R. Kelly has since deleted the video clip of him attempting to shame Black music buyers for not supporting his latest album, The Buffet, but I still want to extend him the invitation to fall head first into abyss all the same.
At the time of the video’s release, Kelly’s most recent studio effort had only sold 28,000 copies. In response, Kelly told lovers of Black music, “We gotta start supporting each other.” Make note that Tyrese’s latest album, Black Rose, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts with sales in excess of 70,000 this past summer. Reading is not the legendary singer-songwriter’s strong suit, though, so perhaps he missed that tidbit.
Nonetheless, Kelly continued with his pleas and insinuations that Black folks don’t support Black artists. “I bust my ass going around doing shows to survive, but I do this for the love,” Kelly said. “But come on, at some point we gotta start supporting each other. Everybody supports every other category of music, we gotta start supporting each other.”
Kelly then complained about his label – the target his grievances should’ve been squarely aimed at, mind you – only to conclude his diatribe with, “I want my people to get behind me.”
Negro, you have got to get the every inch of hell on somewhere.
Kelly is an accused serial child rapist, who may have escaped criminal charges for his alleged crimes, but has left quite the paper trail. In theory, that should have been enough to soil his career, but it wasn’t. I’m not proud to say this, but the main reason for Kelly’s continued career is primarily due to the sizable Black fanbase he’s amassed over the course of nearly 30 years. Sure, a few hipsters found “Trapped In The Closet” amusing, but the people who still frequent Kelly’s shows and consume Kelly’s music are majorly Black people.
For Kelly to go online to whine about Black people “not supporting each other” is absurd. Kelly has been accused of assaulting many, many, many young Black girls. He never truly deserved Black people’s support that he's enjoyed so far. But he’s had it, thus, his Zorro-mask wearing goofy ass ought to be more grateful.
Of course, Kelly is not the first Black artist to complain about Black music fans whenever a project doesn’t perform well. It’s become routine; it’s frustrating every single time one of them trots that trope out. White people are not magically more supportive than Black people. This is a self-loathing falsehood.
What most of these acts fail to accept is that maybe it’s not so much the fans as it is their product.
I haven’t enjoyed an R. Kelly album in well over a decade. I wasn’t for his Sam Cooke Zero themed albums nor was I much of a fan of him throwing his overt sexuality in my face following news pouring out about his alleged off stage behavior. Beyond what you're accused of, the fact remains that your music ain’t really hitting on s--t like it used to, Kellz. Whose fault is it really that you haven’t mastered much since The Chocolate Factory? Why is it our bad that you haven’t had the general public entranced with your foolery since Trapped In The Closet Parts 1 to 3,026 ½?
Kelly might be a musical genius, but even geniuses catch bricks. This one is his. Pissy can whine about it all he wants, but this loss is on him, not #TheBlacks.