If life was fairer and justice was served more evenly, R. Kelly would be singing “Step In The Name of Love” for an extra slice of Salisbury steak inside of an Illinois state prison. But instead of living the rest of his life as a registered sex offender, he gets to simulate sex with Lady Gaga on SNL and sing about it in a duet with Justin Bieber.
Not only that, he gets to ruin the Cookie Monster’s favorite treat by way of a sexually charged single on an even more sexually explicit album. An album that features what looks like a very young woman in lingerie on its cover. Critics have lauded Black Panties, and even people like me, who probably wouldn’t loan a burning R. Kelly the dollar he needed to get a bottle of water to put out the fire, have admitted that he has some good songs on there.
All of this is a testament to his renewed popularity as well as how quick people are to forgive celebrities for their transgressions so long as they continue to be good at what they do. The man I typically refer to as “Pissy” seems to see it differently, though. In fact, he seems to chalk up his “past” and the trial that came with it as a point in his life when he was “knocked down” by the Black celebrity’s most infamous imaginary friend – “the haters.”
Not only that, he and Chris Brown are comparable to Jesus, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Muhammad Ali.
Speaking with The Guardian, R. Kelly explains: "I only feel sorry for weak people. And mostly what I've come to find is that the weak people are the ones that are the haters. The ones that's talking about Chris Brown, or R Kelly, or anybody that's successful? I feel sorry for them, not Chris Brown, because he's obviously one strong individual to be able to do what he's done. He got knocked down a little bit and he climbed up. You know, that sounds like Ali to me. That sounds like Martin Luther King to me. That sounds like a lot of the greats that have walked this earth. It even sounds a little bit like Jesus to me."
If he won’t be imprisoned for past-alleged crimes, can someone at least write this dude a citation for stroking his ego way too aggressively in public? Journalist Tim Jonze notes that after noticing his eyes widening at such a ridiculous claim, R. Kelly added, "I'm not saying that Chris Brown is Jesus or R Kelly is Jesus. But Jesus is the No 1 inspirer of someone being knocked down and rising again."
No take backs, Pissy. You meant what you said and it’s a flawed analogy.
Weak is a man has been known for treating McDonalds’ PlayPlace like his personal OkCupid account for at least two decades.
Weak is a man who can’t control his anger, takes it out someone not as strong and proceeding to spend every year thereafter the act blaming everyone else for his anger issues.
Weak is knowing you can victimize Black women, and not only get away with it, but be championed by your community.
Weak is pretending that accountability is the burden of everyone else.
Weak is whining to a journalist about being “knocked down,” when in reality, you were merely inconvenienced for a teensy amount of time.
I will say one thing about Chris Brown. It might’ve taken the threat of real jail time, but at least it seems like he's finally getting real help. Has R. Kelly ever acknowledged his problem or offer himself up for castration? No. He’s continued on with being the “Pied Piper” and his success has only intensified through the years. The “haters” can’t be that great of a burden, Pissy.
And none of this sounds like Jesus, Ali, or Dr. King.
I am so sick of hearing prominent Black man cite Jesus in defense of their transgressions when they wouldn’t know Jesus Christ if he hit them upside the head his sandal. Shut your holy hypberole, Batman throwing selves the hell up already. The same goes for those who have allowed R. Kelly to operate under the twisted theory that people who think he ought to be held culpable for his actions are “weak.”
We can agree to disagree on where R. Kelly as a creative force should or should not fit in pop culture, but I hope we can all reach an accord that in no way does the (alleged) Playground Pervert have anything in common with any of the men he compared himself to. Or that he’s a victim when he is the furthest thing from one.
Michael Arceneaux is the author of the “The Weekly Read,” where tough love is served with just a touch