With R. Kelly, There's No Way To Separate The Artist From The Monster

Even after the allegations that R. Kelly is holding young women hostage in a cult, why do some fans still insist on listening to his music? We discuss on ESSENCE Now...

ESSENCE.COM Jul, 20, 2017
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Now, you say that you're not shocked at the new allegations and that you take issue with R. Kelly fans who say we should be able to separate the man from his art. Why is that? So, I was born in the '80s, raised in the '90s. Huge Vibe fan, Shameless Plug. We've written our own stories on him If there's one thing R Kelly has done throughout his career, he has remained consistent. He has consistently proven to us who he is and what he is capable of. What bothers me is that when you hear R Kelly's music, you know what he is often times referring to. He's referring to sex, and to know that he uses All his records are under age. That should bother you. I'm also upset because I just think that there's a total protection of women, physical, mental, emotional protection of women has never been at the forefront of this country. And I also believe that If R. Kelly were accused of sexually assaulting little boys, this would be completely different. Hip hop and R&B would have been like, nah, we're not doing this. But because it's okay to defile and disrespect women, you hear statements like that, and it's not cool. Particularly black women, right? Because a lot of this has been centered around black women. Agreed. Now finally, Buzzfeed's article mentions how since the women are legally adults there's not much that can be done. I'm posing this question to both of you, what would you like both to see happen next. Well I would like people to. Take their head out of the ground and wake up. I don't believe that there's nothing we can do. The problem that I have Is the music. No one's perfect. We now that all artists are excentric and they have eccentricities and however you wanna put it. But then there's just this other news that surrounds R. Kelly and I just can't get over it. And those others like him that you just can't move beyond that. And I think This is predator. Afrika Bambaataa unfortunately stands accused of molesting young black boys and very little was done in that case too. So I think we just have to really take a stand beyond the celebrity. And we have to, again, get back to the community collectively And say is this good for us? Is this person someone that we should hug and embrace and uphold. And if you can't answer that with a firm yes than I think it's time for it to stop. It has to stop. Now Shaniqua I'll let you have the last word on this. What do you think should happen next? I think we need to just Not be cool with everything. I think we need to be able to say right is right, wrong is wrong. I think we need to stand firm and say, nah, this is not okay. You can't do this. I don't know when We all started making rent payments in the gray. I don't know when we all started living in the gray and this whole belief that I mean, hey, it's all right. If you like it, I love it. No, we need to stop doing that. What R Kelly has been accused of and is doing now is flat out wrong. And The notion that well if you had a daughter you wouldn't want it to happen to them is also lazy. Women, young girls are also humans so just stop.

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