During an interview with VladTV, Nick Cannon opened up about his former working relationship with R. Kelly. Cannon, who has publicly denounced the singer, explained what he felt after watching the Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly, and what it was like in the singer's Chicago studio.
According to Cannon, the documented predator separated his studio in a way that felt quarantined, so his victims to go unseen by the slew of collaborators who came in and out of the infamous recording space. "When you go to his studio, you don’t see anybody else," Cannon explains. "If I would have seen some little girls in the studio, I would have been like, 'I’m out.'"
The rapper then explained that Kelly typically left artists in the studio for long periods of time, before returning unannounced hours later. Cannon remembers Kelly admitting to his method, saying, "if artists want these hits then they're going to have to wait for it."
Despite never seeing the many women Kelly allegedly had locked up in his studio, the rapper does acknowledge that Kelly's actions should have been condemned back then as they're being denounced now.
"As fans, as the public, as the people close around him, we got to take responsibility for letting this man that was super talented operate in a way that was just inhumane," Cannon says. "Even in the documentary, the stuff that they show from the tape, like him standing over a 14-year-old girl and urinating on her—Dave Chappelle was making jokes about that. As a father with a daughter now, there’s nothing funny about a grown man urinating on a little girl."
However, Cannon also noted that outside of Surviving R. Kelly, the young women who have come forward in defense of the singer, notably Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, appeared as young girls trying to "play house."
"Even the girls in the Gayle King interview, they’re 21 and have been with him for however long, you can tell by the way they carried themselves, they were trying to be mature," he says. "But I was like ‘these are little girls.’ They reminded me of little girls trying to act grown."