Chance The Rapper took to Twitter to clarify a few points of Lifetimes explosive Surviving R. Kelly docu-series, following an interview in which he acknowledged “Making a song with R. Kelly was a mistake.” The documentary featured a May 2018 segment with Cassius Jamilah Lemieux—which Lemieux says “didnt run due to my exit from the publication”—in which Chance explains his collaboration with the singer and alleged rapist, adding “Maybe I didnt care because I didnt value the accusers stories because they were black women.”
The line was meant to punctuate Chances larger point of feeling “programmed to really be hypersensitive to black male oppression,” even as “black women are exponentially [a] higher oppressed and violated group of people just in comparison to the whole world.” As such, Chance said on Twitter Saturday night the line was presented out of context, before issuing a more formal apology.
“The quote was taken out of context, but the truth is any of us who ever ignored the R. Kelly stories, or ever believed that he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls,” Chance wrote. “I apologize to all the survivors for working with him and taking this long to speak out.”
Chance previously collaborated with R. Kelly on the track “Somewhere in Paradise,” and even featured the singer as a surprise guest during a 2014 Lollapalooza performance. As he explained in the interview, “At the time, it wasnt 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. Kellys situation and presence in the world when it comes down to his trial and his accusations and his accusers as a victim. I dont know if thats because Im from Chicago or cause he made great music or cause he is a black man.”
Lifetimes six-part documentary series otherwise featured dozens of interviews with Kellys former associates and alleged victims, including ex-wife Andrea Kelly, civil rights activist Tarana Burke and talk-show host Wendy Williams. All six episodes are available to stream on Lifetime.
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