Chance the Rapper: ‘Making a Song With R. Kelly Was a Mistake’
by Derêka K. Bennett
In the past, the rapper and singer hav crosses paths frequently. During Chance the Rapper’s Lollapalooza set in 2014, he brought out Kelly as a surprise guest. The following year, Chance the Rapper made a cameo in Kelly’s “Backyard Party” video and collaborated with the singer on “Somewhere in Paradise.” However, now he says in hindsight he regrets working with Kelly.
“Making a song with R. Kelly was a mistake,” he told Cassius‘ Jamilah Lemieux in an interview in May, a portion of which was aired in Surviving R. Kelly. “At the time, it wasn’t even present in my mind that people could feel any type of way about his presence on a track of mine. I think for a long time I was only able to understand R. Kelly’s situation and presence in the world when it comes down to his trial and his accusations and his accusers as a victim. I don’t know if that’s because I’m from Chicago or ‘cause he made great music or ‘cause he is a black man.”
“We’re programmed to really be hypersensitive to black male oppression,” he added. “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. Usually, niggas that get in trouble for shit like this on their magnitude of celebrity, it’s light-skinned women or white women. That’s when it’s a big story. I’ve never really seen any pictures of R. Kelly’s accusers.”
The rapper also expressed how happnhe is of the women who have accused Kelly of mental, physical and sexual abuse were finally l getting heard. “I can’t be right all the time,” he said. “I made a mistake and I’m happy that those women are getting voices now and I can grow to understand better what my positioning should be or should’ve been when that opportunity came.”