rivers. Both offensive old ladies……but one still has a job. And I have to admit that I’m not sure how we as consumers navigate the market place when people are tried in the court of public opinion. Now R. Kelly Vs. Chris Brown. I’ll grant you Chris Brown still has many fans but at least the press consistently talks about his crimes and issues……no one says much about R. Kelly’s truly disturbing past. And this is why I think Benedict C gets a pass. If he knew anything about it, it was just that he was tried and AQUITTED. If the major news outlets had be covering this story for what it actually is then I doubt that BC would have agreed to read the lyrics……and what’s more I don’t think Jimmy Kimmel would have even had him on the show.

      • Yup, Me says:


        One of the points that the article makes is that he was tried and acquitted for the child pr0nography charges. He has never been tried (and therefore never been acquitted) on the rape charges. Many of those have been settled as civil suits.

    • Asiyah says:

      “We can’t separate his music from his actions, since he brags about the latter in his songs.”


    • Yep says:

      “We can’t separate his music from his actions, since he brags about the latter in his songs.”


  2. Dorothy#1 says:

    I read it yesterday, needless to say I will not be supporting home in anyway.

  3. Theredone says:

    I can’t separate the artist from the art. The art is the artist, there is no seperation. He’s a pedophile. I don’t support Woody Allen, Michael Jackson, or Roman Polanski. I don’t care how talented and creative you are, if you abuse children in anyway you are on my sh!t list. You can’t bitch about someone’s crimes and then praise their talent. It’s the same with Chris Brown. You call for a boycott of his music because of the atrocities of his crime, is that only because we have photographic evidence, because we can physically see what he did?

    • DawnOfDagon says:

      Well, until rumours are proven to be the truth, that’s all they are, rumours. Innocent until proven guilty and whatnot. Whilst there are many who have committed atrocities of every nature, others have also been affected by unsubstantiated rumours, and that I have a problem with.

      • AG-UK says:

        He is not on my radar as I don’t follow him nor really buy his music and rumours are just that until proven.

      • Theredone says:

        I lived in Chicago during this time. I remember reading this is the paper. As for rumors until proven…read Jojann’s comment below. Also, did you even read the Village Voice piece?

      • Esti says:

        I’m always amazed when people act like the criminal justice system is a forum for absolute truth such that everything is “rumors” unless there’s been a criminal conviction. I bet you believe gossip items about a lot of celebrities and dislike some of them as a result; there wouldn’t be much reason to read sites like this otherwise. But somehow when it comes to a man preying on teenage girls, we shouldn’t discuss it without a criminal conviction?

        You don’t have to condemn every single celebrity who is accused of a crime. But when several dozen women say he raped them, there’s documented evidence of two underage rapes (Aaliyah and the girl in the video), and R Kelly doesn’t even deny these crimes when asked about it: well, at some point you’re not just being fair to the accused, you’re purposefully burying your head in the sand and allowing him to get away with raping young girls.

      • Dani2 says:

        @Esti thank you for bringing logic into this part of the thread.

        R Kelly’s court case ended in an acquittal. Who else’s court case ended in an acquittal? George Zimmerman. Would we then call him innocent? Heck no. The law, unfortunately does not always grant true justice.
        There is actual proof to suggest that R Kelly is indeed a pervert, it’s not just blind gossip.

      • DawnOfDagon says:

        My comment was meant as a generic remark, but I still stand by what I said: Evidence is very important. In all walks of life and sectors, reputations have been tarnished because of rumours and little to no evidence. This is even more important where extremely sensitive issues like child abuse are concerned, where assumption of guilt is very easy because it all appears to be so creepy and let’s just all blame the person because of course they are guilty. I don’t think anything is ever that b/w.
        I have not read the Village Voice piece, nor do I feel inclined to just because everybody is up in arms about it. I do not care for this artist, I am not saying he is innocent, he will continue to not be on my radar and I would not be be supporting him by buying his music / merch anyway.

      • doofus says:

        how many “rumors” do there have to be before you believe it?

        reminds me of Dave Chappelle’s skit on this, when he was testifying on R. Kelly. the gist was that, in order for him to believe the “peed on a 13 year old girl” rumors, he’d have to have been in the room when it happened with the girl in question holding an ID to prove her age and R. Kelly’s mother also in the room to verify that it was, in fact, R. Kelly doing the peeing.

      • Merritt says:

        Just rumors? Not quite. There are numerous tapes of him with underage girls. What you callously dismiss as rumors have gone far enough to warrant at least one trial. As well as numerous settlements. Acquittal does not equal innocence. And there is more than enough evidence to show that this man is a serial predator.

        Meanwhile if you are ever confused about what rape culture is, you have demonstrated it in your post.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @ DawnOfDagon

        They are not rumors, and they are certainly not unsubstantiated. Go read the article, and if you can still say that, shame on you.

      • Dani2 says:

        @DawnofDagon You’ve got internet access right? Why don’t you take five minutes and do some research on the evidence as pertains to R Kelly’s allegations. There is evidence.

      • JustJen says:

        So here’s the problem I have with that, Dawn. Aaliyah’s age and the date of their marriage are both matters of public record. I appreciate your moral indignation but please do not randomly afford R Kelly that courtesy. This is not a matter of rumor versus fact, it is out there for anyone who cares to look.

        There’s a lot of monsters out there. Can I separate the man from the art? In general, I think I can. But victimization of children and animals is kinda where I draw the line. The victims really don’t have a chance and it takes a special kind of monster to look into the eyes of innocence and pure love and beat or rape. That’s an evil I just can’t comprehend and I don’t want it anywhere near me.

      • DawnOfDagon says:

        People seem to have taken offence to what I wrote. Maybe what I said was too generic and should not have been posted on this particular artist’s thread. Again, I was commenting generically on part of another commenter’s post.
        If there is evidence, then so be it, my word is not law, but I am entitled an opinion on generic principles.
        I have not read, and now I don’t want to read anything about this whatsoever. It’s not burying my head in the sand when I couldn’t give a damn as to whoever this bloke is.

      • Esti says:


        It’s one thing to just not know about or follow an artist. It’s another to come into a post talking about his sexual abuse of young girls and say that it’s just rumors, and then get defensive when you’re called out and refuse to read anything about the subject. The fact that you admit to not knowing anything about R Kelly but still felt the need to post about how people shouldn’t judge him is… well, lets just say that it doesn’t seem like the rest of us are the ones having a knee-jerk reaction to sexual assault.

      • Marigold says:

        Rumors are rumors until a journalist gets a tape of him urinating in a 13 or 14 year old’s mouth. Then it’s not a rumor. When he pays out millions of dollars in settlements, it’s not a rumor anymore. Yes, innocent people pay off people to make situations go away. But they don’t often do that multiple times over.

      • Sugar says:

        You didn’t read the linked article, did you? They’re not “rumors”; they’re legal allegations from DOZENS of raped girls. How can you deny that sort of thing? That many families from the lower socioeconomic class aren’t going to make serious allegations against a millionaire unless there’s a reason.

        Anyway, shouldn’t we err on the side of giving the benefit of the doubt to dozens of girls claiming rape than one rich guy claiming he didn’t?

      • Grace says:

        look at this ID, a possible Cumberbitch

      • Delorb says:

        I saw the video. It was him. Secondly, its not the first time that something like this has come up. He basically throws around a bunch of money to make it all go away. The only reason it didn’t the last time was because there was evidence. The video. That some lawyer was brilliant enough to cast a reasonable doubt, doesn’t change the fact that it was him in that video.

      • nicegirl says:

        @dani2, ITA. Wasn’t Casey Anthony also acquitted? Or at least found not guilty? And OJ Simpson? The justice system does not ascertain truth.

