Singer K. Michelle is trending over a series of tweets in which she says “it hurts” to not have R. Kelly around to call on as she works on her new album. Shared on Wednesday, in her own words, she states that “musically I’ve trusted him my whole career.” Kelly, whom she refers to as her mentor, is currently still in jail awaiting his trail over criminal sexual abuse allegations, all of which he denies.
As she explained, without Kelly’s help in the development of her album, many of her “musical questions” are going unanswered. She tells her followers to not take for granted the mentors in their own lives, and notes that now that she is left without hers, it’s a struggle to “do this alone” and “trust my own self.” In the process of trying to create “the most genuine Last R&B record,” as the star plans to work on country music next, she’s trying to be “confident” with her skills despite Kelly’s absence, whom she refers to personally as “Rob.”
While she claims to be not “defending” him, her tweet is borderline that of a rapist sympathizer. Referring to Kelly’s behavior and crimes as a “sickness” takes away from the fact that he needs to be held accountable in one way or another. Also, to say he is being “crucified” diverts attention from and minimizes the actual impact his actions have had on the lives of his victims. There is no “separating the man from the music,” especially not for those he abused. Kelly has already been arrested multiple times for misconduct related to sex crimes against young girls and women and is currently facing 10 years to life in prison.
K. Michelle’s positive personal experience with R. Kelly over music, which she chose to make public, is a false parallel in comparison to the collective experiences of the countless women he has allegedly terrorized over decades. This alone makes her comments insensitive towards his victims. Looking to prove that she wasn’t being inconsiderate and that she cares about what they say they’ve been through, she claimed that she has been in contact “with some of the victims and offered my help” in the past.
Ranting at the end, she encouraged fans to not be bullied out of their “true emotions.” As she told them, “You have the full right to be a free thinker and should be able to THINK without fear.”
While yes, everyone has the right to their own opinion and should think for themselves, people should also be held accountable for the thoughts they choose to put out into the world. K. Michelle could have kept her adoration of R. Kelly private, but instead chose to publicly align herself with him as his mentee. Whether on purpose or not, she seemingly sympathized with him, painting the crooner as someone she sees as being condemned for a problem they have. As a Black woman herself, and one who has dealt with her own abuse and desired support and understanding, it’s left many feeling her opinion on the matter is questionable and somewhat contradictory.
In the end, it’s made her a hot topic. Could this have all been a way to boost anticipation and interest for her new album? Is it possibly just another out-of-place tweet from another bored celebrity? Either way, these may have been thoughts best kept to those within K. Michelle’s inner circle, or perhaps, to herself.