Singer Nivea is back in the limelight with the appearance on the new reality show, BET Presents The Encore, in which women from R&B supergroups from the past work together to see if they can form a supergroup.
We spoke to Nivea about the show and her decision to participate last week. The singer continued the conversation with the women of the Lip Service podcast.
In terms of topics, they ran the gambit with Nivea and eventually inquired about her working relationship with R Kelly. The two collaborated famously for Nivea’s song “Laundromat.” Given what we now know about R Kelly, Lore’l, one of the co-hosts asked Nivea if he ever tried to approach her.
The conversation came when they were talking about Nivea’s sexual and dating experiences. Eventually, Lore’l asked her if she was attracted to older men.
Nivea said after a stint of dating guys in their twenties, it really depends on the man in front of her.
Angela Yee asked, “How old is old?”
Nivea: I would say almost 20 years older than me.
Lore’l: Like R Kelly?
Nivea: No! Why would you…
Lore’l: I want to know—cuz I know you worked with him. Did he ever try to talk to you?
Nivea: Yes, he did.
Lore’l: Did you tell someone or were you just like get away from me?
Nivea: It wasn’t nothing to tell. The thing was being in the industry, being a young, sexy, little girl. And I’m sorry, I said little girl. Because the industry is filled with men. It was more male dominated. Everybody tried to talk to you, girl. They all. Yes, they did. That doesn’t mean anything happened though.
But I was trying to say, I don’t actually know R Kelly’s age so maybe I been with a man in that age range.
Welp. We could have assumed as much. While I think we would be hard-pressed to find men who were on R Kelly’s level of pedophilia and criminality when it came to sexual acts, I think Nivea’s point is an important one. He wasn’t the only one who was chasing after underage girls, knowing that they weren’t old enough to consent to a sexual relationship.
In terms of what she’s looking for these days in terms of a partner, Nivea said she’s learning to let people take care of her sometimes instead of always being the one to take care of others.
Nivea: That’s another reason why them 20-somethings was liking me. They wanted a momma. I love to take care of people. I’m just loving.
Angela Yee: You need somebody to take care of you.
Nivea: For so many years now, I’ve taken care of myself. It’s almost to where I have nothing in me that desires anyone else to do it for some reason.
Angela Yee: I think that’s a true sign of when you know you really love somebody, when you allow them to take care of you. That’s the best feeling.
Nivea: I’ve had to learn that in learning how to be a friend. With my friends and family, I had been a source for so long. When I was dealing with my drug addiction, I blocked people out. I didn’t invite my friends into what I was struggling with, my pain. And I should have. And now I’ve learned to do that. I probably call them and tell them too much.
You can watch Nivea’s full interview in the video below.