R. Kelly News

17 Jan 19
The Rickey Smiley Morning Show

A woman who was told to “take a chill pill” did the complete opposite of that.

17 Jan 19
IndieWire
Fifteen years before “Surviving R. Kelly” brought the eponymous singer’s history of alleged sexual abuse back into the national spotlight, nearly every teenager across America was talking about R. Kelly because of “Chappelle’s Show.” On March 23, 2003, the Comedy Central series aired a mock music video titled “Piss On You,” which starred Chappelle as R. Kelly performing a song about the real R. Kelly’s 2002 legal troubles over allegedly urinating on an underage girl. The clip went viral and is often referenced as one of Chappelle’s most popular sketches. “Chappelle’s Show” co-creator Neal Brennan recently appeared on the radio program “The Breakfast Club” and was asked about the sketch, which has been widely talked about in the wake of “Surviving R. Kelly.” According to Brennan, the R&B singer sent a clear message to Chappelle by threatening him. [pmc-related-link href=”https://www.indiewire.com/2019/01/the-boondocks-r-kelly-episode-abuse-trial-1202034304/” type=”Read More:” target=”_blank”]Over A Decade Ago, ‘The Boondocks’ Ridiculed Everyone for Ignoring R. Kelly’s Abuse[/pmc-related-link] “R. Kelly wanted to fight Dave,” Brennan said. “Literally, his goons stepped to Dave in Chicago and Dave’s goons intervened. The goons negotiated.” The “Piss On You” sketch has been debated in the midst of “Surviving R. Kelly.” The Lifetime documentary series includes interviews with survivors of R. Kelly’s alleged abuse, many of whom say their stories had been told in the past but never taken seriously. Some culture critics, including Aisha Harris of The New York Times, cited the “Piss On You” music video as normalizing R. Kelly’s behavior and making light of his alleged behavior. When asked whether or not this was true, Brennan replied strongly that it was not. “I don’t think people understand what comedy is supposed to do,” he said. “We will observe things, we will make fun of things. Did people want us to round up a posse and go arrest R. Kelly? Like, what were we supposed to do?” [pmc-related-link href=”https://www.indiewire.com/2019/01/the-boondocks-r-kelly-episode-abuse-trial-1202034304/” type=”Read More:” target=”_blank”]Over A Decade Ago, ‘The Boondocks’ Ridiculed Everyone for Ignoring R. Kelly’s Abuse[/pmc-related-link] “Our job is to poke fun at things.” Brennan concluded. “And even if it’s bleak, we still poke fun at it. We were trying to humiliate a guy who was known for peeing.” “Chappelle’s Show” signed off the air in 2006 after running for three seasons. Watch a part of Brennan’s interview on “The Breakfast Club” in the video below. People were mad last week that we did an R. Kelly sketches 15 years ago. Here’s me explaining comedy to them. pic.twitter.com/FQoxIALqkr — Neal Brennan (@nealbrennan) January 15, 2019
17 Jan 19
ThinkProgress
Who still wants to be in business with R. Kelly? A man whose career once seemed to rise with direct proportion to the volume of rumors about his off-stage sexual escapades is, in the wake of the blockbuster Lifetime series Surviving R. Kelly, quickly becoming a pop culture pariah. On Wednesday of this week, protesters gathered outside Sony Music’s New York headquarters,  where they chanted “RCA, take a stand, we won’t stop ‘til Kelly’s banned!” and delivered a petition with more than 217,000 signatures, imploring the label to drop the R&B star. Last week, a plane commissioned by national women’s organization UltraViolet flew above Sony’s Culver City, Ca., offices, trailing a banner that read “RCA/Sony: Drop Sexual Predator R. Kelly.” Meanwhile, artists like Lady Gaga have fired up their Notes apps to issue awfully-late-but-okay apologies for their collaborations with the R&B star and express solidarity with the considerable, and growing, number of women who say they were victimized by Kelly. According to years of credible reporting, Kelly has, for decades, been engaged in the sexual, physical, psychological, and emotional abuse of women and girls as young as 14-years-old. Through those years, his victims have reportedly been silenced by threats, blackmail, payouts, and — the choice legal document of serial sexual abusers the nation over — non-disclosure agreements. A BuzzFeed investigation published last July by Jim DeRogatis, who broke the Kelly story back in 2000 and has been reporting on it ever since, said that Kelly is currently keeping several young women in cult-like conditions against their will at his homes, women whose parents have been trying for years to see or at least contact their daughters, with no end to their torment in sight. The docuseries reintroduced that harrowing testimony, gave faces and voices to