      • Evi says:

        I agree with what you say, but I don’t agree on your list with regard to Polanski. If he was a pedophile, then he’d be attacking his own children, other children, there’d be a history. And if we are to scrutinise Polanski, then we have to also treat Jack Nicholson the same way for the crime happened at his house, as did other sordid events.
        As for Michael Jackson. We aren’t 100% sure if he was a pedophile. I personally doubt it, but no one will ever know and there is also the possibility he was blackmailed with regard to the out of court settlement he had to pay.
        Woody Allen, I’d have to agree, is a little creepy. Out of all the women in the world, he chose the adopted daughter to marry when he knew it would create a controversy, but I don’t class him as a pedophile [Didn't his relationship with Soong Yi commence much later?] and as for what his daughter says about being molested by him, who is to say that her uncle didn’t molest her [he has been convicted of pedophilia recently] or that one of her therapists didn’t implant false memories. It [false memories] has happened to many in the United States.

        A current example however is Ian Watkins, who has just been convicted and sentenced to 35 years for proven crimes against children -infants.

      • Evi says:

        How is it a rumour when there are affadavits? That is a legal record, not a rumour.

      • Bridgett says:

        There is VIDEO of R Kelly with a 14 year old girl. Not a rumor. Not unsubstantiated. He actually pees in the girl’s mouth.

      • TrendStone says:

        Well when there is visual evidence, like videos, I think that pretty much cancels out the possibility of it only being a rumor thing….

      • littlestar says:

        Read the article and the older articles immediately following it. There is plenty of evidence. There is VIDEOTAPES!!! One with a TV on in the background with shows playing where they can pin it to 1999, when the girl was 14 years old. How is that not evidence? How are the hundreds of girls who come forward saying they’ve been abused by him NOT evidence?

      • Meaghan says:

        You need to read the article. He married Aaliyah when she was 14 (15?) and lied on the paperwork saying she was 18 . There is video of it! Hes a known pedophile and it isn’t just rumours, its the dirty disgusting truth.

        I agree the art is the artist and they should not be rewarded for disgusting behaviour. Every time people go on about how amazing MJ is my stomach turns. Thats like somebody supporting Hitler because he was an amazing public speaker. You wouldn’t do it, so why is it okay to support pedophiles and rapists? To me its the same thing.

      • AMA1977 says:

        Read the article, please. These are not rumors. The source for this information is sworn testimony and evidence from a trial and several lawsuits. There is a big difference between legal allegations and “rumors.”

      • Erinn says:

        @Evi you have to be shitting me. ” If he was a pedophile, then he’d be attacking his own children, other children, there’d be a history. ”

        I can’t even begin to comment on how wrong this statement is.

      • Zwella Ingrid says:

        If you read the article you would know these are not rumors about Kelly. This is information from court documents. Please don’t comment if you can’t be bothered to read all the pertinent information.

      • Babalon says:

        R Kelly’s mess isn’t about the rumor mill. His crimes against minors were delineated in court. They’re allegations made under OATH.

        He was acquitted of child pornography charges because his teenage victim wouldn’t testify in court.

        Please stop writing this off as ‘rumor.’

      • BackstageBitchy says:

        As the Voice article points out, it’s not just rumors. It’s pages and pages of legal testimony that are part of the public record, available to anyone who cares to look them up. There is a difference between “rumor” and allegation. In these cases, there are disgusting, criminal acts, MANY of them, that were testified to in court and are part of the legal public record.

    • DawnOfDagon says:


      I do see where everybody is coming from, and sexual assault is no laughing matter, nor should it be dismissed as a passing thought. But like I said, this wasn’t about him or how people shouldn’t judge him – I never claimed to be aware of his specific situation / history – it was meant as a more generic comment and I realise this may have been misplaced, as in: incorrect thread to post.

  4. LadyMTL says:

    I’ve always had an issue with supporting people / artists who have done such horrible things. I personally can’t separate the music from the man, and I actively avoid those types and their products. Especially in a case like R. Kelly, where it looks like he’s been getting away with it for a long time…but do I think it’ll even make a dent in his career? Nope. And that, at the end of the day, is a very sad thing.

    • Dani2 says:

      I completely get what you mean, especially with a new album titled “Black Panties”, I can’t listen to it because in the back of my mind, I’m thinking that he had girls as young as thirteen in mind when he was singing. That’s why Gaga’s “Do What You Want” is so disturbing to me, aside from the fact that the song itself makes me uncomfortable. Did she HAVE to pick R Kelly? Of all the male vocalists she could’ve worked with, it had to be him.

      • Thinker says:

        Gaga inadvertently highlights something here, she considers herself to be a performance artist. What is she speaking about, and with whom, when she performs that piece with that man. It’s really insensitive, worse, it’s promoting criminal, reprehensible behavior, as if it is art.

        Some “artists” like Polanski, like Gibson, they stay behind the camera… But R.Kelly gets right in front of it, daring us all to look him in the eye. He’s performing his truth, and his truth is horrible, abusive, and degrading to young women. In fact, I think we should all be shaming him, and shaming Gaga. It’s not “prude” to have morals and to hold people and their art up to a moral standard.

      • Venus says:

        Dani2: Agreed 1000% about the Lady Gaga song. I think she intended it as some sort of empowering thing — you can do what you want to my body, but my mind is free — but having R Kelly talk about how he can do whatever he wants to her completely creeps me out. I have no idea how it actually gets played on the radio, and I had to turn off that televised performance of the two of them because it was making me sick. How is it that he gets a free pass, and that any female artist actually wants to duet with him?

    • T.fanty says:

      But we, as the consumer, have the power. The more of us that recognize that, the more of an impact we can make.

      • Kcaia says:

        That’s right, T.Fanty. And unless I see admittance and repentance and a lot of hard work to change, I draw the line of acceptance with child abusers. And this is from somebody whose entire childhood is like a big R.Kelly soundtrack. But he thoroughly disgusts me now. I could forgive his past but not when it’s still his present.

    • V4Real says:

      …and to think a few days ago people on this site were loving R. Kelly for his “I Got You Back” play with Cumberbatch. I didn’t comment on it but I already knew of Kelly’s past. There has been two recent post on C/B about R. Kelly; I was waiting for the ball to drop. He went to court for it and got off. He was married to Aaliyah when she was about 15 or 16. He preyed on teenage girls. There was even a video tape of him taken a piss on one of the teens. Where do you think Dave Chappelle got his skit from? The one where he is pretending to be R. Kelly and sings a song called I wanna piss on you. (Google it). R. Kelly is a predator or pedophile not Paul Walker.

      His ex-wife who is on the reality show Hollywood exes spoke briefly about how hard it was for her kids hearing all these rumors about their dad. I know some people believe that this is all it is, rumors but there was a tape. He had a damn good defense team that made that tape inadmissible in court. A lot of people saw it and they know what Kelly looks like.

      That being said I am guilty of still listening to some of his music but when was the last time Kelly had a hit. But Lady Gaga is not the only female to work with Kelly, she’s just the most recent.

      • tc says:

        Both R Kelly and Paul Walker were pedophiles. Walker giving money to charity and being nice to his fans does not excuse the fact that at thirty years old he had sex with a teenager. Walker fans absolving him of his predatory behavior because they liked his personality is just as bad Kelly fans absolving him because they like his music. It is hypocracy, and it should be called out.

      • V4Real says:

        Oh stop tc do you know what a pedophile is. It’s a person who continuously prey on pubescent children. Walker did not, and a 16 year old is hardly pubescent. Walker is known for only dating one 16 year old who he was still with until the day he died. Kelly preyed on many. Get over yourself.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        V4Real, I think your choice of the word “prey” is so important. R. Kelly didn’t just victimize children. He systematically hunted them by going to schools, working with choirs, and targeting them. He is a predator, pure and simple.

      • ToodySezHey says:

        word on the curb is the only reason the wife speaks so well of Kells of because of the massie payout she got in their divorce settlement.

