Though Absolutely No One Asked, Bill Cosby Apparently Has Some Thoughts About R. Kelly; Chuck D Also Weighs In – The Root

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(Left to right): Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, and Chuck D.

(Left to right): Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, and Chuck D.
Photo: William Thomas Cain/Nuccio DiNuzzo/Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

On this week’s edition of Celebs Say the Darndest Things, Bill Cosby and hip-hop icon Chuck D are the latest to give their unsolicited two cents about R. Kelly following the entertainer’s guilty verdict in Brooklyn federal court on Monday.

During an interview with The New York Post, Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt shared that the comedian and actor felt Kelly “got railroaded” and “was screwed” during his New York trial and that he “wasn’t going to catch a break.”

Wyatt further elaborated: “The deck was stacked against Robert. His constitutional rights were grossly abused. I don’t know anywhere but in this country in the United States that a documentary can bring criminal charges against someone. No one fought hard for him and his attorneys didn’t humanize him.”

He later added:

“He also didn’t have the resources and means, he should have asked for support from the court. He would have gotten better representation. This is a guy who made the song ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ when there were rumors about young girls. The song played at every wedding and in every church. He was doing music with Lady Gaga!”

Now look—maybe because I’ve spent the last five weeks writing on Kelly’s trial *shudder,* I currently don’t have the intestinal fortitude necessary to properly drag Cosby and his lawyers for opening their big ole mouths and speaking on some shit that they both know good and damn well they don’t need to be speaking on—I mean, for why? Kelly’s trial brought out some very dark shit from a handful of survivors who’ve arguably been re-traumatized by this whole ordeal, as well as triggering some dark shit anyone in their right mind would be disturbed and bothered by and essentially the only thing Cosby has to say is “Poor Kelly?”

Get—and I can’t stress this enough—the entire fuck outta here with that.

Meanwhile, over in Hip-Hop Hotep Land, Chuck D also decided to draw parallels between Kelly and two other musical icons, namely Rick James and Ike Turner (both of whom have their own sketchy pasts when it comes to abusing women) and questioned if there was essentially a road to redemption available for the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer in a tweet on Tuesday:

“Abused in his youth…an addict as a adult, Ike Turner served 18 months in prison.. Rick James did similar time. Ike came out a changed positive human being. How long should R Kelly spend in prison—and does a USA system give a man a chance for a man to change his world around?”

When a user online pointed out the fact Turner never showed remorse for his actions, much like Kelly, and questioned why Chuck D seemed more concerned about abusers getting a second chance than believing Black girls and women, the rap icon responded:

“Good points. Question is the penalty..execution castrations or prison where the USA is at a crossroads funding the prison system in the 2020s-you know that there’s little rehab and they are releasing as opposed to the fixing of the problem. Mothers burying sons & visiting prisons.”

…I’m sorry, but WHAT? What does that even mean? Did he write this in hip-hop hotep hieroglyphics? That has to be it, because this retort doesn’t make a lick of sense; somehow we went from “Kelly should be redeemed even though he doesn’t think he did anything wrong and has shown no remorse” to what? The plight of the Black man getting caught up in the prison system? One of these things is not like the other.

Once again, I unfortunately do not have the mental or physical energy to explain how trash of a take Chuck D has but luckily, writer Shanita Hubbard and veteran music producer and Russell Simmons accuser Drew Dixon did:

“It would be great to see the pioneers of hip-hop publicly express their support of sexual assault survivors instead of publicly inquiring about a path to redemption for a man who spent decades abusing Black girls,” said Hubbard.

“@MrChuckD is twisting logic into a pretzel to argue for the rehabilitation of an unrepentant child rapist,” wrote Dixon. “Why isn’t he focused on repairing the trauma inflicted on the Black victims assaulted by R. Kelly? Why don’t they matter? This is toxic, anti-Black, and exhausting.”

As Hip-HopDX notes, later Tuesday night, Chuck D issued another tweet in response to the backlash, including an apology of sorts. In a weird turn of events, it also included a promotion for his own social media app:

“JUST TO BE CLEAR, I’m not the R Kelly fan here. 75 million sold somewhere & I ain’t got 1 of his songs. And his actions were criminal my apologies if the wings of perception loomed beyond than the words on this slaveApp. My clarity launches on my own Oct1.[sic]” Chuck D wrote. In a separate statement to the publication, he added: “JUST TO BE CLEAR, I’m not the R. Kelly fan here. I ain’t got any of his songs. And his actions were trash.”

*Deep, exhausted, Negro spiritual sigh*

Take me now, Black Jesus, it’s getting real ghetto and misogynistic out here.


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