Things To Take Away From MTV’s Most Recent R. Kelly Article

Sep 24th, 2007 // 5 Comments

57365280.jpgMTV had to know what it was getting into when it asked a collection of pop, hip-hop, and R&B stars to comment on why they’re all still so hot to bask in R. Kelly’s inhuman glow with his coming-for-a-half-decade-and-counting trial (possibly) looming. It is a question that has been wrestled with in many thinkpieces about R. over the last five years–as well as personally by yours truly and anyone who remains a fan of America’s nuttiest sex criminal well after the charges first cropped up–and the salient points of many of those essays (Kelly’s pop golden touch keeping him out of a prison jumpsuit, the perennial sexifying of America’s barely legal daughters, what is child porn any damn way?) are all recapped here. But unlike many of those other essays, you know you’re going to get good, crazy quotes from celebs whose finances force them into a position of moral ambiguity. (As writer Jennifer Vineyard points out, “Some artists even jump on the Kelly bandwagon because they don’t want to seem judgmental or risk losing the chance of losing out on a hit single before a verdict is rendered.”) And there were some insights to be gleaned, the biggest of which being that most of the current Billboard Hot 100 thinks child pornography is, like, not really that much of a big deal:

“The way the world works is quick, quick, quick,” Lupe Fiasco said. “We consumed the scandal, and we’re over it. It phased out.”

Which apparently means that outrage now has an expiration date.

“He feels he didn’t do anything wrong, so why should it be any other way?” Swizz Beatz said. “If he did something wrong, then you go into hiding. He’s just making good music.”

To be remembered the next time you commit a crime, either minor or major: If you believe you are in the right, then feel free to violate longstanding societal taboos/petty misdemeanors with impunity.

“People are just like, ‘Eh,’ ” Billboard senior chart manager Raphael George said. “He seems no different than any other celebrity who’s gotten caught up in some kind of scandal.”

So Vanessa Hudgens is as bad as a child pornographer.

“You have to look at it with a microscope and ask, ‘Was this a crime?’ ” Mya said.

Oh, who’s to say? Except for, you know, the Cook County penal code.

And finally there’s Lloyd, with a quasi-nihilistic statement about you, me, and this crazy place called America that perhaps he didn’t really intend as such:

“As long as the music’s strong, that’s all that matters,” Lloyd said. “That’s all that people care about anyway.”

R. Kelly’s Career Thriving, Despite Lawsuit [MTV]

  1. the rich girls are weeping

    Gold star for that tag, seriously. Can we get some t-shirts made that say “Romulus Watch 2007″? Can we? Huh? Huh?

  2. MrStarhead

    Really? R. Kelly’s “golden” touch? That’s just wrong.

  3. Tenno

    So I guess Gary Glitter should be like, totally apologized too?

  4. Chris Molanphy

    Those silly Hollywood folk! Here they are still debating Roman Polanski after 30 years (and Elia Kazan after 50), when their brethren in the music industry have totally pardoned Kells after five. Wow, who knew wrestling with one’s conscience could be so free of, y’know, wrestling?

    (I know it’s sexist of me, but I found Mya’s quote the most disturbing.)

    I must say, Aaron McGruder is looking more prescient every day.

  5. DrSpaceman

    “You have to look at it with a microscope and ask, ‘Was this a crime?’ ” Mya said.

    Microscopes are VCRs now? Because I would think a look at the film of the crime in question would be enough.

    But it’s really no wonder that Los Angeles was able to produce a jury pool that, after being confronted with Phil Spector’s long history of putting loaded guns in women’s faces and his admission of “I just shot someone!” after a woman’s bullet-ridden corpse was discovered in his home, can’t decide if ol’ Phil actually shot a woman in the face.

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