So a little while ago, Buzzfeed released a report on R Kelly which alleged that he keeps a harem of women in his mansion as a sex cult. The women according to their parents are completely under his control, they’re not allowed to eat, leave or go anywhere without his express permission. Almost everyone knows that R Kelly is a complete skeeve and so my eyebrows went up when these parents all lamented that they thought any previous allegations were not really anything to worry about when it came to their own kids. Firstly, they were convinced by the act of his acquittal and secondly, that they would negate any potential risk because they were going to be careful. Um, hey guys? He’s a known sexual predator.
I was sort of surprised by the lack of impact of the article in any of my circles. This may be for a couple of reasons, one, no-one is surprised by it because R Kelly is R Kelly. It comes off as more of a dull thud than explosive impact when we already know that he has a history of creepy, controlling behaviour. Two, the women in this story are grown women. If the story is true, then yes, what he’s doing is terrible, but consent and responsibility for adults is a murky, gray line. And then lastly, he’s no longer that visible in the public radar anymore, when was the last time he released a song that wasn’t the Ignition remix? (Oh, I guess Lady GaGa “Do What You Want” but I’m going to pretend that never happened because what the hell, GaGa?)
In any case, R Kelly has had to cancel 4 out of 10 upcoming tour dates due to low ticket sales. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy. I wouldn’t necessarily put it to the article but it could just be a wonderful coincidence.
When I was walking in Harlem the other day, my guide stopped to look at the R Kelly concert poster. It actually halted her in her tracks and she said “Ooh, R Kelly!” and she went to study the dates. So you know, like the parents in the article, not everyone thinks that he’s a bad person until you’ve left your child with him and can’t retrieve them from his compound.