To promote the release of his latest project, Black Panties, R. Kelly took to Twitter to indulge his ego and engage the masses. He urged his followers to ask him questions using the hashtag #AskRKelly.
And for every one question tweeted about his music and career, there were a gazillion about his sordid sexual history with underage girls. No shockers. Just lots of snark and shade:
He deserves all of it. Some things to take note of with this whole R. Kelly comeback thing (thanks, Lady Gaga and all of Brooklyn, N.Y.'s white hipsters!): R. Kelly was a lead writer and producer for Aaliyah's debut album, which was titled—wait for it—Age Ain't Nothing but a Number. This is the same Aaliyah who a 27-year-old R. Kelly was rumored to have married in 1994, when she was just 15.
For a long stretch before he was accused of sleeping with underage girls, R. Kelly called himself the Pied Piper, a character from a 16th-century legend who liked to lure little children away from town with his music. And then there's the peeing: Kelly was charged with but ultimately found not guilty of—not innocent, folks—filming child pornography, after a video, purportedly of him having sex with and urinating on an underage girl, surfaced.
But we all know all of that stuff already, and we've known it for some time. Kels has been secretly and not so secretly giving us clues about his unapologetic taste for underage sex for a while, and he's still doing it. Take a look at the cover art for Black Panties:
There is a young girl—who looks pretty adolescent to me—draped over his lap. He appears to be playing her like a violin, and playing us in the process.
Like I said, he's still doing it.
Music is nostalgic. For lots of us, R. Kelly is the bedrock of ’90s R&B, and thus our coming of age. I'm fully with my colleague Demetria L. Lucas when she writes about her fond memories of R. Kelly's "Feelin' on Yo' Booty." And when the creator of the art you love turns out to be an unremorseful sexual predator, well, yes, things can get messy and hypocritical, as Akiba Solomon wrote for Colorlines.
But our relationship with Kels also doesn't have to be complicated. As Solomon notes, it's just high time we ignored this guy.
So, R. Kelly, please, no more questions.