“When somebody shows you who they are, believe them.” The late, great Maya Angelou had lived a long enough life to know that people ain’t sh*t. This was the legendary wordsmith’s way of telling us to “stay woke” before that was even a thing. And all we did was use the quote on Facebook when we wanted to be fake inspirational. We’re sorry Maya. Little did we know this quote would come back to bite us in the ass when it comes to Mr. Robert IDontSeeNothinWrong Kelly. How did we miss all the signs?
It’s not like R. Kelly didn’t show us who he was from the beginning. He came on the scene back in 1993 lookin’ sneaky as ever.
Now, over twenty years later, Kelly is being accused of operating an abusive sex cult.
On Monday, Buzzfeed published an investigative report about R. Kelly in which multiple sources claim that the R&B singer was keeping six women in a “cult” and “dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sexual encounters that he records.”
This new revelation of course, set the internet ablaze, and per usual, social media divided itself into opposing teams- #TeamRKelly and #TeamRKelly’sVictims
As it stands, I haven’t publicly chosen a side. I stand on the side of truth. And I think it’s safe to say that R. Kelly has consistently shown himself for who and what he really is. Let me submit some evidence to the jury:
1. He calls himself the “Pied Piper.”
The Pied Piper of Hamelin is the title character of a legend from the town of Hamelin (Hameln), Lower Saxony, Germany. The legend dates back to the Middle Ages, the earliest references describing a piper, dressed in multicolored clothing, who was a rat-catcher hired by the town to lure rats away with his magic pipe. (Gross) When the citizens refuse to pay for this service, he retaliates by using his instrument’s magical power on their children, leading them away as he had the rats.
Yuck.That connection in itself, is enough info to lock the guy up, if you ask me.
2. He married Aaliyah, and then produced an album called “Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number.”
R. Kelly met Aaliyah at the age of 12. He was 24. They later got married when she was 15, and he was 27. In the video below, she describes Kelly as her “best friend in the whole wide world.”
Kelly, who wrote and produced Aaliyah’s debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number” gave us the BIGGEST hint with that ballsy title.
3. Trapped in the Closet
“Trapped in the Closet” was entertaining at the time. R Kelly had blessed us with a negro soap opera musical, something we’d never seen before. It was cool to watch the drama unfold, anticipating the release of the next video in the series. I have to admit, it got tiring after the 78th video, but still, the concept was genius. Now that I look back on it, Robert was trying to tell us something. Ain’t no tellin what kind of skeletons he’s hiding in that damn closet.
There are few scandals in the music world that stand out like R Kelly’s Peegate. Back in 2002, a blurry video surfaced, allegedly featuring R Kelly and an underage girl engaging in sexual acts-one of them being Kelly urinating on the teen. Though Kelly denies that the image above is him, I think we’re all about 98.999% sure that this is Robert Sylvester Kelly. Carey Kelly, the singer’s brother was even willing to testify against him in court, stating that he had been showing the tape off to all of his friends. To make things worse, the girl in the tape is allegedly Kelly’s goddaughter.
5. Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka had a Chocolate Factory. That’s where all the children in the town wanted to be. Kids like candy, and what better way for an adult to get an underage girl’s attention than with chocolate? R. Kelly thought he was slick when he made this album.
The “come to daddy” line in the beginning of the song…interesting.
6. Intern Sues For Sexual Harassment
Tracy Sampson, R. Kelly’s former intern sues claiming he induced her “into an indecent sexual relationship” when she was 17 years old. Sampson says he was “treated as his personal sex object and cast aside.”
“He often tried to control every aspect of my life including who I would see and where I would go,” she said in her legal case against him. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum, said the New York Post. This story doesn’t sound too far off from the sex cult story, and this is the case for dozens of other accusations that have been made against Kelly. These girls have similar stories, and similar complaints, none of which Kelly has been held responsible for.
7. You Remind Me of My Jeep
Referencing the story above, Sampson says she was treated like Kelly’s “property,” as is often the case when young victims are being preyed on. The hit song entitled “You Remind Me of My Jeep” was released back in 1995. I was only 8 then, but I knew there was something odd about the song. Comparing your woman to your Jeep is never not creepy, when you really think about it. All this talk of pumpin’ and waxin’ should’ve told us all we need to know about Mr. Down Low, himself-women are nothin’ more than an object he can buy, and baby, he wants to ride in alllll of them.
8. He Admits to Asking for His Mom’s Hand in Marriage
I’m not sure what in the Oedipus Complex is going on with “The R,” but this interview with GQ magazine is a bit…disturbing.
“In a son/mother way, I had a serious, serious crush on my mom,” Kelly recalled. “I just looked up and down to her. I looked around. I looked everything about my mother. Y’know, I loved her. And I even asked her to marry me on day–she said ‘no,’ but I understood.”
We should’ve known.
Should we have known that R. Kelly was the leader of an underground sex cult? No. But should we have suspected something close to that? Hell yes.
He’s been given the benefit of the doubt more than I’d actually like to admit. Most of us overlooking his cringe worthy past (and present) all because he has silky vocals and made us “Step in the Name of Love.” I’m ashamed. We should all be. The general public has ignored the countless stories from victims, putting his entertainment value over human life. This seems to be a trend when it comes to malicious acts against women-Chris Brown, Bill Cosby, etc. Instead of taking R. Kelly, Chris, and Bill for their word when they showed us who they really were, the public built a protective wall around them, and not their victims. I wonder why that is. I wonder if we’ll ever see predatory behavior for what it is, and call it out when it happens, even if the predator can sing and dance really well, and we happen to have a couple of their songs in our iPhones.
What do you think? Has R. Kelly gotten off easy all these years?