Surviving R. Kelly Shakes Up Social Media And Music Community

Lifetime’s six-part docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, aired over the weekend and garnered reactions from fans and musicians, including R. Kelly himself. According to TMZ, sources close to the singer said that although he did not watch, he was "disgusted" by the documentary, which made allegations against him including having sex with numerous underage girls, as well as physically and mentally abusing them. Kelly also allegedly claimed to "not know" half of the people on the series.

Sources said that Kelly sees the series as a "vendetta" against him by those involved in making Surviving R. Kelly. The singer reportedly plans to "sue everybody," including Lifetime, the alleged survivors of his abuse and personalities like John Legend and Charlamagne Tha God.


In other news, many celebrities have weighed in on the three-part docuseries, which aired on Thursday (January 3rd), Friday (January 4th) and Saturday (January 5th). According to Page Six, Chance the Rapper admits that he made a "mistake" when he recorded a song with Kelly. Chance told Jamilah Lemieux in an interview in May, a portion of which was aired in the final installment of the docuseries, "Making a song with R. Kelly was a mistake. At the time, it wasn’t even present in my mind that people could feel any type of way about his presence on a track of mine. I think for a long time I was only able to understand R. Kelly’s situation and presence in the world when it comes down to his trial and his accusations and his accusers as a victim. I don’t know if that’s because I’m from Chicago or ‘cause he made great music or ‘cause he is a black man."

He continued, "We’re programmed to really be hypersensitive to black male oppression. But black women are exponentially a higher oppressed and violated group of people just in comparison to the whole world. Maybe I didn’t care because I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women. Usually, n***as that get in trouble for shit like this on their magnitude of celebrity, it’s light-skinned women or white women. That’s when it’s a big story. I’ve never really seen any pictures of R. Kelly’s accusers."

Chance added, "I can’t be right all the time. I made a mistake and I’m happy that those women are getting voices now and I can grow to understand better what my positioning should be or should’ve been when that opportunity came."

After receiving backlash over his comments, Chance took to social media to issue an apology. He said, "The quote was taken out of context, but the truth is any of us who ever ignored the R Kelly stories, or ever believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls. I apologize to all of his survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out."

On another note, according to The Jasmine Brand, following the airing of Surviving R. Kelly, the singer has had an increase in streaming on Spotify. A rep confirmed that Kelly’s music has seen a 16 percent increase after the airing of part one.

R. Kelly’s former backup singer, Jovante Cunningham, has also backed up her claims that she saw the singer having sex with Aaliyah when she was underage. Cunningham wrote in a new statement to People, "It’s unfortunate that there are still people trying to protect Robert when they know he has destroyed so many people’s lives. I loved Aaliyah and when people watch the documentary, they will see how much I cared for her and how much Robert’s actions deeply affected me and so many others." The response comes after Aaliyah’s mother, Diane Haughton, said that Cunningham’s claims were "lies and fabrications."

Additional Reactions

Meek Mill: "I’m not feeling R after watching that .... it’s so much filthy sh*t going on in this industry nobody will ever really speak on the wild sh*t because most of them could have docs like this or even worst done about them!"

Styles P: "Protect the babies at all cost !! Meaning don’t make no excuses for whoever tampers with them !!! F**k is wrong with this society !!! You can’t defend a serial pedo! You can acknowledge that someone tampered with him and made him sick !!!but you cannot make it like what he did was right . That man is sick and that’s f**ked up what happened to them young ladies ! And that is that !!! Sh*t is way too much ... sad as f**k !!!! That was a rough watch!!"

Tank: "I lot of artists, song writers, producers, record execs, etc are very confused as to how to respond to what they’ve seen and heard. We’ve all been inspired by this man. We’ve all been witnesses to his musical genius. We have shaped and molded talent we sign after his musical image. We’ve invested so much of ourselves into this man that it’s hard for us to let go. I no longer have that issue. I whole heartedly apologize for not coming to this realization sooner. I CANOT separate the music from the monster! My 3 black daughters won’t let me. What hurts even more are the facilitators around him. His team, his record company, the promoters, the radio stations! There has to be a line drawn. Enough has to be enough at some point. Who are we saying is worth protecting if we let this continue? I choose the lives of these young black girls! I’m sick to my stomach! Let me also say this! There are more men guilty of these crimes! Lets make sure none of them slip through the cracks every again! You are no king because kings don’t treat queens like this!"

Ne-Yo: "There is NO excuse. Music is important. It really is. But it’s not more important than protecting our children, protecting our little girls. PERIOD."

Jada Pinkett Smith: "I just watched this with my daughter Willow. It was tough to watch but deeply important. It brought up A LOT for us both. Mothers and fathers ... it’s tough content but it’s important we have conversations with both our daughters and sons around the many issues in this docuseries. It’s well done and makes it clear that we gotta do better ... in so many ways."