Surviving R. Kelly: A Review

*Trigger and spoiler warning for those who haven’t seen the series.

Over winter break, a new series came out and shocked the entire world. On January 3rd, Lifetime aired a docuseries talking about the controversial actions of the famous R&B singer, R. Kelly. The series tackles some pretty heavy subject matters, so be aware if you are curious to find out more about what is revealed.

The docuseries details the life of R. Kelly and the accusations made about his relationships with younger women. It shines a light on the women affected by Kelly throughout his career and what happened to them. These women talk about the mental and physical abuse that Kelly had put them through throughout the years.

The accusations against R. Kelly are nothing new and didn’t just appear out of nowhere. The six-part series gets people that were in Kelly’s personal circle and other celebrities to explain in great detail about Kelly’s actions from the early 90’s to now.

Most notably about R. Kelly’s many pursuits of younger women include late R&B singer Aaliyah; whom Kelly married when she was only 15 years old. Their marriage was annulled not too long after with the settlement to keep her quiet about the situation only amounting to $100.

Another instance, and probably most well-known before the series aired was the sex-tape scandal in the early the early 2000s. The video showed Kelly’s having sex with an underage girl and then urinating on her. This video lead to an initial trial where Kelly was announced not guilty.

Watching this series put things into perspective about how someone with so much power can really have an effect on a person. The feelings that I had while watching this made me realize that some people don’t value black women and girls.

These girls have tried to tell their stories several times and it fell on deaf ears. Most people want to put the blame on their parents, however, the lines aren’t all that simple because when presented with the promise of fame and fortune, people will unfortunately do whatever it takes to get there. They simply believed the wrong person; someone who they thought they trusted.

It breaks my heart that this has happened to so many women and unfortunately, to this day some are still under the influence of R. Kelly. As of right now R. Kelly is under investigation due to the series.

In order to help with the fight to get R. Kelly convicted and put in jail where he belongs, we all need to band together to help black women and girls and treat their issue with the same urgency that would happen if these were white young women and girls.

I encourage you to watch the series and hear their stories. It’d be doing these strong women a disservice to ignore this problem any longer.