        Also, if you follow HSK aka Jackie aka HollywoodStreetKing’s blind items, word on the curb is Kells is nearly broke from all the civil suit payouts, divorce settlement, and alimony/child suport.

        One can only hope black panties fails, maybe with a lack of money he wont be able to lure these girls.

  5. Frida_K says:

    Thank you for linking the article. I just finished it and have chills running up and down the back of my arms.


  6. JojoAnn says:

    Lets put it this way, R Kelly needed smart connected lawyers to pull the coup that he did. He also needed pay off money to make some of those parents (like the ones who went holidaying in the South of France). Then he needed industry clout to be able to intimidate the witnesses from his camp. If you are buying his music or recommending it to others you are very directly helping him to get away with it. That is all.

  7. Dani2 says:

    This man is a known pervert. That’s why I was so surprised by the positive response he got on here the other day. But as you said Kaiser, some people really don’t know the extent of what he has done.
    I’m glad his recent #AskRKelly thing backfired on twitter. He should know that people don’t forget things like what he’s done and that it’s not okay. Here are some of the gems from that tag:

    “Hey @rkelly is there such a thing as too young for you? And would that be age 5-6?” #AskRKelly

    “I got a cousins birthday coming up what are 7 year olds into now a days?” #AskRKelly

    “So @RKelly only answered 16 questions, the perv really cannot do anything above 18″ #AskRKelly

    • blue marie says:

      Yeah, the positive responses last week kind of pissed me off. I don’t know, maybe since I’ve known about it since I was a teenager I can’t quite grasp how others don’t know, it’s never been a huge secret. The dude is a gross perv.

      But like Kaiser, I’m knee deep in hypocrisies, just not this one.

      • QQ says:

        Ditto, here and Jezebel it was so gross Infuriating and hurtful i really couldnt coherently comment , which that quote in the article sums up nicely , no one gives a shit about a black girl… Jim is doing God’s work

      • Kcaia says:

        Qq, those same people don’t give a crap about anything that does not directly affect them, including me or you. God hears your cries; He feels your suffering. Don’t ever underestimate the power of karma. Those that cause suffering will pay for the effects of their deeds, no matter what their excuse of intention is. It will not be this way for long. I will say no more on this subject. I think you all already think (justifiably) that I’m crazy enough as is.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I’m sure there are people who know and don’t care, but you shouldn’t assume that’s always the case. In many cases there are people, like me, who aren’t into his music and just have a vague idea of who he is. I’ve never heard of him except on this site, so I didn’t realize any of this until today. It’s sickening, and I care very much.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        “Those that cause suffering will pay for the effects of their deeds, no matter what their excuse of intention is.” – Kcaia.

        These joyful evildoers create their own hell. Right now, I’m watching someone I know intimately die, and they are still furiously making excuses to themselves as fast as they can, thinking them up in a desperate attempt to outrun the Devil. These snakes know they are venomous and live in fear of even the remotest possibility of burning forever for their crimes. Even the ones that are convinced they are free of eternal Judgment still live in their self-created Hell of knowing they will be punished sooner or later, somehow, somewhere, but not knowing when the hammer will drop.

        This knowledge of the reckoning to come is their own personal pit, watching the pendulum descend every day of their lives. These monsters live in fear so much that they have to spend all their energy immersing themselves in their vices to keep the truth of themselves away from themselves, but the chickens always come home to roost.

        QQ, I draw comfort from that, and I hope you do too.

      • Lady D says:

        Right there with you GoodNames. Couldn’t pick out his picture in a group, and don’t listen to his music. If I may borrow your line, “It’s sickening, and I care very much. Now, what can I do about it? I don’t buy his music or support him in any way. What I can do, however, is educate others when his name is mentioned. That line about him peeing in a young girl’s mouth is sickening.
        Team Castration.

  8. Al says:

    He is accused of being a pedophile and he sings about his sexual exploits. That is disgusting, beyond disgusting. He is accused of raping CHILDREN.

  9. Sixer says:

    I think I can separate the artist from the art. I think also that there are arguable points about a work of art taking on a life of its own after it has left the artist. Art of all kinds is a two-way process so art’s meaning changes as it is watched, heard, seen, etc.

    Perhaps a better question is: can I separate the artist from the human being? This, I can’t really do.

    As for practical action – I think I agree with what Fanty said yesterday: that revolves around the money. I do try to avoid putting money in the pockets of people/companies I find repulsive or unacceptable. But that really has nothing to do with art specifically. I avoid companies I don’t approve of and I also avoid the work of artists I don’t approve of. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy wearing the sweatshop-produced dress I didn’t buy or enjoy listening to the R Kelly music I didn’t pay to download. (Not that I would pay to download R Kelly music since I don’t particularly like it. But if we pretend I do).

    • Sixer says:

      PS: Germane to this. What should I do with the Lostprophets albums I bought before anyone knew the horrible truth about Ian Watkins? Never listen to them again? Serious question. Is the music ruined now? Man, I don’t know.

      • Aysla says:

        That’s another sad thing. Ian Watkins is a disgusting man who deserves to rot away in jail for the rest of his life, but his bandmates had nothing to do with what he did. And their careers will take a hit from it, at least until they can get out of his shadow and the horrible things that have come to light about him. In the end, I don’t have an answer to your dilemma either. It hurts the heart to know there are so many predators in the business, where they are in positions to influence people and to cover up all the wrongs they commit.

      • Eva says:

        I don’t think I could listen to them, knowing how his fame and money from those albums helped him do those disgusting things, especially as he got the mothers, his fans involved. Vile POS.

      • OriginallyBlue says:

        Omg I did not know about any of this (Ian). That is so disgusting. There are absolutely no words to describe how I felt reading about him. I hope those “mothers” have lost their poor children.

      • layla says:

        More so… delete the album or throw it away and yes, never ever listen to it again. The things that man participated in are the worst kind of atrocities.
        For me, knowing what I know now… I could never ever be persuaded to support anything pertaining to monster.

        In regards to the other innocent band members… they were so traumatized by the revelations that they disbanded to regroup and in support of the victims. They too need to heal and perhaps one day come back together as another band. Listening to the LostProphets album doesn’t necessarily help them at this point.

      • Jayna says:

        Hell, yes. There is no blurred line here. The man was raping babies, freakin’ babies. or trying to, and touching that one-year-old, having mothers do things to their babies, setting it up for a long period of time, actively engaged in this, in contact continually with women to get to their babies, kid phonography, I could never listen to another song by them again because the crime is too horrific against young, innocent beings. It taints anything associated with that to such a degree that I could never listen to a song with his voice and get that visual out of my mind. He is a monster. The visual of those mothers agreeing to this and bringing their babies for the purpose of him raping them would never leave my mind when even hearing his name, much less listening to him sing.
        He is the singer of the band, not the guitarist, drummer. So his voice is the band, what you hear. I could never listen to this monster sing a song about love or anything without thinking about him wanting to rape a one-year-old.

    • Hyena says:

      @sixer agreed. It’s all about the Benjamins baby.

    • T.Fanty says:

      To your Watkins point (he’s getting sentenced today, btw) – this is whole “subjectivity of art” thing. Art is an instinctive experience, and I regularly find a song or movie tainted by the sudden realization that a lyric is moronic, the artist is a tool, or some similar superficiality. That’s just how it works, and that’s going to be different for everyone. Also, the self-consciousness of listening to music, say in public on my headphones, that might associate me with the artist is enough to deter me from wanting to listen, and the work slowly recedes from my (admittedly limited) attention span. Each person has their own personal line of what they can tolerate, and it’s linked to their capacity to disconnect, the quality of the art in play, as well as their own moral conscience. You have no idea how many of my students don’t bat an eyelid at the racism in Huckleberry Finn, because “that’s just how everyone was back then.” If they’re okay with it, then it isn’t my place to impose a moral objection on them. However, as I said yesterday, I can choose not to click on a link that gives airspace to someone I despise, nor do I have to pay money to endorse the art of an artist who morally revolts me, and that’s a right I fully choose to invoke.

