R. Kelly just can’t seem to outrun his past.
In an interview today with HuffPost Live in promotion of his latest album, The Buffet, the 48-year-old singer abruptly left the show after being asked questions about sexual assault allegations that have dogged him throughout his career.
Talking to host Teuta Turani, Kelly began things fine, touching on his GRAMMY nominations and a long list of hit singles. Getting past the fluff, Turani pivoted the conversation towards the looming paradox of the Chicago artist’s career: the fact that many of his fans love his music but can’t support him as a person. After chastising the host for several minutes and skirting the issue in increasingly more creative ways, Kells simply took off his mic and left the set.
As much as I love his music, I can’t get behind dude here. Nathan has already let it be known what his feelings are for the guy, but here Kelly comes off as simply childish. The fact of the matter is he sat down to do an interview with a news publication, not E! or TMZ. Within that context, Turani had every right to bring up the line of questioning because few conversations about R. Kelly ever happen without mention of his misconduct over the years which included allegations he urinated on an underage girl. The allegations were a big deal then and are an even bigger deal now.
I’ve always felt like R. Kelly dodged a huge bullet by not ending up in prison over a decade ago and his time since has been largely borrowed. In that time he’s continued to release new music, tour and be a public face while also pushing the limits of sexuality in music. If that’s the character you’re going to play then questions from fans regarding the nature of your music and the depth of your character are absolutely valid.
He might be able to sing, but R. Kelly needs to grow up and find some responsibility in his actions.
[by Jake Krez, who’s from Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter.]