Rating:Explicit

The song includes explicit language and content about sexual abuse and pedophellia.

The Brief: R. Kelly released a 19-minute song addressing allegations of sexual misconduct and assault leveled against him. The song is titled "I Admit," but Kelly does not actually admit to any of the allegations.

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On July 23, R. Kelly released a 19-minute song on SoundCloud, addressing allegations of sexual misconduct and assault leveled against him. The song is titled “I Admit,” but Kelly does not actually admit to any of the allegations.

Throughout the past two decades, Kelly has been accused of sexual abuses including having sex with underage girls, marrying a 15-year-old, and possessing child pornography.

In 2017, Buzzfeed published an article detailing an alleged sex cult in which Kelly lives with several young women and controls almost every aspect of their lives.

In the wake of the #metoo movement, Kelly has been publicly criticized by celebrities including Wendy Williams, John Legend, and Steve Harvey. #muterkelly was a hashtag created by the #timesup movement to show solidarity for the black women and girls abused by R. Kelly. In May 2018, Spotify removed R. Kelly’s music from its official playlists.

In “I Admit,” Kelly specifically denies the accusations of sexual misconduct and assault, defending himself and claiming that he is innocent of those crimes.

Noteworthy lyrics in the song include an account of the sexual abuse Kelly experienced when he was a child, and repeated denials of his guilt: “my lawyers told me to settle this, even though it’s bulls**t”.

He sings:”I admit I f**k with all the ladies, that’s both older and young ladies/ But tell me how they call it pedophile because that s**t is crazy,” admitting his interest in “young ladies,” but denying that his actions were inappropriate or illegal.

The lines “Been a grown man since age 11 /Mind on the guap since 7,” implies that according to Kelly, sex with minors is acceptable because he was a mature child.

Twitter reactions to Kelly’s new song overwhelmingly condemn the artist for sexual misconduct, assault, and for his unapologetic response. However, some individuals and celebrities continue to defend Kelly’s actions.

In light of these allegations and R. Kelly’s denials of them, there has been significant online discussion on whether or not R. Kelly is an acceptable problematic fave – whether it is possible to separate the art from the artist.

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