Chuck D is setting the record straight after his take on R. Kelly’s guilty verdict resulted in an onslaught of backlash. On Tuesday (Sept. 28), the Public Enemy star took to Twitter to share thoughts that seemed to express his sympathy for the singer.
“Abused in his youth… an addict as a adult… Ike Turner served 18 months in prison.. Rick James did similar time,” he tweeted of the stars, who did time for drug-related crimes. “Ike came out a changed positive human being. How long should R. Kelly spend in prison, and does a USA system give a man a chance for a man to change his world around?”
“Its not a sympathetic question at all. Not the least,” he added.
As previously reported by REVOLT, Kelly is awaiting the announcement of his prison sentence after he was convicted of one count of racketeering along with eight other charges, including sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, racketeering and sex trafficking involving five victims. Though he was found guilty, Chuck pointed fingers at the gatekeepers of the music industry, who he says blurred the lines between content designed for adults and content created for children.
“Mixing grown folk lifestyle with Black youth was so endorsed financed perpetuated as so urban cool by radio,” he said. “Black audiences were abused while 25yrs poppin’ champagne in the sandbox. The boundaries were sloppy w head nods. That dude & others gave clues that the gatekeepers ignored.”
In response to a user who questioned his desire to give Kelly a second chance, he doubled down on those thoughts. “Twitter is cryptic where was people when every other song was revealing evidence of what was ok to program to Black kids over radio?” he said. “All you gotta do is read the titles the past 25 years of Black songs, and you get clues. His labels & radio knew what they was feeding.”
The hip hop legend’s tweets eventually became a topic of discussion, which included several negative reactions. Following the backlash, he decided to explain his stance on Kelly’s actions. “JUST TO BE CLEAR, I’m not the R. Kelly fan here,” he wrote. “75 million sold somewhere & I ain’t got 1 of his songs.
See Chuck D’s tweets below.