Thursday, August 23, 2007

trapped on trial & pissed off

Come September 17, 2007 the R. Kelly scandal goes to trial. The charges against Kelly are 14 counts of child pornography, which includes fellatio , intercourse, and urination on a, then, 14 year old girl (a girl whom Kelly says he is "like a Godfather" to). Most of us are familiar with the outbreak, due to Kelly's actions; though Kelly denies his participation in the video ("it's not me") some things must be brought to question and it surrounds one simple fact: why would you admit it was you even if it were?

In a 2002 interview with John Norris from MTV Kelly ducks and dodges Norris's straightforward questions, while making sure that he reassures us that the reason he is doing the interview is for "the fans." Not to prove his innocence (nor does Kelly find fault in his promiscuous character) but much rather his image and accumulated embarrassment that surrounds the scandal. A New York radio station went nuts with a satirical Kelly add that states a Kelly mockery:

Hey little girl. Remove your training bra so that we can have sex.

Well my Mommy says I have to always do my homework first when I come home after school. But after I finish my homework, we can take off my training bra then, and then we can have sex.

I can recall hearing this on the radio (at the time I was living in New York for a month, finishing a screenplay) before knowing about the scandal. I am not much for keeping up on news, since I tend to find depression in daily outbreaks. However upon hearing this I went on line and found out what this was about. Once it was all laid out it made sense for these charges to be put on Kelly, and not once have I backed down from the possibility of it being true. One has to wonder how one may find themselves in such a situation. How an accusation can come out of thin air, and bite the ass of the individual in question. For one to have such charges against them (life damaging charges that, guilty or innocent, follow a person to their grave) is to consider the individuals previous actions.

In the interview with Norris Kelly says:

"If it's just about young girls, that's just not me...but as far as women in general, I do honestly believe that your fame has a lot to do with why you get with women. I walk into a club and I can come out with two or three women, and that's a problem for me."

Kelly admitting he has a "problem" with women (in that, he and Eric Benet just can't stop fucking) smoke screens his personality, in that, he runs towards the guilt of a situation rather than accepting his sexual nature. For one who was innocent would not feel the sudden need to seek help for their sexual "problem." There are bigger problems people can have; and in comparison an appetite for pussy and a non-stop libido is minor. Kelly states:

"I was living the life of R. Kelly...I'm trying to change that part of my life and make it better."

The "life of R. Kelly" is a personal journey only to be experienced by R. Kelly himself. To separate himself from himself, as if to say he had no clue to what he was doing, is a direct understanding of a man with everything to hide. When Kelly is asked about the rumors of him preferring young girls Kelly states:

"I haven't heard "Robert prefers young women." I haven't heard that rumor. That's a new one on me..."

And yet when asked about his marriage to Aaliyah when she was 15 and Kelly was 25, he fabricates respect by saying:

"...Aaliyah is gone now and out of respect for her and her mom and her dad, I will not discuss Aaliyah...That was a whole other situation..."

The situation was enough to cause denial in Kelly when the Aaliyah marriage first broke out. Neither Kelly nor Aaliyah looked the situation in the face, and when they came on BET together, shortly after the release of Age Ain't Nuthin ' But a Number, both Aaliyah and Kelly looked Donnie Simpson in the eye and said "we're just friends." By this time the rumors were out, and they had to deny them to avoid further embarrassment ; much like Kelly must deny the tape scandals (tapes he says he is not willing to watch because he's innocent and does not need to prove it) in order to avoid further embarrassment . It's been 5 years since the charges were introduced, and Kelly has put out 5 albums in the process. He buried himself in work and in the process released the over-rated "Trapped in The Closet" (his silly R&B soap opera that most listeners mistake as "innovative") and maintained his fan base. Fans are turning their heads on Kelly's actions -- like most did but did not for the Woody Allen scandal -- because they want to believe him while slowly abducting the race card and using fame as a blame for his responsibilities. It is a seemingly progressive time period in which black celebrities are free to walk, due to worries of Al Sharpton backlash and "HE WAS ONLY PUT IN JAIL BECAUSE HE'S RICH, FAMOUS, AND BLACK!" However the idea of Kelly possibly being guilty, and denying his guilt because that's just what a person does when accused of sleeping with under-aged girls, is too far fetched for most to grasp. Dave Chappelle immortalized Kelly's responsibilities by mocking him on his Chappelle's Show with the classic sketch "Piss on You." Chappelle understands the absurdity in Kelly's actions and is not afraid to say "That was some stupid shit!" Be it Kelly in the tapes or a set up from some local Kelly "hater", the fact that Kelly has a history of underage girl addictions is enough to write him off as a potential problem.

The girl in the sex tape (who will most likely testify when the trial begins September 17, 2007) denies it was her, as do her mother and father. However her aunt and best friend at the time say that it was her. The best friend says she remembers this time well because "both girls had the same haircut." On top of this the friend says that she and the girl in the sex tape began to spend a lot of time with Kelly the summer after sixth grade. The justification on Kelly's part is that the girl (not the friend) was like his "goddaughter" which would account Kelly as asurrogate "godfather figure." However one would wonder how a grown man would find a comfort in spending time with girls on their way to seventh grade. I'm a father of two boys, and there is a personal worry of leaving my boys with a woman outside of their mother; let alone an after school grown man, calling himself their "friend" (as much as one can be "friends" with anadolescent) and over treating my boys to luxuries. One would want to question this type of "ok " considering Kelly's marriage to Aaliyah and countless other girls who have (as of now) come forward. It makes one think back to such lyrics as:

"Oooh child
things are gonna get a little freakier
And I will have you singin' like a mockin' bird
("Bump and Grind, Remix)

Or better yet, a pseudo-hidden message that R. Kelly wrote for Michael Jackson in the title song, "You are not alone." Not to say that Kelly's lyrics are an indication of his vice, but they do not aid his case in a positive direction. For all we know this will all come to a close with Kelly walking with a fine and a slap on the wrist, only for him to stand on live television and run down his "this is what happens when you're famous and successful" number. Kelly has done well to maintain his prolific nature, and is regarded as one of the top producers in the world (results of personal taste), but when one looks closely, he lacks the ability to take responsibility for who he is. It stuns me that Kelly seems to think he has nothing to worry about. That this will all go away. However these types of scandals (motivated by momentary weakness and delusions of grandeur ) carry a poison that lacks a cure and, in most cases, invokes a stand-offish response from those who surround us. Kelly may or may not walk from this trial, but either way, his music cannot overshadow his nature. Nor does his "talent" give him license to express himself outside the law. It is common knowledge that fucking underage girls is a crime. However if Kelly is to continue this practice (and he has proven that it is a practice for him he cannot break) he needs to do it off camera, expect backlash, and welcome the criticism that follows.

About Me

My photo
writer, actor, & producer in training. in 2005, along side my partner in film and best friend since childhood, we produced and executed 3 films. to this day i am still working in "the business" to the best of my abilities and moving forward to the "next level." currently i am producing a film project, co-writing another, awaiting word on a stage play for New York, and pursuing my next one-person show. i'm also in school pursuing my Ph.D in Social Science.