Kanye West on R. Kelly and Michael Jackson Allegations: ‘We Can Enjoy All Their Music All We Want’ (UPDATE)
Many of R. Kelly's former collaborators and friends have spoken out against the disgraced artist following the airing of Lifetime's 'Surviving R. Kelly.'
UPDATED Jan. 14, 1:50 p.m. ET: Kim Kardashian responded to news of Kanye’s comments by saying “the analogies were in context to his own experiences, not defending anyone else":
An hour later she returned to elaborate, saying Kanye "is not condoning anyone’s actions or unacceptable disgusting behavior":
See original post below.
A lot of R. Kelly's former collaborators and friends have spoken out against the artist following the airing of Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly docuseries. Kanye West, however, isn't one of them. During a Sunday service event on Jan. 13 which took him through a number of his songs while backed by a choir, Yeezy took a moment to give his thoughts on the situation.
In one of the clips recorded from the Kris Jenner-livestreamed event, Ye can be heard saying, "They just gonna pull up full documentaries on him." He continues, "Then they gonna come with the Michael [Jackson] documentary. ... We can all enjoy all their music all we want. I thought I wasn't going to go there today. If we're gonna tear down artists, let's go ahead and take [Leonardo] da Vinci out the Lourve. Let's take down all the art."
As well as referring to Surviving R. Kelly, Kanye referenced the Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland. The film is set to premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and will focus on two boys who both alleged that the pop star sexually abused them while they were underage.
Ye has worked with R. Kelly in the past, duetting with the Chicago singer on the opening track of the 2012 G.O.O.D. Music compilation album Cruel Summer. It's also worth noting that in recent years Ye has gravitated towards controversial figures, working with both 6ix9ine and the late XXXTentacion. He also famously jumped to defend Bill Cosby, who has since been convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, on his 2016 album The Life of Pablo.
Kanye's close friend John Legend, meanwhile, had much stronger words, calling Kelly "a serial child rapist."