R&B singer R. Kelly has lashed out at critics over his alleged mistreatment of women by releasing a 19 minute long song in which he reveals he was also a victim of sexual harassment contrary to the claims against him.
Kelly otherwise known as Robert Kelly known for his story telling prowess in his songs has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in recent years; this time however he wants to tell his own side of the story.
Entitled “I Admit,” the marathon song is heavy on denials than acknowledgement as the R&B master vents frustration over the stream of allegations against him.
“I never thought it would come to this, to be the most disrespected artist, So I had to write a song about this, ’cause they always take my words and twist it.” he sings in the opening verse.
Halfway through the song, R. Kelly reveals that he was sexually assaulted by a family member from a young age until he was 14.
“So scared to say something / So I just put the blame on me / Now here I am, and I’m trying my best to be honest.”
Kelly, a winner of multiple awards has been in the news for all the wrong reasons since 2008, visiting the insides of a court house more than the music studio.
He was acquitted in 2008 of charges of child pornography after a video allegedly showed him in sexual acts with an underage girl.
In a more recent case, a woman in Dallas complained to police that Kelly knowingly gave her sexually transmitted disease and an expose was published in which it was alleged that the singer was keeping six women in virtual slavery with control over their diets, clothing and sex lives.
In his new song however, R. Kelly suggests racial bias and draws a contrast with positive portrayals of late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, known for his multiple relationships with younger women.
While admitting to sex with “both older and young ladies” the singer asks “Really, am I supposed to go to jail or lose my career because of your opinions?”
He also attacked celebrities who turned on him in the wake of scandals including singer John Legend as well as top streaming service Spotify, which briefly removed him from playlists as part of a crackdown.
“I’m not convicted / Not arrested / Dragged my name in the dirt,” he sang soulfully
Several social rights groups for gender equality has urged the music industry to part ways with Kelly especially in the wake of Bill Cosby’s conviction, calling for a world in which women “can pursue their dreams free from sexual assault, abuse and predatory behaviour.”
The last time R. Kelly told a story, he was stuck in a closet for about 9 episodes, perhaps he will be stuck for only 19 minutes in this one.