Is Society Punishing R. Kelly?
R. Kelly faces new indictments that could test his relation to social bodies.
For decades, the business of music and media as a whole have been fueled by the secular and the profane or the grand and the coarse or God and sex, drugs, and nowadays, hiphop. Seemingly, it would be because most acts grew up in homes espousing faithful values in America. The late, great Prince Rogers Nelson built up an entire career based on the ideals of trying to coalesce the notions of some alleged floating consciousness outside the bounds of reality with the urges of the flesh. Corporeal thoughts and actions meant greater dollar signs to the companies that produce everything from music to pornography and everything in between. The recognition that some mystical force would one day save the makers and consumers of such fair through the blood of the son continues to resonate with audiences. R. Kelly is just a pawn, a freak that has only brought upon himself the indignation of a nation.
How can a mind be warped into believing in a "higher power" to save them?
Gone but not forgotten, Michael Jackson is another example of the hallmarks of attempting to unite the ideals of sanctity and carnal acts. His catalogue is rife with the instances of a man thinking, feeling, expressing inclinations of sex in “Dirty Diana” while recording with church choirs the classic song, “Will You Be There.” Kelly has recorded both “Bump and Grind” and “I Believe I Can Fly.” He’s laid down lyrics to “You Remind Me of My Jeep” and “You Saved Me.” Respectively, for both artists, the aforementioned first songs hint at their sexuality laced offerings. The latter two respond to their parochial upbringings. With the appearance of ten charges attached to Kelly for more alleged foul interactions with women, his star continues to dim. His entire credibility is as shot as Bill “Pill” Cosby. None of these men, alleged (Jackson) non-criminals (Prince), and convicted criminals (Cosby) represent a background where they found a rational philosophy that would have placed rules, guidelines, and parameters against such acts.
Prince’s record “Adore” describes how he hears angels cry during the act of intimacy. He lived his early life as a religious member and later in childhood and adulthood. He would go on to record some of the most salacious, raunchy tunes to ever come out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Similar to Prince, Michael Jackson’s upbringing reflected a similar line, except that Jackson worshipped a different set of religious tenets as a child. R. Kelly sang in the choir. It appears the the strong influence of mysticism pervaded the childhood of all of these performers. In later years, as they would discover their sexuality, they retained their religious roots. Without regarding sex as good and clean (which it is) each artist attempted to sully the act. The damage and hindrance that this could do should’ve been reserved for Prince and Michael Jackson’s psychiatrists. Currently held on a million dollar bond, Kelly is alive and ought to be willing to be examined mentally for his alleged transgressions.
The man who can’t get it together
Kelly appears to be out of tune with reality in his responses in the media stating that he is “The Pied Piper” and that the girls come to him. The image of a grown man allegedly soliciting sex from minors disrespects the honest if still mystified billions of people who follow a given faith. It is not a moral matter of whether someone believes in something else, meaning it’s not a detriment to upstanding citizens who are just trying to make it through the day, even though they lift their prayers to the unknown and unknowable. What is a problem is if such figures as Kelly then, after committing vicious sexual acts, runs back to what he was taught during his childhood. It is a slap in the face to believers who although may not have discovered a fully rational plane of existence, still carry themselves with dignity and honor, in their own way.
Kelly represents the mixed-up, delusional, and potentially dangerous creature who has amassed fortune and fame only to have all of his legal woes catch up to him. Rightfully, if he committed those crimes, he deserves to be punished to the complete extent that the law would allow. Kelly’s psyche is fraught with contradictions, floating abstractions, and evasions. He has provided the world with a “two-faced” image of himself as one foot is in gospel and the other in raunchy R&B. He tries to tie his world around the idea that he is a magnet for young women, but cannot reconcile that these notions are false and not tied down to reality. His evasions include feeling that underage women are ripe for the plucking and ready to indulge his desires; Kelly has never admitted to the wrongdoing that he has allegedly been involved with for over two decades.
Kelly’s alleged derangement is a testament to his own self- destruction
Kelly is confused, befuddled, and bewildered. By seeking to escape his responsibilities, he has stooped to the level of an alleged deviant. While the religiosity/secularism dichotomy exists, this could extend to those who proclaim atheism while making religions of other institutions. For Kelly, that seems to be allegedly manipulating and steering young girls and women to follow his devastating lead. As a complete disaster, Kelly has demonstrated that he is now guided not only by the religious “spirit” but by the idea that he is above the law. His actions have pointed to being righteous and only “dirty” in his extensive catalogue. He can only blame himself for the misery that he has caused the individuals that Kelly has mistreated sexually (allegedly).
