R. Kelly has been on the receiving end of lawsuits and allegations of sexual misconduct since 1996. These accusations were reignited after a BuzzFeed News reporter spoke to parents in 2017 who alleged that the singer was keeping their daughters in a sex "cult." While Kelly has repeatedly denied all accusations of sexual abuse, he hadn't fully addressed the multiplying scandals until now. On Monday, the 51-year-old singer released an almost 20-minute-long song titled "I Admit."
Kelly uses the track to once again defend himself from these reports, as well as address other controversial moments from this past year.
"Take my career and turn it upside down," one line reads. "'Cause you mad I've got some girlfriends."
He also addressed the child pornography charges he went to trial for in 2008, writing "I admit I fuck with all the ladies, that's both older and young ladies (ladies, yeah) / But tell me how they call it pedophile because that shit is crazy."
A little later in the song, he addresses the sex cult accusations specifically:
"Said I'm abusing these women, what the fuck that's some absurd shit (what?) / They're brainwashed, really? (really) / Kidnapped, really? (really) / Can't eat, really? (really) / Real talk, that shit sound silly (yeah) / And if you really, really wanna know (know) / Her father dropped her off at my show (show) / And told this boy to put her on the stage."
He also added:
"What's the definition of a cult?/ Whats the definition of a sex slave? / Go to the dictionary, look it up / Let me know, I'll be here waiting."
In addition to accusations of sexul misconduct, he also shared his opinion on Spotify's initial decision to remove his songs from playlists, saying "Spotify, took me off they playlist (playlist) / I admit that I, been underated (rated) / I'm not convicted, not arrested, but dragged my name in the dirt."
Despite the new song's extensive lyrics, it has not had the effect he perhaps hoped.
"Oh fuck R. Kelly and then fuck each minute of his terrible song and then fuck each minute of his terrible life," tweeted writer Roxane Gay.
"Do not share R Kelly's piece of trash song. Do not listen to R Kelly's piece of trash song," author Ijeoma Oluo warned. "Do not let him further profit from his abuse of women. Don't say his name unless it's to call him an irredeemable piece of shit. BTW: R Kelly is an irredeemable piece of shit."
Do not share R Kelly's piece of trash song. Do not listen to R Kelly's piece of trash song.— Ijeoma Oluo (@IjeomaOluo) July 23, 2018
Do not let him further profit from his abuse of women.
Don't say his name unless it's to call him an irredeemable piece of shit.
BTW: R Kelly is an irredeemable piece of shit.
"I just read the lyrics to R Kelly’s new 19 minute song called 'I Admit It I Did It,'" wrote hip-hop artist Talib Kweli Greene. "His lack of self awareness [sic] is atrocious. There are several lyrics I take offense to. The one I will address is 'I’m just a man.' I am also a man. I would never use that to defend this behavior."
I just read the lyrics to R Kelly’s new 19 minute song called “I Admit It I Did It.” His lack of self awareness is atrocious. There are several lyrics I take offense to. The one I will address is “I’m just a man.” I am also a man. I would never use that to defend this behavior.— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) July 23, 2018
Kelly has not offered much in the way of comment on the many accusations against him. Following the initial BuzzFeed report, attorney Linda Mensch told Variety that "Mr. Robert Kelly is both alarmed and disturbed at the recent revelations attributed to him."
Kelly also did not comment back in 2008 when he was found not guilty of child pornography, but a spokesman said the singer wanted to thank his fans "who stuck by him and supported him with such love. And most of all, he wants to thank God for giving him the strength to get through this."
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).