the previously-anonymous or unseen women who say Kelly systematically destroyed their lives, and all but forced the average viewer to reckon with their complicity in Kelly’s fame and success. Within weeks of its premiere, the campaign to #MuteRKelly had grown in volume considerably, making the silence of Kelly’s longtime label all the more apparent — and, to Kelly’s detractors, damning. RCA, whose parent company is Sony, did send an employee down to pick up that petition in New York. But the label has taken no formal action against Kelly, who has been at RCA for the entirety of his solo career. (Jive Records, to which Kelly was previously signed, merged with RCA in 2007.) His most recent RCA release was a 2016 Christmas album. As for his 18-minute rambling non-confession, “I Admit,” Kelly released it himself on SoundCloud last July. https://thinkprogress.org/surviving-r-kelly-fallout-346aa87f722e/ Is RCA in a real legal bind, unable to dissolve a contract that — technically, legally — Kelly has not breached? Or is that just a convenient cover for a corporation unwilling to lose the back catalog of an artist whose biggest hits, like “I Believe I Can Fly” and “Ignition (Remix)” are still in heavy rotation? ‘The amazing, sacred nature of the contract’ “Is there a criminal indictment against this man? Because until that occurs, RCA has a problem,” said Deborah L. Wagnon, attorney and associate professor specializing in recording industry legal issues in the College of Media and Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University. RCA is dealing with “a very strong, vocal, relatively mature — to the business — artist, in R. Kelly, with very strong counsel. They, I’m sure, have dug in, and taken a position of, ‘We have a viable recording agreement. We have no morals clause.’” Current agreements likely have language to allow for a broader range of terminable offenses, given the ease with which a person can wreck a reputation via social media. But Kelly’s contract predates all of that. When Kelly got his start in the music industry back in the 1990s, it would have been “very difficult for any artist counsel to allow any language in that would suggest that, if you misbehave, we can cut you from the roster,” Wagnon said. “That was fought tooth and nail.” All of this means that, until Kelly commits a crime — and is arrested for said crime, or is on trial, or is in prison — RCA may not have the grounds to terminate his contract. https://thinkprogress.org/lizzette-martinez-never-imagined-surviving-r-kelly-would-be-this-big-c37c8d5cc6eb/ The relevant question regarding Kelly’s behavior, for RCA, is simply this: Is it damaging his record sales? To break a contract requires “objective data,” Wagnon explained, which translates to something like: “Sales drop exponentially, no one will do business with you. I don’t know that boycotts or protests count” if they don’t actually diminish sales. “This is about the amazing, sacred nature of the contract. This crazy range of the freedom of parties to agree to something that the courts will uphold, no matter how stupid the terms were, so long as they were legal and the people were of majority age,” Wagnon said. “That is what RCA and all their lawyers are stuck with. No matter how much they want him to go somewhere else, there has to be a basis in fact for them to take action. Because he’s not an ingenue. And he could sue them for breach.” Sony was in this predicament before, though in reverse, when Kesha tried and failed to extricate herself from a recording contract with Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, who the pop singer-songwriter accused of rape and abuse, Gottwald’s Kemosabe Records, and Sony. The judge ruled against Kesha over and over again, saying, “My instinct is to do the commercially reasonable thing” and uphold the existing contract. “It is the inverse. Kesha just wanted out, and Sony was pushing her to deliver,” said Wagnon. In Kelly’s case, “He doesn’t want to go anywhere, [and] as long as he delivers in strict accordance with the agreement, they’re hard-pressed to get rid of him, unless he has violated some provision in the agreement.” “RCA is not judge and jury,” Wagnon said. “They are party to a contract.” Keeping Kelly on hold Kelly’s camp claims he has been in the studio recording new music; he has two albums left on his contract. Sources familiar with Kelly’s contract and relationship with RCA told TMZ that the label has basically put Kelly on ice: “The label will not produce any of the singer’s new music, it will not put money behind any of his projects, and it will not release any additional music until the criminal investigations in Georgia and other fallout resolve one way or the other.” Criminal investigations into Kelly are underway in Atlanta and Chicago.  