The Problem With R Kelly’s 19-Minute Confession Song

Robert Kelly, most commonly known as R-Kelly, is an American singer-songwriter. He is known for his songs IgnitionI Believe, and Bump N’ Grind.

Moreover, he is also known for a series of allegations of sexual assault and pedophilia. He had married a 15-year old when he was in his mid-20’s to which the girl had to keep secret. These issues date back to the early 2000’s with continuing cases against him in the next years.

Just recently, R-Kelly released a song titled “I Admit” which spans a whole 19 minutes, as a confession and a denial at the same time.

Despite the novelty that this song has as it serves as a confession, the content itself is problematic.

“I admit I fuck with all the ladies, that’s both older and young ladies (ladies, yeah)
But tell me how they call it pedophile because that shit is crazy (crazy)

You may have your opinions, entitled to your opinions (opinions, opinions)
But really am I supposed to go to jail or lose my career because of your opinion…”

Yes, the stanza above is one of the song’s lyrics. Not only does it show R-Kelly’s ignorance of the consequences of his actions, it also perpetuates a resistance to taking accountability. It’s clear in the lyrics that he hasn’t accepted that his actions are actual crimes. Pedophilia is a crime as anyone under 16 years old cannot legally give consent to anyone older than that. The 16-year old did not break the law, the adult who decided to partake in sexual activity has. Moreover, he sees such allegations as mere opinions that doesn’t deserve merit in comparison to his songs. He further attempts to excuse himself by saying the he’s “just a man” in one part of the song. 

“Look I’m just a man y’all (man y’all)
Not a monster or beast (no, no)
But I admit there are times when these girls so fine, they’ll chill with a ***** for a week (oh, for a week)
Now I admit I love Hugh Hefner (Hugh Hefner)
Through the years supported Hugh Hefner (yeah)
But when he left this world, he had a million girls, but we gon’ always love Hugh Hefner (yeah, oh)”

The lyrics glorify such actions of being a playboy, and basically perceiving women as sexual objects. If you didn’t know, Hugh Hefner was an American businessman, and the founder of Playboy magazine. Along with his fame from being such a notorious womanizer, his perception of women proved to be problematic as it dripped with sexism, and objectification of women. For R-Kelly to mention such a man, and use him as an avenue to justify his actions is blatant proof of his denial.

He also mentions his own traumatic experience in the song from when he was a child until he was 14 years old.

A family member had touched him and taken his virginity at such young age. This is an experience that should never happen to anyone, and it is also right that we empathize with R-Kelly. However, to use this as an excuse to impart the same trauma onto other people is a different subject. He puts a spotlight on his own experience in order to garner understanding and empathy from other people but he refuses to do the same to the people he inflicts that pain upon. It’s the epitome of public manipulation.

Releasing a song that testifies to R-Kelly’s crimes does not solve anything. Rather, it further propagates an established image of R-Kelly, if not worsens.

Here is a video going viral again on Twitter from The Boondoks, an American adult animated sitcom. This had been released 13 years ago, from when the time that R-Kelly’s allegations were on the spotlight. And up until now, it serves to be apt.

Here’s the full lyrics of “I Admit” by R-Kelly. Let us know what you think.

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