In another increasingly classic case of being unable to separate the “man” from the “art” in the twenty-first century, R. Kelly has–at long last–been indicted for aggravated criminal sexual abuse after decades (decades!) of accusations regarding his sexual abuse of women (also involving the perv’s bread and butter of pissing on them). For whatever reason evading a worthy comeuppance for this long, a six-part documentary about the allegations against him called Surviving R. Kelly increased the catalyst for the bloodlust against his crimes as 2019 began–though this unfortunately also led to increased streams of his music despite the #MuteRKelly campaign that began in 2018.
Considering R. Kelly has never been much for hiding his overall grossness in lyric form (ranging from “You remind me of my Jeep, I wanna ride it/I wanna pump it/Girl you look just like my cars, I wanna wax it” to “It really don’t matter, who’s first in the shower/Fruit platter from a young maid every hour” to, simply, “My tongue is in the mood”), it should come as no surprise that, over the years, he’s only gotten more foul in his descriptions, as though getting off on “hiding in plain sight” as the music industry remained complicit in his behavior the same way the movie industry was with Harvey Weinstein’s. Through all the bad music and horrendous lyrics, however, there remain “men”–mostly white ones, to be honest–that still can’t help but view R. Kelly’s “canon” as brilliant.
Some “men” in particular are most fond of R. Kelly’s “masterpiece,” Trapped in the Closet, a twenty-two chapter “opus” released over the period from 2005 to 2012 detailing varying layers of infidelity, involving, among other absurdist (read: stupid) Tyler Perry-esque plot devices, a midget. Thinking it a combination of hilarious and well-thought out, one has to wonder if any “man” still secretly harboring an affinity for this work also feels that R. Kelly’s lifetime of sexual abuse is perhaps even more hilarious and well-thought out. Or, worse yet, still wants to “go out on a limb” and make the claim that R. Kelly is the modern Dante, leading one to ask, “O human race, born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou so fall?” (on a side note, “wind” in R. “Dante” Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet refers to breaking wind. How poetic indeed.).