2. I Believe I Can Lie: R. Kelly (Still) In Denial
Play episode · 42 min
R. Kelly’s serial abuse of Black women and girls has been one of the entertainment industry’s worst-kept secrets for the entirety of the 21st century. In the mid 90s, Kelly was romantically linked with and even briefly married to 15-year-old singer Aaliyah, for whom he wrote and produced the incriminatory hit “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” An explicit bootleg tape which appeared to feature Kelly abusing yet another teenage girl circulated on street corners as early as 2001. In 2017, a Buzzfeed exposé alleged that the man who famously crooned “I’m a bad man/And I’m not ashamed of it” held several women captive in his home in a cult-like harem. Yet it took the convergence of the #MuteRKelly movement, the January 2019 release of documentary Surviving R. Kelly and popular culture’s broader reckoning with the pattern of sexual violence perpetrated by powerful men for the self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B to face consequences for orchestrating his salacious symphony. At long last, Kelly has now been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were minors at the time. On this timely and trenchant episode of Intersectionality Matters, host Kimberle Crenshaw goes beyond the sheet music with #MuteRKelly co-founder Kenyette Barnes to rupture the rhythm Kelly has used to give Black women and girls the blues for decades. Intersectionality Matters! is recorded and produced by Julia Sharpe-Levine. This episode was edited by Julia Sharpe-Levine and Rebecca Scheckman and recorded by Robert Jimison, Michael Kramer, and Julia Sharpe-Levine. Additional support was provided by Michael Kramer, Naimah Hakim, G’Ra Asim, Kevin Minofu, and Madeline Cameron Wardleworth. Music by Blue Dot Sessions Juror Audio from Lifetime Docuseries, "Surviving R. Kelly" Kenyette Barnes: @legisempress Mute R Kelly: ig: @officialmuterkelly, twitter: @offMuteRKelly Kimberlé Crenshaw: ig: @kimberlecrenshaw, twitter: @sandylocks Intersectionality Matters: ig: @intersectionalitymatters, twitter: @IMKC_podcast Learn more: https://www.muterkelly.org
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