The Mystery of R. Kelly's Career
edited: Tuesday, May 06, 2003
By Kimberley J. Wilson
Posted: Tuesday, May 06, 2003
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Why is R.Kelly's career going so well?
R. Kelly’s new album, “The Chocolate Factory is a critical and financial success. After 11 weeks on the Billboard Magazine’s R&B/Hip-Hop chart it’s sitting in the number three spot. It peaked at number one. For the moment, the remix version of his single “Ignition” is number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and is getting heavy radio promotion. Kelly is reportedly receiving ovations and cheers whenever he gives a performance these days so it’s obvious that a lot of people love him. Could somebody tell me why?
Here is a black man, who stands accused of violating a then, 13 year old black girl and making a videotape of the act. Instead of turning away in disgust his fans rushed out to buy bootleg copies of the videotape. You can get it yourself on the street in both DVD and VHS formats. If convicted Kelly faces 15 years in prison. You’d think Mr. Kelly’s problems would be a career killer, instead they seemed to have enhanced it.
Some people say that they respect R. Kelly’s music so much that they can separate it from what he may have done. Others claim that they’re sill spending money on this man because only God can make a judgement. Another group loudly protests that the girl in the video is the one at fault because on tape she looks and acts like a well seasoned woman. I think all these excuses are weak minded and sick.
Just what’s so wrong with making a judgement? Out of necessity we do it everyday. Suppose you find yourself walking down a dark street one night. Other than a few rats and a sleeping drunk there are no other people. Suddenly, you look up and see a scowling young man coming towards you. As soon as he catches sight of you he starts walking faster and begins to tug at something in the pocket of his baggy pants. Is it a gun, a cell phone or a bottle? You don’t wait to find out and cross the street well before he gets near you. Guess what? You just made a judgement. Some people may call you a hater for it but this quick decision may have saved your life.
Here’s another judgement call for you. Your teenaged daughter’s new boyfriend shows up unannounced at your door. He’s rude, unkempt and when you look at his car you notice that his back seat is full of empty beer cans. Are you going to let your child go out with this guy? Of course not. You just judged this person and it’s a good thing you did. Final judgement belongs only to God but I’ve always believed that our brains were meant to be used.
I certainly won’t deny that R. Kelly is a talented individual. He might even be the genius his fans claim he is. “I Believe I Can Fly,” his break out single of 1996 touched the hearts of millions and has become a favorite for funerals and graduations. He’s produced distinctive, catchy dance tunes and a few truly exquisite ballads like “If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time” but that shouldn’t be enough to save him if he’s guilty.
Now, about the alleged victim in this case. A shameful number of people have laid the whole blame for the Kelly scandal at her feet. When I was 15 I almost ended up in this young woman’s shoes. While walking home from the grocery store I ran into a 30 year old next door neighbor. He startled me by asking me to marry him. I told him that I was way too young for him and expected him to drop the conversation. Instead he replied that in his country a girl my age would’ve been married and a mother. He then informed me that he worked for his country’s embassy and could arrange to get me out of the country so we could be married. I turned him down flat and ran home.
Now suppose I’d been naive enough to listen to this man’s words and ended up being victimized by him. According to R. Kelly’s supporters the blame would’ve been on me for being out on the street, or my parents for letting me outside, or God for giving me an attractive body. They would’ve blamed everyone and everything except the adult man involved. This sends a terrible message to young black girls. It says that their dignity and innocence are worthless. It also tells young black boy’s that foul treatment of their sisters is okay. That’s a dangerous message and it degrades us all.
Recently, there has been some debate in both magazines and in internet chat rooms as to whether R&B is dead or not. The fact that R. Kelly is still has a successful career pretty much proves to me that if R&B isn’t quite dead, it certainly is so sick that it has lost its mind.
Web Site: Kimbelrey Wilson
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|Reviewed by Eva T,
|Hey, interesting article...let me tell you I totally love R.Kelly and I support him especially cause he's from Chicago! but that does not mean that he is not guilty, but I do believe we should not judge nobody, but like u said we always do, whats alright is for all of us to have different opinions!|
|Reviewed by Brianna
|B!tch quit hatin. If you choose not to support R. Kelly, don't. But don't try n get high n mighty, tryin to tell othrer people what artist they should and should not support. Nobody was judgin Tupac or his fans who supported him when he was accused, tried, AND convicted of rape (And no, I don't think Tupac was guilty either). If it was okay to support Pac, it's okay to support R. Kelly, end of story.|
|Reviewed by Brendan Jerome Raftery
|This was an interesting view on R.Kelly's current success.|