Why R. Kelly and Black Panties is Problematic

People should be held accountable for intentionally engaging in activities that are detrimental to one another. Accountability should not be a pawn in a chess match with injustice with a buy out option.

People responsible for negligent, loss of life, injury, exploitation, should be held to task for what they did.

That has not happened in some past high profile cases of murder and rape. Some of the perpetrators in these cases have walked away from their atrocities unpunished. To add insult to injury, they appear to be thumbing their noses at society by not distancing themselves from what they got away with.

Such is my perception of R Kelly. R. Kelly’s recent release of his new album “Black Panties” didn’t sit well with me. I don’t suspect it will sit well with most Fathers or Mothers either. I don’t see how it could sit well with any female, but apparently it sat well with 133,000 folks somewhere earlier this week. That was the number that had his album at #4 on Billboard’s 200 chart.

Now I’d be the first to step up and be forgiving of R Kelly if his resume of relationships weren’t steeped in pedophilia.  I would even cut Kelly some backlash slack if his only misdeed was attempting to cultivate a serious relationship with a 17 or 18 year old. I said cut him some slack, I didn’t I say I would agree with him. However, neither of those scenarios were the case. Past reports, and interviews with girls involved with him revealed a dark sinister side of Kelly. Kelly seemed to maintain a continuous crusade to seek out young girls and engage in sexual activity with them.

To be sure, Kelly was never found guilty of anything in a court of law. There was visual evidence in the form of videos that influenced the court of public opinion. Then there were the girls that spoke out, giving graphically detailed interviews. Those interviews revealed many degrading sex acts they say occurred between them and Kelly.

From published reports, it appears Kelly “settled” his way out of most of the allegations brought against him. Details of most of those settlements are sealed. Be that as it may, here is the problem I have with R Kelly today.

He continues to create music that hints at intimacy and fetishes with younger women.

In the song “Cookie” he croons:

“Cookie Cookie I’m a Cookie Monster”

Consider the fact that the Cookie Monster is a character children identify with. The Sesame Street character is best known for his voracious appetite of cookies among other things.

The rub is the cookies Kelly is referring to are sexual.

I would think a character synonymous with children would be the last character on earth Kelly would use to tie in a sex story with.

 “Girl, I’ve got a sweet tooth ain’t nothin’ sweeter than you I’ma eat it up, beat it up”

I’m not sure where Kelly’s editors and PR people are looking. I would think they would have declared the word “Girl” off limits to anything related to Black Panties. Is there a reason the word woman would not have worked in that verse? I’m sure it would have put a lot more folks at ease to see the word woman instead of girl.  Then I’d say he makes another blunder that makes you wonder by using the phrase “beat it up”

In the song “Genius” Kelly belts out

“Baby Girl we both so freaking hot”

Baby Girl? If there is anyone that thinks I’m on a witch-hunt, Google “baby girl” and let me know in the comment section what you find. Alternatively, ask any man who uses that phrase who he’s addressing when he uses that term. “Baby Girl” isn’t a phrase someone distancing themselves from pedophilia accusations would use to reference intimacy with a female.

In the song “Prelude” there is an opening dialogue that relegates women to bitches and sex to pussy popping. The references lead into a revelation from Kelly he’s thinking about “popping that question”. Why are the demeaning rhetoric referencing females necessary?

If Kelly is truly beyond the allegations hurled at him in the past then he has a seriously inept PR and management staff.  I saw the album Black Panties as an opportunity for Kelly present himself in a renewed light and fresh perspective. Instead, the BP fails at extracting Kelly from the clutches of the dark raunchy past.

R. Kelly is an immensely talented artist. I’m not trying to take that from him. I’m also not going to give him a pass for the lack of sensitivity sprinkled throughout this album. Artists should be held accountable for their actions and decisions just as everyone else. They definitely need to be called on the carpet when their work is sending bad vibes or messages.

Kelly does offer up a couple of cuts on the album that take a retreat from his seemingly fixation with sex. Those few cuts however, do little to balance the overall tones of careless, unbridled, and degrading sex.


Author: Geo Gee

I'm a curious one that finds politics, social issues, and diverse progressive solutions interesting. I believe information and education are the most powerful weapons one can arm himself with. Those two dynamics alone open the doors to opportunities. I also subscribe to each one teach one for a better world for all.

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