R.Kelly found his way into American homes over a decade ago with catchy and upbeat songs like “I Believe I Can Fly,” and “Ignition.” Since his peek stardom in the 2000’s, Kelly has lived large due to his multiple grammys and icon status.
However, with the recent airing of “Surviving R.Kelly,” a six episode documentary concerning several reports of horrid crimes ranging from statutory rape to domestic abuse, the famous singer’s career may be coming to a sudden end.
“Surviving R.Kelly” is a 3-day series that left viewers shocked after every episode. The documentary follows the life of R.Kelly from youth, and tracks the beginning of his shady actions. The documentary explores the illegal and repulsive relationship between Aaliyah, the legendary R&B singer, and him. The two got married when Aaliyah was fifteen, and he was thirty five, under false information. The series also discusses the several relationships Kelly allegedly had with girls significantly younger than him, many of whom were minors, and the abusive relationships that developed due to Kelly’s extreme narcissism and desire for power. The most recent relationship documented was between Kelly, 52, and Faith Rodgers,19, who is now suing Kelly for giving her herpes.
The social media response has been large and loud. The majority called for the dismantling of Kelly’s pedestal. Others pleaded for him, and excused his behavior. The documentary explained the system of enabling and dismissal the music industry and society in general has allowed Kelly to cycle through for decades, and called for an immediate end in hopes that there will be no further victims. It seems as if this was one of the first steps towards getting justice for the victims of Kelly, and provides the justice system with an individual to use as an example of the consequences one can receive for preying on young and vulnerable girls.
The movement, “#MuteRKelly” is not new, but is now rapidly gaining followers. People ranging from musician John Legend to actress Kerry Washington are calling for the fall of R.Kelly and advocating no longer supporting his music, and asking others to follow.
The response at OHS is largely the same.
“No, I can’t listen to his music anymore. His songs make me uncomfortable because I have no idea who he was really writing about. It really amazes me what the music industry can hide for so long, we really don’t know the type of people we are listening to,” said Jaquaria Crawford, sophomore. “
I used to like “Ignition”, but now I can’t listen to it. We must do better, and not turn a blind eye because the victims are black girls,” said Francis Weikel, sophomore.