R. Kelly

Nobody Asked Sky Ferreira If She Was OK With Terry Richardson (But Now We Know She Is)

Sky Ferreira is what you’d call an “epic” Facebook user. The lengthy, uncensored explanations she posts there routinely make headlines, in part because she’s typically responding to an accusation made by the media. This time, Sky defends Terry Richardson, the alleged sex abuser of young models/photographer who’s worked with Ferreira since she was 17 with nary an incident of inappropriate behavior. She focuses on her experiences with Richardson, careful not to demean the experiences of other women. … Read More

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Aaliyah Biopic Will Detail Her Marriage to R. Kelly

In the upcoming Lifetime biopic of Aaliyah, the young R&B star’s short-lived and controversial marriage to R. Kelly —… Read More

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How the Hell Did Lady Gaga Think Her ‘Do What U Want’ Video Was OK?

By now you’ve likely seen clips from a certain music video that are floating around online. A female pop star is lying down on an operating table, presumably naked under a white sheet. Her doctor, looking as club-ready as a surgeon gets, reaches under the sheet. She moans at his touch, and he notes that the medicine must be kicking in. Soon she is passed out, at which point a gaggle of women wearing discount-store slutty nurse costumes come into frame. The nurses party around and on top of the unconscious pop star in a most ostentatious manner while the doctor watches. At one point cooked lobsters are waved like puppets amidst her limp limbs, while a tower of shrimp hovers near her exposed breast. Another nurses mounts the singer’s lifeless body and humps her in a cartoon jack-rabbit way, easily a foot separating their genitals. Meanwhile, the singer, seemingly off in a dream, is writhing around in a dress made of tabloid clippings, in a room wallpapered in more press rumors. A photographer is there, shooting her as she poses, eventually in nothing more than loose newspaper pages. At one point she humps the air for little reason at all. … Read More

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One In a Million? Why We’re Still Talking About Aaliyah

Aaliyah made genre-redefining albums in the 1990s and died way too young. She was involved in a controversial marriage, and her breakthrough video was set in a high school gym. Her catalog comprises three studio albums, and new artists can’t wait to assert their cred by covering her songs and name-checking her in interviews. … Read More

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‘White Panties': Why Does R. Kelly Keep Getting Away with It?

If you’re someone who enjoys R. Kelly’s music, you may be excited to learn that he is planning a “sequel” to last year’s album Black Panties, to be entitled, with crushing inevitability, White Panties. If, like me, you are one of those people who wonders exactly who R. Kelly needs to piss on before somebody decides enough is enough, you may find yourself asking something along the lines of, “What the actual fuck?” It’s barely three months since the Village Voice published Jessica Hopper’s interview with Jim DeRogatis, wherein the decades’ worth of allegations of Kelly’s alleged sexual abuse of underage girls were laid out in excruciating detail. Again. And it’s like it never happened. … Read More

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Is the Christina Aguilera Version of “Do What U Want” Lady Gaga’s Attempt to Distance Herself From R. Kelly?

The more I listen to pop music, the less I try to parse the songwriting. Not to be a rockist, but it’s difficult for me to find poignancy in a song written by a team of five to six songwriters, even when — as in the case of Lady Gaga’s “Do What U Want” — the themes are blunt and heavy-handed. Not that I paid much attention to any deeper meanings the first few times I heard the song. With the song’s pretty basic title and the collaboration with erotic-crooner R. Kelly, I wrote off the song as a catchy tune about sex, particularly sexual agency, underscored by the repeated line, “You can’t have my mind.” … Read More

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Lena Dunham Had Another Bad Night With Feminists and Anti-Feminists on Twitter

A couple of days ago, Amanda Hess at Slate published a piece on artists who collaborate with “creeps.” The immediate targets of her analysis were Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, both of whom have recently added creep collaborations to their respective bodies of work. Gaga did that duet with R.Kelly — which really takes the cake in terms of creep collaborations, to be fair to everyone else I’m about to mention — and one of the parade of Beyoncé videos from last week was directed by a Mr. Terry Richardson. In passing, Hess happened to mention that Lena Dunham, the unwilling patron saint of Internet fighting, had recently gone on a tear about how Gaga should not have collaborated with R. Kelly: … Read More

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How Should We Talk About Artists Like R. Kelly?

Jessica Hopper’s excellent interview with Jim DeRogatis, the journalist who originally brought to light the sexual assault allegations against R. Kelly in the early 2000s, has pretty much blown up the Internet this week — she tweeted earlier today that the piece has hit a million page views in a little over 25 hours — and thrown the light firmly back onto the realities of Kelly’s ongoing fascination with underage girls. It’s also started a debate over how anyone could support the work of a person accused of such things. … Read More

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