    • Valois says:

      I loved their music so much.

      Talking about the other band members: I’ve read that fans used to speculate about his “taste” for years. He used to take 14-16-yr olds backstage and had sex with them. Not trying to imply something, but I have issues with believing the other band members knew nothing. (Not saying they knew what a monster he was.)

  10. MAC says:

    So, I’m knee-deep in denial and hypocrisies, I suppose.

    YES. Frankly I implied/said yesterday how is Charlie getting a paycheck? Who is watching him?
    The more media we have the more I have learned about certain “movie starts” the more I stop watching certain movies. I wish they would stop giving such personal tweets and interviews because there were many “artists” I enjoyed prior to them opening up their mouth. Now I skip an entire bunch of movies I would have previously enjoyed. (using movie artists as an example but I mean all artists. )

  11. Shannon1972 says:

    Oh my god, I had no idea. The man is an absolutely vile creature. I didn’t know anything about him and thought his “getting back” at Cumberbatch was cute and funny. Now I am disgusted with myself for even feeling that way. He’s a charming predator.

    When it comes to crimes such as these, no, I cannot separate the artist from the art. I refuse to support them with my wallet, which is pretty much all I can do. My skin is crawling.

  12. Esti says:

    I don’t think anyone is casting around for secondary villains. I think that they’re arguing that we all–fans, reporters and critics who write about his music without even mentioning the fact that it’s describing rapes he actually committed, celebrities who do joke bits about his lyrics like he’s just hilariously crude and not a rapist describing his rapes–all need to reexamine why we’ve been giving this guy a pass for so long. I’ve heard a thousand “R Kelly likes to pee on ladies” jokes or “R Kelly’s lyrics are really crude” jokes. Until yesterday, I’d read *nothing* serious about him being a sexual predator and rapist (I was too young at the time of his trial to really follow it, I just vaguely knew about the video but I don’t think I even knew the girl in it was 14.)

    Obviously R Kelly is at fault for his actions. But it’s not enough to stop there. The rest of us are also at fault for making what he’s done a joke or a non-story. That’s the only reason he’s been able to get away with it so long.

  13. Cazzee says:

    Thanks for this post. I read the article yesterday and am still thinking about it. The question of how to act in regards to an artist’s output in terms of their behavior is a very good one, and I don’t claim to have the definitive answer.

    Lainey’s comment is harsh but fair:

    “Cumberbatch is not a dumb man, and given his discomfort with the term “Cumberbitch” as being demeaning toward women and ‘not very feminist’, I think it’s reasonable to say that he is sensitive to women’s issues. He’s also not some young kid who can be pushed around—he’s thirty-seven. If he said to Kimmel, “Isn’t this guy kind of creepy? Can we maybe do a different song for this?” it would not be unreasonable or out of bounds, and Kimmel, who is a decent dude, wouldn’t have fussed about it. But no one stopped it. No one ever stops R. Kelly, and I’ve hit a point where I can’t excuse anyone for participating in anything that glorifies him in any way…This is just one more part of a larger issue that surrounds R. Kelly. But it does provide an entry point into this conversation. What is our responsibility to this issue, what can we do to better this situation? And does anyone get to be exempt from it, or do we all share in some modicum of the blame for letting R. Kelly continue on as he ever has done?”

    • Shannon1972 says:

      Perhaps he didn’t know the back story regarding R. Kelly. I didn’t…i was vaguely aware of some shadiness in his past, but was shocked by what I read today.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        Cumby doesn’t know!

        “Scotty Doesn’t Know’ song from ‘Eurotrip’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vyj1C8ogtE

        I had no idea R. Kelly was such an abusive piece of shit. Like Shannon1972, no way did I realize this asswipe’s capacity for evil, and it’s horrible our Cumby was used this way. I FULLY expect Cumbers will repudiate this walking slime SOON.

        If he doesn’t, my crush is crushed.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        Me neither–the only thing I’ve heard from R.Kelly was that he peed on a 15 year old girl–and that’s only because my older sister (she’s 26) told me. And she also told me he married Aaliyah when she was like 15–none of this other stuff. If you don’t pay attention to it, then I can get how you wouldn’t know. Especially if you’re not from the same country.

      • blue marie says:

        @ VC .. didn’t that strike you as odd though? Is that something a normal person would do? I just don’t understand how people don’t know when the information is so readily available, none of this has ever been hidden, ever.

        or it could be like QQ said, no one cares about the black girls. (fingers crossed that’s not the case but this lack of knowledge astounds me)

        Edit: I am in no way trying to be a butthead to you VC, you’re just the one I responded too..

      • Cazzee says:

        I think that may really be it – Cumby didn’t know about the details of the case, which are horrible. I didn’t know the details myself until I read that article yesterday.

      • Bridgett says:

        This is directed at all 3 commenters, not just the one I directly replied to:

        You DID know, though. You may not have known the full extent, but you knew that he’d preyed on at least 2 15 year olds (speaking of whitewashing, he was involved with them way before 15!), an age that is clearly unacceptable both legally and morally, to be with an adult man. Its like Ashton Kutcher getting ripped for tweeting his support of Joe Paterno: ignorance isnt an excuse when the info is all right out there.

      • Cazzee says:

        Since I don’t listen to R. Kelly’s music, and since I’m not from Chicago…no, I didn’t know about the extent of his predatory, exploitative, and criminal behavior.

        I knew that there had been a court case where he was acquitted, and that he had been briefly ‘married’ to a singer when she was 15. It was clear that this person was scum, but since I don’t listen to his music or follow that scene, that’s where it ended. I don’t even listen to it on the radio. I have never bought any of this person’s artistic output, I also don’t listen to or buy music from people that R. Kelly collaborates with, and there are only 24 hours in the day – so no, I didn’t spend time investigating it.

        Hopefully people who have been semi-aware of these issues but were still buying the music will give those behaviors a second thought. Maybe this is the cultural moment the tide turns about R. Kelly and how his crimes are perceived. We can only hope.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I didn’t know who this man was until I saw the thread on the Cumberbatch joke. Am I supposed to research the disgusting behavior of every person in the music industry that I’ve never heard of? Don’t blame people for not knowing about this – blame the police for not charging him with rape, blame the media for not caring about this story, blame our society for marginalizing young black women and girls, blame his fans who know about this and don’t care, but mostly put the blame on him for being a heartless predator.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        @blue marie
        Well yeah, I thought it was disgusting, but I didn’t think too much about it after that. I’ve never listened to his music or anything like that, so I was actually a little surprised that he was still around. In fact, the only time I’ve read about him was on this site.

        But I’m really not understanding how you get off of something like that. They had the tape—everyone knew it was him. So how did he not get any jail time?

    • T.Fanty says:

      Just weighing in on this: if anything, this is on Kimmel. His job is to satirize pop culture and current events. If he didn’t know, he has a team of researchers on hand. It shouldn’t have got to the point where Cumberbatch was presented with Kelly’s material.

  14. pretty says:

    i think the pedophile word is wrong in this situation. i can’t remember the word but like, there is a specific word for people who exclusively seek after pre-teen age victims..?

    pedophile is more like being attracted to much more younger victims like six seven eight years olds..

  15. Jill says:

    “A week ago, I thought R. Kelly had a problem with statutory rape of a handful of teenage girls. ” That was enough for me. I had a friend comment to me once that “these girls knew what they were doing” in relation to R. Kelly’s crimes. I just couldn’t with her after that.

  16. I Choose Me says:

    So happy you posted about this Kaiser. I already couldn’t stand the man but that Village Voice piece just highlighted for me what a true POS he is. I’m lucky that I don’t like his music either so for me there’s no issue of separating the artist from his crimes but I understand the internal conflict. And what about other artists who choose to work with someone who’s done reprehensible things, do we put them on the sh*t list too?

