It’s time to pull a Bill Cosby.
It’s time to call black people out publicly for the conversations we have privately at home, in barbershops and hair salons.
Indisputably, 90’s music was lit not only because black artists made music that sounded great, but black artists changed the landscape of relationships and black culture through music.
Destiny’s Child made you rethink relationship gender norms with Independent Women and Bills the same way TLC did with No Scrubs and Erykah Badu did with Tyrone.
Sisqo single handedly made it okay for black women to wear thongs and be shameless about our curves, inside and out of a thong.
If it weren’t for Sisqo, there would be no Tip Drill.
We can’t talk about 90’s music without mentioning Robert Kelly.
R. Kelly ruled the 90’s.
The self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R and B made you want to love, get freaky and go to church on the same album. He’s arguably the most talented singer since Marvin Gaye.
Let me be clear.
I hope on Judgement Day, God strips R. Kelly of all his penis skin with a million papercuts then treats it with rubbing alcohol and salt. I wish the same for any man that fixes his mouth to excuse Robert Kelly.
I don’t care about his music. Grammys. Writing ability. Fame. Or Fortune.
R. Kelly is a predator.
Before screenshots and viral sharing were a thing, R. Kelly managed to do then what Porn Hub struggles to do now; get people to pay for content.
Everyone rushed out to the local bootlegger for a copy of the tape. Everyone wanted to see if it was true.
And it was.
In 2008, he was found not guilty for what the world saw on tape in 2002 and every year in between.
R. Kelly was able to buy his way into a system for the wealthy, regardless of his color, just like Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby and OJ Simpson.
Fans are complicit, an accomplice to his fuckery.
Everyone saw the tapes.
After he was found innocent, he released “Heaven, I need a Hug” where he tells the media to do their jobs but “Please just don’t make my job so hard/Heaven I need a hug/Is there anybody out there willing to embrace a thug?” he crooned. That song charted, and he was forgiven.
You would think child rape would ruin a career but it didn’t. Jay-Z went on to record albums with him, twice.
R. Kelly won more Grammys.
He made more songs.
And we stepped in the name of love, for the culture.
The way we treat predators matter.
There is a message in this for girls and women everywhere.
America has a toxic pattern of disregarding female bodies.
Yet, here we are with R. Kelly’s latest headline of a sexual cult and fans excuse him, again. His lawyers say R. Kelly would never do something like this.
Ignoring the predatory behavior of powerful men is as unjust as it is dangerous.
This perversion transcends race. Look at Roman Polansky, Johnny Depp, Casey Affleck and Woody Allen. Bill Cosby admitted to giving women drugs but his image as America’s Dad trumped the women he was accused of illegally entering. Our own President admits to “grabbing women by the pussy” and he won the highest office in the United States of America.
If R. Kelly was held accountable for marrying Aaliyah, having sex and urinating on under aged girls, or abusing his ex-wife, there would be no story of women in an abusive sexual cult.
But we blamed Aaliyah for being young, we blamed the under aged girls for being loose, overdeveloped and non-virgins. We blamed his ex-wife for being loyal.
We blamed everyone and everything but R. Kelly.
He’s gotten worse and we can’t excuse his behavior anymore. The victims don’t know they are victims because every time he does something wrong, there is no accountability. He makes another album, a few million dollars more, wins another Grammy, donates more money and the media and fans worship him with every record sale and every concert ticket.
Mixed signals are confusing.
You have to question the pathology of a man who likens himself to the pied piper, a real historical character that lured children away from their families with the sound of music.
We don’t pay our musicians to be role models so it’s no wonder R. Kelly slithers through life unscathed by life choices that would otherwise make someone a registered sex offender.
R. Kelly will never be responsible for his actions. He’s the real life pied piper luring otherwise good people away from common sense with a God given writing talent and ability to play on a culture that doesn’t care about broken women and respect for female bodies.