R. Kelly: reprehensible Man or Legendary Musician?

From musical legend to disgraced monster we take a look at the career and personal life of R. Kelly and ask, should his career be disgraced because of his criminal actions.

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R. Kelly has been in the news lately due to his recent conviction for racketeering and sex trafficking in federal court. This has caused a lot of debate on whether his unarguably legendary musical career should still be valid in our culture or does his personal actions justify the total wiping of his historical significance to R&B as a whole. Today we dive deep into those waters and see what pearls of knowledge we can pull out.

R. Kelly The Musician

R. Kelly
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Robert Kelly has had an illustrious career spanning 30+ years of hits, remixes, episodic urban operas, and of course songwriting accomplishments. He has helped launch careers and at times singlehandedly kept R&B alive. His standing as the king of R&B has never been challenged and arguably can’t be challenged. From smash hits like “I believe I can fly”, “When a womans’ fed up”, “Bump And Grind”, “Step in the name of love”, and of course his Career-defining masterpiece and what many believe to be his magnum opus, “Trapped In The Closet” Kelz has been making us dance since many of us were kids.

From the schoolyard to the cruise ships R. Kelly has touched every part of black culture from youth to old age. Even after the now infamous 2003 underage urination video Kelz has managed to maintain his status and love in the black community as well as the music industry. His respect as a musician is well deserved as he has racked up multiple grammys, tons of platinum records and projects, and millions if not billions of fans who grew up on and still listen to R. Kelly today; but there is another side of Robert we need to address and this is where the topic gets controversial.

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R. Kelly the monster

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 17: Singer R. Kelly turns to leave after appearing at a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on September 17, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Kelly is facing multiple sexual assault charges and is being held without bail. (Photo by Antonio Perez – Pool via Getty Images)

There is a dark side to the rise and success of singer R. kelly. His career has been marred with incident after incident of sexual misconduct towards minors as well as unsavory and as we eventually found out illegal actions of sex trafficking and racketeering. Starting from his days as a musical mentor and groomer for the then underage Aaliyah where it was revealed that he attempted to marry the 15-year-old singer after believing she was pregnant with his child. The controversy didn’t stop though, as in 2003/2004 he engaged in multiple recorded illicit sexual acts with a minor including a viral video of him urinating on one girl who was aged 13 at the time.

Majority of the industry swept it under the rug as rumor and innuendo even after the video in question made the rounds on the internet. Robert has not tried to particularly hide his sickening proclivities choosing to pay people off and settle out of court whenever there would arise allegations of child sexual abuse. another example of this being a decades long issue of a sick criminal and sexual deviant was the case of Tiffany Hawkins, a woman from Chicago, alleged that she had sex with Mr. Kelly in 1991, when she was 15 and he was 24, according to a lawsuit she filed five years after the encounter. The suit was later settled for $250,000.

These allegations and accusations eventually caught up to Mr. Kelly in 2019 after a damning expose called “surviving R. Kelly” aired and brought to light many things we have suspected but couldn’t openly prove and now as of writing Mr. Kelly is preparing to serve 30 years on federal sex trafficking charges, racketeering and sexual abuse of a minor and heading back to his hometown of Chicago to deal with more sexual abuse charges.

These actions are reprehensible and unforgivable but the question that has been making the rounds on social media which has the entire world divided is a simple one to ask but complicated to answer: Do we no longer give credit to his musical genius due to his sexual proclivities? Do we treat him like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, James Franco and others? Do we give him a musical pass and let the man and the music stay separate?

R. Kelly MAN, MONSTER, OR BOTH?

My simple answer to this is discredit him, treat him the way we treat other people in power who have been exposed in this manner and allow him to suffer not just in prison but through the destruction of his career and his livelihood. I do not condone the actions and believe he should not have any love or support for harming and damaging children as he has. One of the women he has abused said these words, “I was a very young girl, under-age girl, who had a lot of dreams and he cut my dreams short and abused me mentally, physically, emotionally, any way that you can imagine. I wanted to just live a normal life and try to heal, but it could take me a lifetime to heal. Just because he’s sentenced doesn’t mean it goes away for us.”

Thee are words of a human who was changed forever due to the actions of this man. I for one hope he rots in jail.

Where do you stand? Do you stand with R. Kelly? Do you think he should have his career stricken from history? Do you think it’s possible to separate the man from the monster? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts may make it to our social media.

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