Can we look at R. Kelly the same?

(Photo: Complex)

(Photo: Complex)

Sydney Brobbey

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(Photo: Complex)

From Thursday, January 3rd, to Saturday, January 5th, Lifetime aired a documentary series containing interviews with several women who have accused R&B star, R. Kelly of manipulation and sexual abuse.

The R&B star has caused numerous women, many of whom were underage at the time, to lose their innocence and dignity, through his sexual abuse and manipulation of them. 

Many of these underage women were trying to pursue careers in the music industry, and they believed that Kelly could help mentor them — but little did they know that he would eventually manipulate them, break them, and isolate them from their loved ones.

Kelly has been indicted on counts of child pornography, sexual assault, and transmission sexually transmitted diseases to several women, yet all charges against him have been continuously dropped.

In the midst of all such accusations, R. Kelly has continued to dropped music and sell out shows across the nation — but why?

Why is it that R. Kelly, the “King of R&B,” has been allowed to continue with such actions? Is it only because he makes good music? Why has he somehow become untouchable in the eyes of the law?

Looking at what R. Kelly has done, why have people continued to support him? Not only has he fornicated with underage girls, taken away their innocence, and constantly sexually abused and manipulated them, he has also kept numerous women in hotels and in his homes in cult-like environments. In analyzing such things, should one not support him as an artist, or should they separate his art from who he truly is?

There is no doubt that R. Kelly has dropped hot songs — Ignition(Remix), Bump N’ Grind, I Believe I Can Fly and more — but is it possible to listen to his music now knowing that as a person he is manipulative and predatory?

Can one listen to Ignition(Remix) or Bump N’ Grind the same way after learning how he treats women? Not to mention that in nearly every video he has women practically lusting over him. Wouldn’t one question how all of those women got their roles in his videos? Or what he does personally somehow not affect the art of his music or videos?

“Who R. Kelly is informs R. Kelly’s art,” The Daily Beast states, and R. Kelly the artist should not be partitioned from R. Kelly the man. R. Kelly the man is R. Kelly the artist.