It is clear R Kelly is a monster. The mental, physiological, emotional, and physical trauma he put women through was horrid and inexcusable. To hear R Kelly had a sickness dating teenage girls was not a shocker. The fact that a 27-year-old man would marry a 15-year-old is alarming.
I knew then R Kelly had a problem.
This problem was later substantiated with numerous other cases. Though to hear the stories of the alleged abuse, through multiple women with the same story, was disgusting. No one should be treated that way, especially young impressionable women. The mark of a coward is using power to control and manipulate someone less powerful than you, whether it be monetary, physical, and/or emotional power.
So, how did R Kelly get here? How did the musical genius that made generational hits become so cold and calculated? Well, first he was allegedly molested for years as a child by his older sister. Sometimes the abused turn into abusers as a way to seek power and reprisal back in their mind. Though, R Kelly knew what he was doing was wrong.
Kelly went out of his way to protect himself and continue to feed his sick addiction at the expense of changing young girls lives forever. At some point in life, wrongs will radiate out of darkness; there becomes an opportunity to grow and become stronger than ever or to become even more attached and woven into the wrongdoings. R Kelly chose the latter.
The trial of him on tape urinating and abusing a 14-year-old girl could have been a turning point. Kelly could have taken this, as numerous other entertainers and people in general when faced with adversity, a wakeup call to get the serious help needed and turn his life around.
Instead of feeling grateful R Kelly felt invincible. Robert had money at his disposal and it was used to get away with his deplorable acts. The trial fueled and proved to him that R Kelly was untouchable. Kelly would later find out, albeit years later, no one is untouchable.
The public and media helped as well. Throughout the allegations, Sparkle’s warnings, and court cases, smoke was seen but not the fire. The fire was quenched by distraction. R Kelly would release “Step in the Name of Love” or “Ignition” and it was like all was forgotten (see the Boondocks episode on R Kelly’s trial). Robert Sylvester would perform on award shows and the talent was undeniable.
After everything, his career continued to succeed. The record company and the public have to share some responsibility for continuing to support R Kelly financially. The beast of insuperability was fed through all those factors.
R Kelly is still to blame. Each person must take responsibility for their own actions. Recurring examples are often seen of people who come from the same circumstances but respond to adversity two different ways.
R Kelly chose to be a monster. It is a sad case for all parties involved, more importantly, the innocent lives he impacted forever. Hopefully, they use this terrible experience to catapult their greatest successes in their next stage of life.
It takes a certain amount of strength and resiliency to be a Latina or African American woman in America, let alone a survivor of abuse. The strength these women have can get them through anything life could through at them.
We should take their stories as a precaution to never allow talent to supersede unacceptable behavior. If the behavior would not be accepted from a complete stranger than it should not be accepted from a celebrity, who is just a complete stranger the public thinks to know through their talents.
But, can you separate the music from the talent? Should you still listen to R Kelly’s music? More to come.