    I think what Sixer said upthread is pretty close to my own feelings on the matter but I need to think some more about this. This is serious food for thought.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Yeah…I’ve always felt uncomfortable with stuff like this. I haven’t read the Village Voice (kinda scared to) piece but I remember in college, my friend who had seen the R. Kelly video told me that he peed on a 14-year-old and I was completely sickened. At that point, I already owned Chocolate Factory and was listening to it constantly. The album was pretty much ruined for me after that because all I could think about when I heard his songs, was Kelly raping a minor. That was the only R. Kelly album I’ve ever owned.

      I really REALLY appreciate Kaiser’s honestly in this post-I feel the same way as she does, and I’m also well-aware of the hypocrisy and contradiction because yes, I would still see a Woody Allen film and I would still see a Polanski film and I would still go to a Picasso exhibit, even though I disagree with how all three artists behaved in their personal lives.

      That being said, I also think it’s a bit easier to separate if the artist in question works in a visually-oriented medium versus a musician, songwriter or a writer. I think that might be due to the fact that visual mediums are more immersive-at least to me. It’s easier to get lost in a movie and forget that the director is a monster, versus something like music or a book when you’re listening to a monster’s lyrics or reading his thoughts on paper..eh..maybe I’m just splitting hairs here..

      • Penny says:

        I think here it’s the thought that Kelly is very likely singing about the girls he raped. If his songs weren’t about sex, I think it would be easier to put distance between his actions in his personal life and the music he makes. If Bing Crosby had sung songs about beating and emotionally abusing his kids we wouldn’t be listening to White Christmas today, but because there was a wide gulf between the personal and the professional we look past it. With Kelly there’s no looking past it, the personal and professional collide.

      • I Choose Me says:

        ..eh..maybe I’m just splitting hairs here..

        Or perhaps you’re just trying to sort out your emotions on what is a complicated issue.

        I’m not an American but I always told myself that I’d never shop at Walmart because of their treatment of their employees and then I found myself in Miami the week of Thanksgiving, doing a late night run with my cousin to Walmart. They were the closest, therefore convenient and open so…

        My heart tells me I should shun/boycott any company or person who does harm to other people. To put my money where my mouth when it comes to standing up for my beliefs, then comes the but. But what if it’s a really good film, product or music? Can’t I appreciate the creation while despising the creator(s)?

        I don’t have an answer and I guess it just comes down to making a choice that you can live with while still acknowledging the wrong that was done.

  17. Kelly says:

    Michael wasn’t a pedophile though…

    • shady says:

      yes, he was. He slept one on one with several boys for over 1000 nights. That is documented in his 2005 trial by defense witnesses. He had NAMBLA approved and produced books of nude boys, he had a nude picture of a boy who was once his “special friend”, he had boatloads of hetero, homosexual and bondage pr0n laying around for his “friends” to find.

  18. Violeta says:

    I’m surprised by how many people didn’t know about R Kelly’s perverted ways. Then again I guess it’s different upbringing etc. He was already big back then and when it blew up with Aaliyah that’s when people started to pay attention and the child porn tape followed… ah well I guess it’s better late than never, and hopefully people MUST keep their eyes opened that regardless of his history in music, he’s a sick and perverted human being.

  19. mark says:

    It’s strange when people can separate the artist from the “art” (‘feeling on yo booty’ isn’t art) it’s not some of these just cheated on their they’re perverts and you can see how phoney most women and men are in Hollywood if they’re still willing to work with a couple of creeps like Woody Allen and Roman Polanski.

  20. Hyena says:

    For me, it’s not about separating the art from the artist- it’s about the fact that I don’t want to line the pockets of someone like that.

    I have seen Chinatown but nothing else of Polanskis. I refuse to have anything to do with Woody Allen and lose respect for those who do. I have been ignoring all promotion of black panties but won’t pretend I don’t have remix to ignition on my iPod.

    I love Michael Jackson and for a long time truly believed he was a child trapped in a man’s body and that leeches took advantage of this. Now that Wade Robertson has stepped forward, I am having trouble listening to his stuff. I honestly don’t know what to believe.

    I will never pay money to go towards any of these artists but will continue to own and watch things I already own. Does this leave a legacy? I’m not sure where to draw the line.

    • pwal says:

      Here’s is my feeling on this… no one is in the position to convince you one way or the other. I’m a MJ fan and happen to side-eye Wade, mainly because his actions seem to be about a money grab and less about justice, especially since he had two opportunities to ‘seek justice’ through the court system, two more times than the majority of sex abuse victims (including myself) get.

      As for R Kelly, never liked him, not so much for the derivative, misogynistic tone of his music, but it was just a feeling I had. I had that feeling about Chris Brown too, well before the Rihanna beating. Maybe it was because of how hard urban radio pushed them.

  21. But Why says:

    its just 1 FREAKING SENTENCE in this WHOLE INTERVIEW, that defines this all:

    ‘Nobody matters less to #oursociety than #YOUNG #blackwomen’ ..THE TRUTH!!
    And thats why he gets away with ishhhhhhhh, POWERFULL STATEMENT!
    I bow my head in shame.
    Dont know why, but i’ll do.

  22. Merritt says:

    “A week ago, I thought R. Kelly had a problem with statutory rape of a handful of teenage girls. ”

    To me that is serious. Statutory rape is a crime for a reason. People act like this alone is no big deal. It is a huge deal.

  23. saxamaphone says:

    So much I want to say, but it would just come out as word vomit.

    These types of people are very hard to hold accountable, because they are so respected within their field or community. People just don’t want to believe that someone they love/admire/respect could do such a thing.

    As someone who has gone through a similar situation, my heart goes out to the victims, who aren’t receiving any justice at this point, and are probably being cast as the villains by the many people that can’t believe them. Maybe someday we will all get justice.

  24. HK9 says:

    The man is predator, pure and simple. I for one am glad every time this story comes up because I think people need to be reminded exactly who he is. However, what I find just as disturbing, is that he’s being protected by the industry.

  25. Kellykat says:

    Thank you Kaiser for writing about this. I had already read it and it turned my stomach. This man is the Jerry Sandusky of hip hop. R. Kelly is a monster. He needs to be prosecuted repeatedly until they convict him and get him off the streets forever. He and his music should be shunned. My condolences to all of his victims, our society has failed you.

  26. Delorb says:

    As I said up thread, I’ve seen the video and its him. What Benedict or the audience has to do with this is beyond me. Benedict probably doesn’t know the extent of Kelly’s history. He’s living in England, and probably doesn’t listen to rap. I also don’t think the audience would know either. People get their tickets in advance and never know who will be there on the day in question. This should be about Kelly and only about Kelly. I mean, he’s the one in the video after all.

  27. Jayna says:

    I knew some of the details and forgot a lot, but never knew this extent. I will not be supporting him in any way. I had insomnia last night and read the Village Voice article and others. It made me sick.

    R. Kelly is a predator. He has a pattern and history of being a predator of underage girls and the money to keep doing it that can’t be ignored. The most disturbing thing is that a lot of his music reflects his perversion and he is making a fool of his audience. Aaliyah’s mother, when she says he ruined her daughter’s life, I listen to that mom. The sentence in that article that stays with me is “Nobody matters less to our society than young black women”.

    I liked Gaga’s song because R. Kelly was on it, but I will never listen to that song again.

    I know people can use the term he’s never been convicted. He got off. Since I work in the courts, I have seen child molesters get off quite often, when we know more that couldn’t get into evidence or the jury just takes the beyond a reasonable doubt charge to heart and think sometimes it’s a he said/he said or he said/she said type deal with young kids not being as believable as looking at a normal-looking man, who might be the pillar of the community, and not voting guilty. It’s a sick feeling when they get off, because you know they will do it again. When you read about dozens with R. Kelly and all kinds of settlements , that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg.

