Content Warning: This article discusses sexual assault, and rape. If you or someone you know are affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
Those who understand R. Kelly is a serial predator, who is responsible for multiple statutory rape allegations, will be enraged after news his music sales have increased substantially.
Following the release of Part 1 of the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries on Lifetime on the US, R. Kelly’s legal team sent a letter warning the company that should the six-part docuseries air as intended, Kelly would file a federal lawsuit.
Now, 51-year-old R. Kelly has seen his Spotify streams jump 16%.
A Spotify rep confirmed the sales surge to The Blast, however did not specify which songs or albums benefitted from the streaming increase.
It’s a hard pill for Spotify to swallow
In May last year the streaming giant introduced their Hateful Conduct Policy where Spotify would remove the music of artists who music supposedly “advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual.” Artists like R. Kelly.
A month later, after artists including Kendrick Lamar threatened to pull their music from Spotify, Spotify rolled back on the policy.
One organisation is gaining momentum against sexual predators
Women of Color of Time’s Up, which “aims to organise around issues that are especially important to women and girls of colour”, publicly called out R&B artist R. Kelly in a campaign it titled #MuteRKelly.
They demanded investigations into abuse allegations and the ostracising of the artist by any company with ties to him, including his label RCA Records and ticketing corporation Ticketmaster.
Over the past 25 years, R. Kelly has sold 60 million albums, sold out national tours and accrued millions of streams and radio plays. He also did the below:
- Married 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994 using a false birth certificate that claimed she was 18.
- Had an alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-old Tiffany Hawkins in 1991 when he was 24.
- Featured in a videotape sent anonymously to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2001. The editors believed it to be evidence of possible child pornography.
- In the infamous “pee tape” of 2002 Kelly engaged in sex acts with and urinating on a 14-year-old girl. Later that year Kelly was indicted on 21 counts of making child pornography.
- Was accused of running a “sex cult” at his home in Chicago. In 2017 BuzzFeed published its “sex cult” story where a former personal assistant to Kelly said he only permits the women to wear jogging suits so that other men can’t see the outlines of their bodies.
“I’ma tell you something,” he said in the video. “I’ma take this musical shit, and I’ma inject these motherfuckers,” he continues. “I’m handcuffed by my destiny. It’s too late. They shoulda did this shit 30 years ago. It’s too late. The music has been injected into the world.”
“To all the strong motherfuckers in here right now. Motherfuckers like you is why I still continue to do what I do, because I have a basketball mentality,” Kelly concluded. “As long as I’ve got the ball, the world is on defense.”