So while protesters are demanding RCA sever ties with Kelly immediately, “immediately” is not necessarily the savviest move for the label. What’s the rush? It’s not like they have to release any of his music. “Nobody could compel them to put a record out if they didn’t want to,” said Laurie Soriano, a music attorney in Los Angeles. https://thinkprogress.org/the-surviving-r-kelly-showrunner-is-waiting-for-a-reckoning-fa8541c4adf2/ “All recording agreements, even for superstar types, are going to be the same on this front: They’re basically set up in a one-sided way, where the record label gets to decide how long the term is,” Soriano said. And even if they picked up the options, “there are still mechanisms in the agreement, as every agreement has, about what happens if the label decides not to put the record out.” Kelly could be standing outside RCA with a boombox over his head, playing the music he says comprises his next two albums. But “this concept of, ‘I made the record, I sent it to them, they have the digital files of all the masters,’ that is not delivery with a capital D,” Wagnon said. “Delivery has to be communicated as accepted by the label.” Which means another delaying mechanism available to RCA is to simply reject whatever Kelly sends their way by saying, “We’re not happy with it. Our approval of your record is pending. We’ve seen it, we’ve heard it, but we have not made our decision with whether it is commercially satisfactory — therefore, delivery has not occurred.” “Buying time is to the label’s advantage,” said Wagnon. ‘Who wants to pay massive dollars to someone they might have issues with already?’ But let’s imagine a scenario in which RCA decides that they just can’t stomach keeping Kelly on the roster anymore. It is worth noting that RCA only recently announced a new deal with Chris Brown, who pled guilty to a 2009 assault of his then-girlfriend, Rihanna, and whose name has made headlines for his multitude of arrests, alleged violent misconduct in the years since. So it does not appear that this is the particular hill upon which RCA would choose to die. Nevertheless, to continue this thought experiment, RCA has the option of simply settling it out with Kelly — just paying him to go away. The idea does have its appeal, but for Wagnon, it raises a question, “Who wants to pay massive dollars to someone they might have issues with already?”  And even if RCA kills this contract before Kelly can release new music, what do they do about the old music? “They could decide to pull his back catalog,” said Soriano. “Or they could sever all ties for the future, but leave the status quo with regard to his back catalog” — an option that might appease the #MuteRKelly camp but keep those “Ignition (Remix)” royalties rolling in. “His masters, no one wants because he’s a pariah,” said Wagnon. “But you can always re-record that master recording if you [own] the underlying composition, and there’s serious dollars in that market. We don’t know all of the assets that RCA is looking at. Particularly if it was Jive, because they were pretty good at owning compositions and master recordings.” RCA’s radio silence As it seems that the savviest strategy for RCA is the one they’re currently deploying — keeping Kelly on ice, waiting for the justice system to do its thing — why not address the public outrage with some kind of statement? Even something relatively benign to the effect of, “We are aware of the concerns regarding this artist. We take allegations of sexual violence very seriously. We also believe in due process. We have no further comment at this time.” Surely the company has a PR team at work crafting something very similar, no? Because if not, it took approximately eight seconds to write that. RCA can just have it! https://thinkprogress.org/rkelly-reporter-wants-your-attention-6de8bd8cd0fe/ “If they make a statement that has assumptions in it about behavior, that could be very problematic,” said Catherine Moore, adjunct professor of music technology at the University of Toronto. “Unless and until they have legal support for that statement, then a company would be very reluctant to make a statement.” Considering the gravity of the allegations against Kelly, how long his abuse has allegedly been going on — and the fact that it is still reportedly ongoing — one would think this is an urgent matter. But for RCA, Moore said, “The time to make an announcement would be when they could announce, ‘We have made this business decision about R. Kelly,’ and say what that decision is.”  Though to all the world, it appears like RCA is doing nothing. “I’m sure they’re more busy than we could imagine trying to figure this out,” Moore said. “But they’re not doing it in public.”
17 Jan 19
Radio Free