  28. Dani says:

    I never liked R.Kelly. I was around 6 or 7 when the allegations started to I didn’t really know what happened. But, growing up, I always just found him creepy. His music, his behavior, even the look in his eyes. He just creeped me out. I don’t understand why he still has a place in the music industry. He’s a despicable person. Every single one of his songs is a play on something he did. One of his songs even glorifies how he peed in a girls mouth (the words are something like ‘imma piss on you’).

    You CAN separate the artist from the art, just like Led Zeppelin (sexual abuse of a minor) and James Brown (beating his wife) didn’t mention their crimes in a single song so it was easier to listen to because it didn’t remind you every day what sick people they are. Where as R.Kelly used it to his advantage like he was proud of what he did, and people still supported him, which is beyond me. I can’t personally separate the music from the artist, regardless of the musician or how petty what they did was. I don’t support Christ Brown, I don’t listen to Led Zeppelin, I don’t watch Roman Polanski or Woody Allen films.

    I don’t know how much I agree with ‘society cares less about black women’ because while yes, there are a million and one brilliant, caring, accomplished colored women, for each one of them there is one girl who calls herself a ‘bad bitch’ and a ‘trick’ and talks about how ‘turnt up’ she is etc etc, and those are the girls who make it impossible for people to care (in general) and they’re the ones who make not just colored women, but women in general, look bad and unworthy of respect and equality. White women are guilty of making other white women look bad as well, and there are tons and tons of trashy white women around throwing themselves at basketball players, sleeping with underage students etc, which just degrades women as a whole. I think society cares less about women in general, not based on the color of our skin, because some of us don’t have respect for ourselves and don’t think about how our actions will effect other women who work their ass off and strive to get further every day.

    • Jayna says:

      Really? He picks young black girls from a lower income background because he can get away with it easier or he can intimindate and buy himself out of it. I dont’ fool myself, that if all of these victims were white that there would have been more coverage.

      Look at when young girls are going missing, abducted. I’m talking little six-year-old girls missing or dead like JonBennet Ramsey. It has been written about in articles and the media called to task time and time again. The cute little blonde girls are covered extensively. A little black girl abuducted from a poor or lower middle-class neighborhood, guess what? Covered for about a nanosecond. It’s racism at its finest and is going strong. That statment has so much truth to it that it’s hard to ignore when reading the article, and it was nobody matters less to our society than “young” black women, not black women.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      “I don’t know how much I agree with ‘society cares less about black women’ because while yes, there are a million and one brilliant, caring, accomplished colored women, for each one of them there is one girl who calls herself a ‘bad bitch’ and a ‘trick’ and talks about how ‘turnt up’ she is etc etc, and those are the girls who make it impossible for people to care (in general) and they’re the ones who make not just colored women, but women in general, look bad and unworthy of respect and equality. ”

      There’s a lot wrong with this statement. A lot.
      But I’ll just say this: if someone judges an entire race (or gender) based on what one person says, then that’s on them. One young black female’s comment should not define an entire group of people and I don’t believe it does, unless you’re just a complete bigot.

    • Asiyah says:

      “I don’t know how much I agree with ‘society cares less about black women’ because while yes, there are a million and one brilliant, caring, accomplished colored women, for each one of them there is one girl who calls herself a ‘bad bitch’ and a ‘trick’ and talks about how ‘turnt up’ she is etc etc, and those are the girls who make it impossible for people to care (in general) and they’re the ones who make not just colored women, but women in general, look bad and unworthy of respect and equality.”

      This statement is truly abhorrent. Seriously. So because you have a few women referring to themselves as “bad b*tch” and “tr*ck,” we still shouldn’t care about them? We still shouldn’t respect them and treat them well? COME ON!

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Oh my God, did you just say “colored” women? And are you saying that women aren’t treated with respect in our society because they don’t deserve to be? Because some of them say and do things you don’t approve of? And that black women are marginalized because some of them refer to themselves in derogatory ways?

      I’m speechless. Your statement has to be one of the most ignorant, offensive things I’ve ever read. I don’t even know where to start. Are you from this planet? This century?

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      ITA Jayna, TOK, Asiyah, and GoodNamesAllTaken!

      “I don’t know much about how society cares less for white girls, because while yes there a million and one brilliant, etc….honky women, for each 1 of them is a girl who wears JUICY on her butt, talks about hooking up all the time, laughingly calls herself and her friends ‘bitch’, ‘slut’, and ‘whore’, and how she’s the HOTTEST of the Hottersons, etc. etc., and those are the girls who make it impossible for people to care (in general) and they’re the ones who make not just chalky women, but women in general, look bad and unworthy of respect and equality.”

      See how that works? You’ve managed the neat hat trick of demonstrating intersectionality. Combining victim blaming, slut shaming, and racism all in one paragraph is how all these really wrong things tend to come together in the same bigoted package.

      Dani, you, girl, are a piece of work.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Sloane, I love reading your comments and I’m glad you TOK, GoodNamesAllTaken, Asiyah and Amahle below, blasted Dani’s mind-numbingly ignorant statement above. My eyes were crossing, I was so taken aback by what she wrote and I doubt I could have responded so articulately as you all have.

    • Amahle says:

      Oh wow. There are so many things wrong with your thought process that I do not even know where to begin. So according to you the black woman who refers to herself as a “bad bitch” or as a “trick” or says that she is “turnt up” is not worthy of and does not deserve to be respected. I actually had to re-read your comment several times because my brain did not want to comprehend what was on the screen. This has to be one of the most asinine, vituperative not to mention completely xenophobic and racist things I have ever read. Your mode of thinking is utterly ridiculous! Are you mad? Did you consume some type of convenience store egg salad sandwich and its contents are eating holes in your gray matter?

  29. flavia_deluce says:

    ” I think it’s the wrong move to cast about for secondary villains, claiming that Cumberbatch or fans or the music industry as a whole is to blame for one f—ked up man’s criminal acts.”

    I honestly didn’t know a lot about R. Kelly before this week, and when he was on Kimmell and Cumberbatch was messing around with his lyrics, I thought, “Oh, I thought R. Kelly was in the doghouse for something? I guess not.” I wasn’t fully informed and I took Cumby’s reading as an endorsement. Since then, I know more about it, but some people might have stopped at Kimmell/Cumby’s endorsement and I think that’s where the problem is. If you’re in the public eye, you have got to be careful about who you associate with.

    In my mind someone like Lady Gaga who collaborated and worked with Kelly is much deeper in the wrong than Cumby or a casual fan of the music, but for me the bottom line is, once you have the knowledge, you can’t ignore it. You have to act on it–support the person despite their behavior/crimes or choose not to support them. In this case, I hope that Cumby wasn’t willfully ignoring information that he had, but I think he was in a better position than most to have the relevant info (he does have a team of people looking out for him), so I do think he’s a little in the wrong.

    • Penny says:

      How is it an endorsement, the point of these things is to mock. When Michael Shannon did a dramatic reading of that crazy sorority girls letter no one thought he was endorsing her craziness. When Gary Oldman did a dramatic reading of the synopsis of an episode of Jersey Shore, no one thought he was saying Jersey Shore was a great show.

      • flavia_deluce says:

        Point taken… Maybe saying he was endorsing the album is overstating it, but to me what Cumberbatch did didn’t really come off as mocking. He was reading sexy lyrics in a sexy way with a huge poster of the album art as the backdrop and R Kelly was on the show that night promoting his album. I don’t think it seemed like BC was shilling for R Kelly necessarily, but he definitely wasn’t pointing out anything funny or wrong about Kelly’s lyrics, like in your examples.

