Erykah Badu has a lengthy history of showering one Robert Sylvester Kelly Sr.—and other problematic individuals—with undeserved grace. So much so that her contrarian stances are as commonplace as her eclectic ensembles.
So it comes as no surprise that in the aftermath of “Surviving R. Kelly”, while the entire free world is dancing on the grave of his disgraced career, Erykah has decided to patiently wait until everyone has left to leave flowers at his tombstone.
According to the Independent, here’s how it went down Saturday nightt:
Badu was performing at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago where, according to attendees, she criticised the outcry against the R&B singer following the damning Lifetime documentary Surviving R Kelly, which details multiple allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against him.
According to one concertgoer, Badu said: “What if one of the people who was assaulted by R Kelly becomes an offender? We gonna crucify them too?”
Another claimed on Twitter that she had told the crowd to “keep [their] opinion to [themselves]”.
Earlier this month, the documentary’s producer revealed that Badu was one of many artists who turned down the opportunity to appear. While many of Kelly’s former collaboraters have since denounced the singer over his alleged behvaiour, Badu has hinted that she still “loves” the singer despite the allegations featured in the documentary.
And while it’s reportedly not her entire speech, here’s a snippet of the ever so gracious Erykah Badu addressing the audience:
“I’m putting up a prayer right now for R,” she says to the crowd. “I hope he sees the light of day and if he done all those things we heard on TV [...] I hope he sees the light of day and he comes forward.”
But understandably, Twitter wants no parts of Badu’s kindness or compassion.
I can’t say I’m the least bit surprised by Erykah’s behavior, but it appears she’s getting dangerous close to getting herself canceled.
Update: 1/20/2019, 8:40 p.m. ET:
Believing her feelings about R. Kelly to be misconstrued, Erykah took to Twitter to clarify her intent:
“I love you. Unconditionally,” she tweeted. “That doesn’t mean I support your poor choices. I want healing for you and anyone you have hurt as a result of you being hurt. Is that strange to you ? That’s all I’ve ever said. Anything else has been fabricated or taken out of context.”