Now that a Lifetime documentary series has brought the sordid details of R&B singer R. Kelly’s alleged sexual predation and abuse against underage girls and women to a mass audience, American culture faces still another moment of reckoning. Will we finally own up to the evasions and deferrals of justice enabled by the social privileges […]

17 Jan 19
peoples trust toronto

http://bit.ly/2ChjV6D R. Kelly is a hot topic right now, as he’s been accused of raping minors, keeping minors locked up in his home for sexual purposes, and having inappropriate relationships with minors. We are talking about teenagers who ultimately are still just children. The testimony of many women and those close to him have illuminated  what […]

17 Jan 19
Archy Worldys

The singer R. Kelly in New York – WENN For R. Kelly, accused of having founded a "sexual sect" to his glory in which he sequestered girls, everything goes from Charybdis to Scylla. In fact, in addition to the aforementioned accusations, the interpreter ofI Believe I Can Fly is also sued by the city of […]

17 Jan 19
whotv.com

The Trump administration does not know how many children were separated from a parent or guardian last year, but it’s “thousands” more than the the 2,737 it has previously acknowledged, according to a new inspector general report. “More children over a longer period of time were separated by immigration authorities and were referred to HHS […]

17 Jan 19
AmeyawDebrah.Com

The United States city of Louisville in Kentucky is set to rename its airport after late boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who was born in the city. The announcement came just a day before Ali would have turned 77.  The boxing legend who was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on Jan 17, 1942, died in 2016 at […]

17 Jan 19
Tnewst

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is essentially in open war with President Donald Trump. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images IS THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT IN A STATE OF CRISIS? … There’s no doubt we have gotten accustomed to lurching from standoff to standoff, diplomatic row to global skirmish. But over the past few days, it feels as if the […]

17 Jan 19

In her TED Talk “Me Too is a movement, not a moment” at TED Women 2018, Tarana Burke paces across the stage, saying, “I’ve read article after article bemoaning wealthy white men who have landed softly with their golden parachutes following the disclosure of their terrible behavior. And we’re asked to consider their futures. But […]

17 Jan 19

In her TED Talk “Me Too is a movement, not a moment” at TED Women 2018, Tarana Burke paces across the stage, saying, “I’ve read article after article bemoaning wealthy white men who have landed softly with their golden parachutes following the disclosure of their terrible behavior. And we’re asked to consider their futures. But […]

17 Jan 19
Detroit Praise Network

A hamburger a week, but no more — that’s about as much red meat people should eat to do what’s best for their health and the planet, according to a report seeking to overhaul the world’s diet. (Source: Black America Web, Candice Choi) Eggs should be limited to fewer than about four a week, the report […]

17 Jan 19
BiblioMarket

In her TED Talk “Me Too is a movement, not a moment” at TED Women 2018, Tarana Burke paces across the stage, saying, “I’ve read article after article bemoaning wealthy white men who have landed softly with their golden parachutes following the disclosure of their terrible behavior. And we’re asked to consider their futures. But […]

17 Jan 19

In her TED Talk “Me Too is a movement, not a moment” at TED Women 2018, Tarana Burke paces across the stage, saying, “I’ve read article after article bemoaning wealthy white men who have landed softly with their golden parachutes following the disclosure of their terrible behavior. And we’re asked to consider their futures. But […]

17 Jan 19
News Bakerrs

In her TED Talk “Me Too is a movement, not a moment” at TED Women 2018, Tarana Burke paces across the stage, saying, “I’ve read article after article bemoaning wealthy white men who have landed softly with their golden parachutes following the disclosure of their terrible behavior. And we’re asked to consider their futures. But […]