Chance the Rapper Apologizes for Working With R. Kelly
By Stacy Lambe
Chance the Rapper is no longer remaining silent about R. Kelly.
The Chicago-born musician apologized to alleged victims of sexual misconduct by the prominent R&B singer. The accusations were made in Lifetime's six-part docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, which featured interviews with several women claiming that they were subjects of abuse and predatory behavior, while other interviewees claimed to have witnessed inappropriate behavior between him and his then-underaged protege, Aaliyah.
R. Kelly has long denied any allegations against him.
Chance the Rapper was one of the few former collaborators to speak out in an audio recording that aired in the final episode on Saturday evening. "Making a song with R. Kelly was a mistake," he said, referring to their 2015 collaboration, "Somewhere in Paradise."
On Twitter, the rapper posted, "I apologize to all of his survivors for working with him and for taking so long to speak out."
But Chance also called out the series for misquoting an interview he gave with Jamilah Lemieux for suggesting he "didn't value the accusers' stories [because] they were black women."
"The quote was taken out of context, but the truth is any of us who ever ignored the R. Kelly stories, or ever believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls," the rapper posted to Twitter before sharing the full clip of his interview with Lemieux.
In the clip, his statement is put into context. "We're programmed to really be hypersensitive to black male oppression. It's just prevalent in all media. Like slavery for a lot of people, they envision men in chains, but black women are exponentially a higher oppressed and violated group of people just in comparison to the whole world. Maybe I didn't care because I didn't value the accusers' stories because they were black women."
Of course, Chance the Rapper wasn't the only prominent voice in the docuseries. John Legend also spoke on-camera about R. Kelly's rise in the industry and the impact of his music, including the Space Jam hit, "I Believe I Can Fly."
Following his appearance, Legend took to Twitter to say, "I believe these women and don't give a f**k about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision." The artist later posted, "These survivors deserved to be lifted up and heard. I hope it gets them closer to some kind of justice."