That old saw “money can’t buy happiness” should be reversed in Kelly’s case. His happiness should have lead to riches and fortune as gravy for his ability to craft songs and perform. Instead, only bleakness and sorrow can follow him further into his days as he approaches his mid-fifties. As he beat the charges stemming from allegations of child pornography, he had that second chance that he discusses in the song “You Saved Me.” However, in January 2019, with indictments related to aggravated sexual abuse, R. Kelly may be going down on the canvas after this one. Once “The World’s Greatest” R&B singer, Kelly now must face the bitter wheat of all of his deceptions. He could start with the most important thing, restoring the dignity to the women who alleged that Kelly abused them.
To turn on the the spigot of remorse would be the first instance and letting it flow out to his supporters, and the global community who put dollars down to sustain his lifestyle. Conviction or not, Kelly has betrayed the trust of his base: women. The ones who in another time period picked up his CD or now streamed an R. Kelly album deserve to have some semblance of an apology. Kelly cannot make up in his own mind whether to be the sex-fueled entertainer or the upstanding individual who does the right thing. His role in the alleged abuse accounts for the toxic mindset that Kelly carries. Even if every count was dismissed, Kelly’s tarnished name only bears more rust. The luster of the larger-than-life R&B star has long vanished.
A renewed idealism that he is a predator and a poor example to children has swept the world...again. With these new allegations, Kelly can count on even more sales dropping, performances being cancelled, and streaming services cancelling his catalogue. The business side of things will destroy Kelly, and for good reason. When the wheels of capitalism start slowing, it is directly connected with the dismissal of a product. That could stem from the inferiority of the product or the misdeeds (allegedly) of the producer. But that is the beauty of capitalism. The votes that Kelly received when someone purchased his album represented the belief in his character and his values. Now, those same people may cease their buying of the next Kelly project (if there is one).
Surviving the split-consciousness
Damage has been done to Kelly and the recent docuseries, Surviving R.Kelly (2019) only fueled the engines of those seeking justice for the girls and women who claimed that the R&B singer abused them. Kelly never exorcised his demons within his mind and in reality, he couldn’t shake his own consciousness. He is not an evil genius who lured these females to his lair like some zany James Bond villain. Kelly is just another presumed predator whose time is now up for his “sins.” And that’s what he would call them. He would say that his transgressions are able to be forgiven by the force in which he believes. He would claim that he is empowered by the body of his sovereignty and that all of his dastardly deeds would be washed away with a simple wish. Thanks to the Thomas Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers, there is a thing called the separation of church and State. R. Kelly can lift his hands to the sky and plead to the invented force above all that he wants to in this life. He might petition to be part of the clergy. But where will that take him? Will he position himself as a priest and abuse little boys? Or will he be like the minister who fondles young teenage kids during the Southern Baptist Convention? Given time, Kelly might actually become an atheist and set his life straight. Regardless of what he makes up in his mind, he will forever be looked at as the split-conscious singer.
At the moment, with these new allegations, Kelly might be the worst American besides Jussie Smollett. And for the city of Chicago to have to contend with both of these figures at the same time is a sad state of affairs. Kelly’s situation is of course worse. He stands as the most vicious of the two. By not recognizing the rights of the women and girls that he supposedly abused, Kelly should be stamped as a complete irrationalist. By emoting and using unreason, Kelly decided to become a venomous spider, prowling to catch his reported prey. He failed to think. He saw some beautiful girls and women and shut off his mind. He figured that he could take their innocence and use it against them. With his thought process malfunctioning, he conjured up lies in his mind that proved to be like pouring sand in a gas tank.
His unwillingness to think brought pain and suffering to young women and girls who sought guidance from Kelly. They put their trust in him and never for a moment thought that they would be mistreated. From every perspective, Kelly has committed some brutal acts. Those still alleged, the irreparable damage to his career and life will stand as a reminder to men and women everywhere to always employ reason with every action that they take. The process of thought could have saved Kelly the torment that his consciousness may be inflicting upon him. He knows that the supposed abuses are in direct relation to his behavior.
His mind ought to have told him no and his body should have said no as well. To be caught up in the mind-body disconnect, Kelly fell to his own weakness that could only bring pain and ruin. His alleged devious acts point not to a man, but a boy who never fully matured. He wanted to get away with his terrible actions and coast on the fact that he beat the first round of charges in 2008. This new crop aims to take the “Fiesta” singer down by breaking his will. He saved up in his memory the days of singing in the church choir like so many other famous singers got their start. He also wants to keep his wanton acts with him. He wants to further the will of “two masters” and not have to worry about addressing his flaws. For non believers who integrate, adhere to, and apply to their own lives a rational philosophy, the mysticism and society be damned.