Before I begin, let me just take my Feminist card out of my Louis and plunk it right on the figurative table. *Pushes it away, toward the center* Surely, you’ll want to revoke my card before you get to the end of this essay, and I’m fine with that. So there you go, it’s easier for you to nab.

Proudly wearing this metaphoric “F” on my ruffled dress has kept me too PC among some of the feminazis, as Limbaugh likes to call us. This has kept me from speaking from the crazy part of my mind where all the inappropriate, “feminists aren’t supposed to say that!” thoughts have been kept for too long. Today, I remove one from the vault:

I never stopped liking R. Kelly’s music. 

Yes, I’m a self-respecting Black woman, even though you may argue otherwise. No, I wouldn’t leave anyone’s non-adult kids, certainly none in my charge, and not even the offspring of the people who will call me names in the comments section, alone with him. I wouldn’t protest outside a courthouse to “Free R. Kelly” like some Black women did when he was on trial. But you tell me Kellz is performing at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn this fall, and I might just sleep out overnight like they’re selling Jordans up in there.

There’s a reason that the “King of R&B” moniker never stuck when Whitney Houston (RIP) tried to anoint her husband with it to appease his ego: it’s a title best held by R. Kelly. He’s sold 50 million albums worldwide, and is one of just 1,2,3,4, 5— boom!— Black people to make the RIAA’s list of the best-selling people in the United States. Last year, Billboard named him the most successful R&B artist of the last 25 years. He’s got three Grammys for the same dang song (“I Believe I Can Fly”), and as proof of his songwriting skills, that long list of superstars he’s written for is always trotted out (Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Celine Deon, Luther Vandross and more). But honestly? It’s everything on from the opening lines (if you were in college anytime between 1994-2002 you know what they are) to “Feelin’ on Your Booty”, “When A Woman’s Fed Up” and “Ignition” that make him one of my favorite entertainers.

Until recently, I had not thought all that much about Kelly, had not played his music in I dunno how long, but I thought of him yesterday after watching that YouTube video of Brian McKnight where he dabbled in making an “adult mixtape”—allegedly a joke— and sang of promising to show a woman how her— wait for it — “pussy works”. I wrote about this song for The Root and called it McKnight’s attempt to “drive 120mph down the musical lane R. Kelly abandoned.”

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  • Nicole

    Loved the article!!! I am a huge R.Kelly fan and he makes great music. People are so judgemental. I understood where you were coming from. Even my husband one night said “dude is bad”. Give credit where credit is due.

  • jw

    @H.I agree with you.When you wrote how you are surprise by some people who defend Micheal Vick.I know you mention R.Kelly too.But it’s so disturbing to me what Micheal Vick allowed to happen to all of those dogs.The man funded and allowed people to be in his home,for dogs to fight to the death.Which ever dogs lost the fight they shot them in the head.They had rape stands in the yard.They body slammed the dogs.And they electrocuted them.Iam probably forgetting some of the other abuse that was done to them.Just think how disturbed a person has to be to participate or allow that to go on in their home.If they can do that to innocent dogs than think what they can do to a human.The people who say it’s in their nature,are telling a lie.Rachael Ray and other people have pittbulls.They aren’t born that way.Disturbed people try to train them to become vicious.

  • ClickHere

    There’s a huge misconception on here. People are dubbing R. Kelly as a “pedophile” when he’s NOT one. Perhaps you people should’ve followed the case… First of all, a pedophile isn’t attracted to an adult or a young adult. They’re attracted to children that haven’t reached puberty. The three R. Kelly tapes that hit the streets involved 2 adults and one young adult, no children were involved. Again, no children were involved. Second, the police raided R. Kelly’s tour bus and found ADULT sex tapes that involved R. Kelly. The police also raided his studio home and found a huge collection of ADULT commercial and manufactured porn. Now tell me this, what kind of “pedophile” collects ADULT porn? None. Now STFU and stop calling him something he’s not.

  • Shawntel

    THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU for this post!!! I LOVE Kellz. Can’t stop. Won’t stop. I refused to watch the video. I would also never leave a minor unattended in his presence. But I will spend my last bit of spending money and eat at home for a week to see Kellz in concert! I will also sing every word to every song like every album dropped yesterday!!! #kellzstan

  • chinaza

    I’m concerned that there are persons who give a pass to sex with minors once the offender does not fit the verbatim definition of a “pedophile”.
    Is a 14-year old any less violated than a 4-year old because of a label?
    Celebrity status and its adulation seem to have a disturbing, blinding effect.
    So I wonder what people would accept in their homes and in their lives because this is not just about musical taste. It’s about morality.
    Yes morality and decency still exist.