December 18, 2013 by gabnormal
By now everyone knows about the R. Kelly tape where he peed in a girls mouth, but what most people don’t know about are the numerous, as in dozens and dozens, of allegations of rape against the R&B singer.
This article from The Village Voice details the charges against Kelly and makes note of the fact that he hasn’t been taken to court for rape, but instead was on trial for child pornography charges. That still leaves us saying, “what the fuck,” due to the nature of his charges (that he was entirely acquitted of, thanks justice system!) but the man (or monster) should be held accountable for ALL of his alleged crimes.
Instead of being taken to court, Kelly has been made into an R&B deity, a Chicago legend that the city can hold up as it’s pride and glory, one of the few who really made it to the top. While dozens of girls lives are ruined, according to the interview with journalist Jim DeRogatis who has done the research and knocked on too many doors to get the answers surrounding Kelly’s actions.
Even our beloved Jezebel has honored Kelly (for shame!) for his new album, Black Panties, which they called “magnificent ode to pussy.” (After reading the DeRogatis interview, that album title went from creepy and weird to giving us chills). Read the article in the Village Voice and his “ode” suddenly doesn’t sound as smooth as it did at first.
Let’s not forget to mention his performance with Lady Gaga at the American Music Awards. She literally crooned to him to do what he wants with her body. Anybody else find that performance disgusting now?
We’re left to wonder, why? Why haven’t more news sources picked this up? Why do huge music publications like Pitchfork continue to glorify a rapist? Why do even feminist publications continue to honor the music made by someone who exemplifies everything they’re against?
We have a feeling that most of this comes down to money, and secondly, pride. First, Kelly is a huge source of news. If he goes to jail, there’s nothing left to report on. When there’s nothing left to report on, you lose readership and consequently lose money, and what publication can afford to lose money, especially with the state of journalism these days? Secondly, Kelly has been a pillar in the R&B community and a shining star out of Chicago. No one will call attention to his transgressions because no one wants to admit it.
There is also the question of whether or not liking an artists music means supporting what they stand for and supporting their personal actions. DeRogatis makes note of this when he differentiates between liking an artists material that promotes rape and liking a rapists art that makes no mention of their despicable behavior. He talks about James Brown and Led Zeppelin when he says “The art very rarely talks about these things. There are not pro-rape Led Zeppelin songs. There are not pro-wife-beating James Brown songs.”
This topic was also discussed in a Time article headlined, “R. Kelly: Does Liking His Album Mean You’ve Forgotten his Child Porn Charges?”
We’re still undecided on that one. In direct response to the article, no, I don’t think anyone has forgotten Kelly’s past brushes with the law. But do they take them seriously? Does the public and his fans really understand what those charges meant? Do they know who he really is? This leads us to wonder, as with a case like James Brown for example, does supporting an abusers art mean that you’re supporting abuse, even if the art makes no mention of the act? We don’t know, but DeRogatis puts it like this, “I think each and every one of us, as individual listeners and consumers of culture, has to come up with our own answer. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer.”