As far as R. Kelly’s concerned, it’s far “too late” for Spotify and the #MeToo and #MuteRKelly movements to rid the world of his musical influence and presence. If his recent Nielsen Music streaming numbers are any indication, he may actually be right—as the recent controversy surrounding his alleged sexual misconduct has not only not resulted in fewer streams, but more.
In a newly surfaced Facebook video, the singer can be heard boldly announcing that “it’s too late” for his enemies to stifle his career and popularity. Kelly is seen with a cigar clenched between fingers in one hand, and a drink in the other, as his entourage looks on and listens.
“I got a million motherfuckers hatin’ me, or 40 billion motherfuckers lovin’ me, you know what I’m sayin’? And I’mma tell you somethin’,” said Kelly. “I’mma take this musical shit, and I’mma inject these motherfuckers with this musical, beautiful shit.”
In between whooping and cheering from his crew, Kelly rebelliously declares that his achievements in the industry have irrevocably cemented him the popular consciousness—with no chance of removing him. “You don’t understand,” he continued. “I am handcuffed, like a lot of you motherfuckers, I’m handcuffed by my destiny. It’s too late, they shoulda did this shit thirty years ago. It’s too late. The music has been injected into the world. Ok? I hired my motherfuckin’ self.”
Kelly then raises his glass and explains that his current way of thinking is similar to that of an athlete’s—one who currently has his hands on the ball, and can decide where to take it. “I wanna propose a toast to all the strong motherfuckers in here right now,” he said. “It’s motherfuckers like you, is why I still continue to do what I do, ‘cause I have a basketball mentality. You understand? As long as I got the ball, the world is on defense.”
It’s fascinating to watch a man who’s been accused of dating teenagers, having "abusive sex," grooming underage girls to become sex slaves, drugging women, and running a sex dungeon in his basement, so confidently announce that he’s not only still a popular artist, but that he’s an underdog who’s fighting the good fight—when all evidence seems to indicate the contrary. While even the most villainous characters in this world have loyal entourages, it’s surreal to see a room full of men praise their boss and cling on his every word. Time will tell if this was the last hurrah, or just another day in Kelly’s life.