Not sure how to start this. Not sure where to begin. Do I start with the anger I felt from folks, friends, and respected colleagues who I saw online gong out of their way to defend R.Kelly with stats/memes like “You mad at R.Kelly but in High school, you were dating older men?” Do I challenge the group who wholeheartedly believes that the accusations against R.Kelly only occurred yesterday because he(R.Kelly) was trying to buy the BET network and send all young black youths to Yale University?  Do I address those who deflect from R.Kelly issues by using white men like Playboy founder Hugh Hefner who is allegedly guilty of the same crime or do I consider it a waste of time like explaining to a white person that supporting Black Lives Matter doesn’t mean that All Lives do not? Maybe I should mention that how the “Those fast girls knew what they were doing” type statements is a dated misogynistic mentality that never benefitted black society but only validates the evil that grown men do? Will it be fair to mention to those that feel that “There’s nothing new about R.Kelly,” that the Surviving R.Kelly docuseries showcase that not only is R.Kelly a sick person but had a team of sicker individuals around him that helped, starting from the former employee who forged Aaliyah’s age on the marriage license to the convict brother who stated that an adult man liking underage girls is “just a preference?”  Should I tell the story of how a former radio mentor literally argued with me in defense of R.Kelly because according to him “Only God can judge,” and “If Jesus forgave, so should you?!!” Do I speak how those within the black community who somehow think that defending the R.Kellys, OJs, and Cosby’s of the world is not a battle against oppression from the white man who sits on Mount Olympus? How about I check myself even further because it shouldn’t have taken a child porn sextape with R.Kelly that was spreading across many AOL accounts at Howard for me to cancel him(R.Kelly) when years prior it was discovered that as a 27-year-old adult he married the late fellow Detroit native Aaliyah at age 15. The selection of poison that surrounds R.Kelly the man is a limitless buffet of bullshit.

In the past, I once thought that it would be hypocritical of me to NOT listen to R.Kelly’s music when they’re many rappers in my playlist who have claimed to have sold crack while shooting at their baby mothers and I get headaches from the mere mention of life without Thriller. However, when you have someone like an R.Kelly who has self-proclaimed his Pied Piper antics shamelessly, it soon became clear that he himself would not allow me to separate the man from his music. The Surviving R.Kelly doc showcased one of many examples of how patriarchy, money, racism, and power make a dangerous recipe for a toxic culture and how black women literally have to scream until their lungs bleed for their issues to be addressed.


J Hall