Updated: Jan 13, 2019
Surviving R-Kelly has seem to have taken the national headlines despite the government shutdown that is now in it is 21st day. This Liftetime docuseries chronicles the sordid affairs of artist and musician R-Kelly and the women who found themselves in the cross hairs of abuse and domestic violence at the hands of this musical icon. I must admit I haven't watched the series in part, because I've always been suspicious of Mr. Kelly and believed that the truth would eventually come out. Well it appears his day of reckoning has finally come. But, my question is what took it so long? Why does it appear that he has seem to survive his own undoing for so long, given the his long history of sexual deviancy with minors; including marrying then 15 yr old singer Aaliyah. How did all of this seem to miss our purview when it comes to bringing this pedophile to justice?
It is an accomplice that has been staring us in the face for most of his career as a singer, songwriter and musician. It is an accomplice that has insulated and enabled his sexually deviant behavior, while at the same time continuing to bring in millions of dollars to its own coffers. Who is this accomplice? You guessed it, is it the Music Industry of which Mr. Kelly is gainfully employed. It is the music industry which Mr. Kelly has benefited and benefited from, which has shielded him and even insulated him from the scrutiny and the litigation he would've ordinarily been vulnerable to if not for this powerful accomplice or mistress; however you want to call it, working on his behalf. When I say the music industry, let me be clear, i'm referring to the record label execs, the A&R reps, SONY, RCA, etc., his own circle of hangers on who unwittingly masked and covered R-Kelly's sexually deviant behavior for decades. Now, since the release of this new documentary, it was recently reported that all of his agents, publicists, etc have since dropped Mr. Kelly as a client. So, they are now attempting to cleanse themselves of this evil, now that new light is being shed upon the dark and sinister life of the music industry's protege'.
I say all of this because, we know that the music industry is BIG business. The amount of money that is made off of artists and for the record executives is more than enough for Trump's wall and several other walls for that matter. And, we know whenever money is involved it always changes the way people view right and wrong, especially if at the end of the day there is more money to be made. It's unfortunate, but the sad reality is that the more money is involved, the less and less virtue and morality is viewed as an impediment if the scales were tipped in that direction. I find it very interesting how Hip Hop artists can willfully include not just vulgar and suggestive language in their music, but subtle and even at time overt references to criminal activities and behavior, and no investigations are launched, no inquiries are made, nothing is ever done about it. And, yet these musical rap sheets seem to top the charts and no one is the wiser. You might even find yourself reciting the very same lyrics that would ordinarily implicate the average criminal, but because it is has a catchy beat and it rhymes, its alright with us.
But, when are we going to start to hold the music industry accountable for its involvement in the not just the demise of its artists, but the lives of those who the artists has seem to impact and effect as well. Those young women who were brave enough to be interviewed on the Surviving R-Kelly docu-series on Lifetime; their stories deserve to be heard, they deserve justice for the abuse and the violence they experienced at the hand of R-Kelly. I believe that much of the courage these women have shown in sharing their stories about the sexual abuse levied by singer R-Kelly can be attributed to the #MeToo Movement and the advancements it's has made in uncovering some of the dark and dirty secrets of rich and powerful men in the Entertainment industry, Corporate America, the Sports World and more. I applaud these women for their newfound courage in coming forward and telling the world about their violent experiences at the hands of R-Kelly. However, I also believe; and I know I might sound a bit harsh in some respects when I say this, but before these women become sexual captives of R-Kelly they were also groupie fans of his that went to extraordinary lengths just be to in his company. I've heard stories of how women throw themselves at these artists only to be taken advantage of by them, in large part because of how little they respect and care about themselves. I believe that in some instances if these women were a little smarter and had more respect for themselves they wouldn't so easily fall prey to the sexual whims of artist like R-Kelly. And, I hear some of you saying now, most of these women were underage when they had their encounter with the singer and as the older person R-Kelly carries the most culpability and liability when it comes to manipulating the relationship he had with these teenage girls. And, I would definitely say that you are right, and that's what makes him 100% WRONG.
I believe that all of the clues were there and right in front of all of us, and so at some point it was up to you or I to decide whether we wanted to venture down this dark path with R-Kelly, with songs and albums like "Bump N' Grind" and "Trapped in a Closet." We've seen this movie played out right before our very eyes in music videos, concerts and through social media, and yet even in the midst of this writing here, we will still have some defenders and even detractors of R-Kelly's behavior despite the overwhelming evidence suggesting otherwise. So, when we are going to see this for what this truly is, R-Kelly's other mistress is and has always been the Music Industry which has protected him and insulated him from prosecution, litigation and other criminal repercussions, because he was the cash cow for the industry. And, what if nothing else that we have learned from the #MeToo Movement that powerful men protect other powerful men and that is how they stay in power. I'm grateful that it appears that Mr. Kelly's day of reckoning has finally come and he will get the punishment he so deserves for taking advantage of these innocent women. The question becomes, will the Music Industry continue protecting the likes of R-Kelly and others who are cash cows for the industry, but have a ton of skeletons in their closet just waiting to see the light of day. Only time will tell, but I think we all know better.