This timeline chronicles important events in Chicago native R. Kelly’s life, including a musical career that has sold 54 million albums worldwide and a pattern of behavior that led to his trial in May 2008 on charges of making child pornography.
OK…. this is insanely detailed and terribly disturbing. I knew maybe 1% of anything here. (I know about 0.000001% of anything, ever though.)
This reminds me of Larry Fitzmaurice’s eloquent “actual piece of shit Chris Brown" reference from a 2011 p4k post about a possible Brown/M.I.A. collaboration. My first thoughts when I initially read that post had something to do with the casual racism white writers let loose when Brown’s name is mentioned, the particular lynch-y vitriol he seems to receive, etc. etc. But I have yet to see Kelly referred to in such colorful language by Fitzmaurice or any other p4k writer. When Kelly collaborated with Phoenix earlier this year, he was an "R&B Great.”
So…what’s happening here? Is that M.I.A., a brown woman, needs p4k to make it clear (to her, to us) that she is choosing to work with a man who abuses women, “a piece of shit?” Does Phoenix need any clarification that Kelly has a history of abuse?
It’s clearly an issue of “quality” on the one hand— critics just like Kelly’s music more. And as gaobaby and I discussed, he gets his share of condescension from those same critics who can’t believe he would consciously make something absurd for that purpose. (See Ryan Dombal’s “it’s nice to know that, sometimes, R. Kelly is just as inexplicable to R. Kelly as he is to the rest of us.” as if Kelly’s creativity escapes comprehension, as if even Kelly himself does not quite understand how to do the amazing things he does).
intimacy is theorizing your different sadnesses, together.
It is worthwhile comparing the differences in era. I Got the Hookup—made for about six dollars, produced and written by and starring Master P, was released in 655 theaters. This year’s The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete—directed by George Tillman Jr., who produced the Barbershop franchise hits of 2002 to 2005—played in 147. The best black film I saw this year, Gimme the Loot (which won the Grand Jury Prize at last year’s SXSW) was released in 10 theaters. The highly acclaimed Mother of George? In eight. When the black films with the widest release are ones about slavery, servitude, and the slaughter of black men, it is not a renaissance we are experiencing—it is resignation.
This piece by Rahawa Haile is great and you should read it.
It is not at all uncommon for someone to arrive at a scene of brutality or injustice and, with a sympathetic murmur or heroic flourish, attack the victim. It happens all the time.
Renata Adler, Speedboat