      • Merritt says:


        Some crazy sorority letter and the Jersey Shore are a far cry from R. Kelly. Even if Cumberbatch didn’t know, I have a hard time believing Kimmel didn’t.

  30. Al says:

    I thought the point of the original Village Voice article is that the public doesn’t know about or know the extent of the accusations about Kelly because they are not reported on or they are airbrushed to seem not as bad as they were.
    That a record company continually releases sexually themed music from a child molester gives the public the impression that he didn’t do anything wrong. That he is not a child molester.
    Lady Gaga preforming a sexual simulation at a nationally televised awards show indicates that it’s all ok.
    Headlining the Pitchfork festival is particularly offensive because Pitchfork Media is “devoted” to music criticism and commentary, music news, and artist interview.
    Criticism, commentary, music NEWS, this all denotes journalism.
    They have no integrity.

    • Jayna says:

      Yes. And where do you draw the line, like the article says, because we have a lot of artists in different mediums who have done and continue to do bad things. I struggle with and all of us struggle with that. I cant’ tell anyone else who or what to listen to or view their movies or watch their TV shows, read their books. It is an individual decision and ultimately we are probably all hypocrites because we shun this, but don’t shun that.

      R. Kelly’s situation is a line in the sand for me because I can’t support someone who has a pattern of abusing young underage girls and that his music reflects a lot of his perversion. I think before, when I thought it was the one time and he got off, you go, well, we don’t know for sure, etc. But I can’t ignore everything I read in that article. I can’t support a sexual predator of young underage girls that is too huge a number to ignore and that a lot of his music is a reflection of that to me now and hard to separate.

    • Al says:

      “a lot of his music is a reflection of that to me now and hard to separate.”

  31. Kas says:

    You are bending over backwards to give this man a pass, while somehow being crystal clear on the sins of the Duck Dynasty crowd (aka: not the cool kids).
    The man is a pedophile. He has not stopped, he has gotten better at hiding his activities.
    Every person that performs with him should be ashamed.

  32. TeresaGiudice says:

    How is this guy not in jail? How is that possible?

    • Jayna says:

      Plenty of child molestors, young teen molesters are not in jail. The stories I could tell of men that get off in court, or even a few pro sports players where the cases were sealed and sued civilly. I once was in the courtroom on a case where the boys were all ten to twelve, white lower income families. A celebrity in our town in the entertainment industry, respected, befriended a boy who came from a broken home. He would do things for the family and in effect grooming the mother. He then eventually started having the boy for sleepovers where he would take him to something that he boy loved. It sounds like you should know, but his involement into this family’s life was very gradual and insidiuous. The struggling, uneducated, single mother really looked up to him and believe he cared about her son and them. He bought them presents, things she needed. He groomed him and then one day struck. He performed fellatio on the boy and gradually moved from there as time went on. The boy adored him and that’s how he got him to participate. What is worse he sent him over to a friend’s house one day to mow the lawn and make money. It was a setup and he was passing the boy around to friends. There were photos of this kid out by the pool with all these older men. It was gross. He then got the kid to bring a friend over and he started grooming the friend, but it was only in the beginning stages so nothing had happened. The only reason this case came to light was the photos of all of these forty-year-old to fifty-year-old hanging around a pool (in swim shorts) and this young prebuscent boy naked on the diving board getting ready to dive alarmed the guy at that photo lab and he called the police.

      In the trial what was so sad was this boy didn’t want to testify. He still looked up to this man as a father figure and was so confused and felt like he was sending his father to jail which is ultimately what hurt the case and certain important pieces of evidence were kept out. Because he was famous in our town and the jury just didn’t want to believe this handsome, affluent white man who had done so much for the community could be this evil monster on the inside, he got off. Off to find his next victim I’m sure.

  33. Lindy79 says:

    I genuinely had no idea the extent of this mans crimes until I read the attached Village Voice article.


  34. Bridgett says:

    So you wamt to know how to separate the ”art” for the artist? If you’re not completely put off by the fact that the subjects of all of thise sexy songs is a very underage girl, remember this: R Kelly is still preying on young girls because of his money, and the power that his money and fame gives him. It allows him to pay off accusers, hire fancy lawyers, and intimiate his victims and helps make law enforcement look the other way. So when you’re helping to promote him, buying his albums, singles, concert tickets, watching his videos, and contributing to his positive press, you are actively helping him make money, which is what continues his cycle of preying on young girls. It makes you complicit.

  35. Zorbitor says:

    Elvis liked to watch girls pee through a hole in his bathroom wall

  36. lunchcoma says:

    This is such a complicated subject. I’m still trying to puzzle out my own sense of ethics here, and my current stance involves a mishmash of considerations like the severity of the conduct, whether the artist’s poisonous actions and beliefs are reflected in the art, and yes, the extent to which I enjoy and care about the art. I’ll admit that this was easier for me before I read the biography of one of my favorite writers could be a creepy stalker.

    I do think that there’s a space in between boycotting everything made by someone who offends us and promoting the works of people who have behaved abominably. Other performers can choose not to collaborate or cross-promote with someone. Consumers can enjoy the products without going to the point of stanning over them, or while being realistic about who the creator is.

  37. Jayna says:

    Gaga just finished shooting her Do What You Want To My Body music video with R. Kelly, with Terry Richardson directing it, and you just know it’s going to be raunchy. I wonder what the reaction is going to be coming out now, or if they will delay it for a little bit.

    Gaga has alluded to being used by powerful men in the business sexually when she was younger and first trying to get in the business (not underage) and how it had screwed her up to the point she didn’t even like sex for a long time and I can’t remember, but maybe alluded to being raped, and yet she associates herself with these types of men. A psychiatrist would have a field day with her.

  38. Kcaia says:

    Good Names, I don’t mean that directed towards anyone that likes or supports R.kelly, or even anyone that does not dislike him. I couldn’t judge somebody’s person on something so trivial as that. But there are many people who may seem so nice and understanding even, but it may ultimately benefit them to appear that way. I don’t like to get into this, but some of you seem so nicely innocent and may not fully understand the illusions…Well, one side of my family (well, most of them) is full of people like that, that appear totally nice, forgiving, accepting. Outwardly they’re accepting and understanding, and they are not “bad” people necessarily, but they have always had a somewhat narcissistic approach to life. They were born wealthy and think their name and blood makes them above others, and that way of thinking has been ingrained in them since birth. I know, because I am half a part of them, but I choose not to be that way, and they hate me now for knowing it and disagreeing with it, although it has never been something openly discussed. They have their excuses, for everything. Personally, I’ve been disinherited for…having kids out of wedlock? By the same man I’ve been with for years… My cousins have had abortions, that is okay, as long as it remains secret and doesn’t disgrace the family(devout catholics, supposedly). I don’t know what they tell themselves anymore as an excuse, it doesn’t matter. It is not something I earned, and hating them back is just the easy way. But even for them, it’s nothing but choices and an ignorant way of thinking…nothing is set in stone when it comes to our futures.
    Sloane, ITA, but as much as we want to, we cannot take pleasure in their suffering. I’m not saying you are, but I know from experience that when you’ve suffered for so long to do what you believe is right, and the karma of those that intentionally hurt you and/or others finally reach the results of their actions, it can be hard NOT to feel vindicated by their pain, and that may even be our initial instinct…but that makes us no better then them even. It is not hard to empathize with others when you choose to. Our technology is evolving faster than our consciousness, and what good can come out of that? We have to rise above it together as a species. We are becoming much too comfortable in the darkness. We are all guilty of turning our backs to the light. But I am so pleased to know I’m not the only one that feels this way.

    • Sloane Wyatt says:

      Thank you, Kcaia, for sharing your story. I also appreciate your kind and thoughtful words.

      I know it might be hard to see in my post, but I’m not taking any pleasure in their suffering. The feelings I do have are mixed. I feel such sadness for an individual who had a banquet laid before them and instead chose a steady diet of malevolence and depravity. There’s also a weird sense of exhilarated relief that soon this person will not be able to hurt anyone again. Mostly though, I feel empathy and gratitude, so I sit and observe quietly, offering a comforting word when needed.

      Soon this person’s blight will permanently wither, and I’ll still be here, so very thankful for a life of love and abundance that this individual never had. Lastly, I’m very sad to go through their agitated death with them, seeing their pain and anguish and deep denial, wishing they could find truth and freedom in their last moments, but knowing full well they’ll keep choosing otherwise right up until the end. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone; not even those who bring it on themselves like R. Kelly.

      I feel very strongly when I encounter someone feeling their tormentor will never face consequences for their actions, so I hoped to offer some comfort. I’m at peace with knowing that what we put out we get back in return, and from what I’ve observed, cause & effect visits everyone.

      • Kcaia says:

        I figured you didn’t mean it like that, but felt it should still be said for anyone else’s sake. Because it’s completely true and a comforting thought to know sometimes, that those that do wrong to others will not be rewarded, because often it seems like they are. And when we are impatient to wait for the effects of karma, or don’t see how they already exist, we’re tempted to seek vengeance for ourselves. I feel like if you step in the way of anothers’ karma, not only will you get hit by it, but you may shield them from it’s force. And our vengeance has nothing on the power of the universe’s. But although it’s okay to allow karma to work it’s magic, we can’t rejoice in it, even if it is our first initial response, to feel justified by it. If we could follow this, at least the majority of us, I think the world could be a much happier place for everyone. We could have peace even in our hardest times, but it’d mean nothing to take pleasure in anothers’ pain, even if we allow karma to cause it. You and me and whoever else may know this already, but not nearly enough people accept it as true. When we look at someone like R.kelly, it’s easy to get angry and feel like he has way more power, money and respect than he “deserves”, but I can assure anyone that inside he’s a mess. Happiness and pleasure too often get confused. Pleasure is used to fill a void where happiness does not exist, but it can never truly fill it. It’s a temporary fix to a serious emptiness, and the more it’s falsely filled, the bigger the emptiness gets. Some of us get it, some don’t. That’s only because we have our own voids that we feel could be filled if we just had more of this or more of that, but as some get to learn, money, power and lots of sex will never equal or create happiness. It must already exist, and if it did, those things would be meaningless.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Kcaia, I’m so sorry, I only now saw your post. I see now what you were saying. I just didn’t want you, or QQ to feel hurt by the positive response to the Cumberbatch/ joke story. I wanted you to know that many people, including me, didn’t know about all of this at the time. If we had, our reactions would have been very different.

      I’m sorry that some of your family members have hurt you. They are missing out by failing to see what a treasure they have in you.

      • Kcaia says:

        Thanks, Good Names…your comment brought tears to my eyes, but not in a bad way. As far as my family, you’d think they would have learned by now…I just recently learned that my grandmother had a sister that fell in love with the chauffeur (yes, that kind of wealth, although it’s dissipated through the years). When her father forbade them to see each other, she killed herself. I also have an aunt who is the most loving and accepting christian woman you could ever meet. She used to go to the prisons to minister the gospel, and she fell in love with a black man prisoner who was a born again christian, married him and had three children with him. She was disowned for this for some time, and it’s easy to say they did this because of the circumstances with which they met and not the color of his skin, but then the rest would not have happened…apparently her husband got back into drugs, and was murdered when his youngest was 11 days old. My aunt lived for years in poverty, struggling and working her ass off to feed her kids, and raising them in the hood. Eventually, after my uncles death, the family started talking to her again, but my mixed cousins were treated like the dirty family secret for years, and their relationship with their daughter did not extend to helping relieve her financial struggles. My cousins pictures were never hung on the walls with the other grandchildren’s, and I’ll never forget the time I complained to my cousin about grandma always wanting to take me to see some old movies, and she said, “I wish grandma ever wanted to take me to the movies.” I was young and I didn’t realize until then that they were treated differently. Buy my aunt raised her kids well, eventually bought a house and dug herself out of poverty. She never even dated another man…her life was all about her kids. They lived in rough neighborhoods and went to rough schools, all their lives. They were never accepted until they were adults, until they all graduated college and made something of themselves, until it became acceptable, even trendy, to have mixed races in a rich family. I used to feel like the problems I used to have, the hate I carried for my family, was a result of karma they earned for mistreating and judging others. Because I was not the first grandchild, but I was treated as such because I was the first white one. They wanted to be right in the end, and wouldn’t forgive my aunt until they felt justified by her suffering. But maybe if my uncle had been accepted and not rejected by his wife’s family in the first place, maybe he would never have picked the drugs back up in the first place. Maybe my aunt never would have had to suffer the way she did for so long, nor would my cousins. But I don’t see much change in my family at all. While it’s ok for my mixed cousins, my family went ballistic when they found out I was dating a black man, years ago, that had an education and no criminal background. And I don’t regret where I stand in my life. I do not want to be like them, even if it would make my life easier in other ways. Some of my cousins are just the same, to them nothing is more important then money and status and reputation, and I really fear that their children will go through what I went through, rebelling because what they see is wrong and they don’t understand it. Because, you see, there’s been one of us each generation so far, and I feel it will continue until the lesson is finally learned.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        Kcaia, you’re amazing.

        At a tender age, you were given the gift of knowing that all that glitters is not gold. You may be the one drop in the ocean of your family’s racism and mammon worship, but that’s one drop less in the ocean nevertheless!

        When the World and everyone around you says ‘let it go’ and ‘get over it’, your discernment has convicted you to speak the truth to every lie you hear. You’ve been given a tough road to hoe, especially when so many folks are asleep at the wheel and happily enjoying their privilege dream. You are the ‘hand that dares seize the fire’. *

        Take heart, there are more and more of us every day who take on the Good Fight, and others will lift you up when you are weary.

        * http://poetry.rapgenius.com/William-blake-the-tyger-lyrics#note-46857

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Kcaia, you are a remarkable person. Sometimes that’s the hardest kind of person to be. I admire you very much. God bless you.

        P.s. You should write a book. Seriously. I think you could do this story justice.

  39. karolina says:

    I was aware of his pedophile tendencies for over 10 years and I saw this video also around 12 years ago. I am from Austria, Europe. How can it be that this is not news to me whatsoever but for most you people it is? I am genuinely shocked. I also didn’t know that he was still successfull after this scandal. For me he was a piece of shit since then an completely off my radar.

  40. kcarp says:

    I had no idea. Granted I couldn’t name an R. Kelly guy. I just thought he was that guy who had a young gf and got into trouble. I was thinking he was like 18 or 20 and she was 16 or something.

    WOW!! And on video too!

  41. gg says:

    I have been waiting and waiting and seeing this guy on awards shows and with Jamie Fox and thought when in hell is somebody gonna call him out??? It was like Chris Brown. Thank god.

  42. Ai says:

    I heard rumors back in the day but didn’t realize he was a full blown child sex offender. Ugh, I just purchased Gaga’s album a while back and I will not be able to listen to that track with him anymore. Gonna just erase it off the iTunes. I will not be supporting him in any shape and form from now on; like I don’t watch or buy any Roman Polanski movies.

    How does the industry continue to support these criminals?!? Same goes to Terry Richardson.

  43. SunnySide says:

    I had no idea. I will not be listening to any of his music or supporting him in any way. I doubt it will make a huge difference as I have never listened to his music, but I will spread the word. If there is a way to help these women and publicize this issue I will help in any way I can. Please God, grant these women peace. And get him punished. He deserves a cell and a cell only.

  44. Blackbetty says:

    I had no idea. Never listened to his music, don’t follow rap, really don’t know anything about him. How did he get away with it so long? If so many people know, why wasn’t this a huge media thing before? Why did the recording companies publish his songs?