- Chance the Rapper apologised Saturday evening for previously collaborating and performing with the R&B singer R. Kelly.
- “I apologise to all of his survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter.
- His comments come on the heels of the Lifetime documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which features interviews with women who allege Kelly preyed upon them when they were underage and abused them.
- Kelly has denied all allegations against him.
Chance the Rapper apologised Saturday evening for working with the R&B singer R. Kelly, the subject of the six-part Lifetime documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which details numerous allegations that Kelly preyed upon underage girls and abused them.
Chance, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett, has faced criticism for collaborating with Kelly on the 2015 song “Somewhere in Paradise” and performing with him at the Lollapalooza festival in 2014.
The final two episodes of “Surviving R. Kelly” aired Saturday evening and featured a previously unreleased interview with Chance, in which he told the columnist Jamilah Lemieux that making a song with Kelly was “a mistake.”
He also reflected on why he felt comfortable working with Kelly at the time, despite knowing of the allegations against him.
“We’re programmed to really be hypersensitive to black male oppression. It’s just prevalent in all media,” he said. “But black women are, you know, exponentially a higher oppressed and violated group of people, like just in comparison to the whole world. Maybe I didn’t care because I didn’t value the accusers’ stories, because they were black women.”
Some critics seized on Chance’s remarks about black women, which were quoted by Rolling Stone earlier on Saturday as they appeared in the documentary. Chance later released a video showing his remarks in full.
He also tweeted an explanation on Saturday evening:
“The quote was taken out of context, but the truth is any of us who ever ignored the R Kelly stories, or ever believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls. I apologise to all of his survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out.”
Lemieux also weighed in on Chance’s comments, tweeting that “he spoke clearly and unequivocally in support of BW and the victims.”
Here’s a clip of his remarks:
— Chance The Rapper Album in July (@chancetherapper) January 6, 2019
“Surviving R. Kelly” features interviews with multiple women who allege that Kelly had sex with them when they were underage, physically and emotionally abused them, and sought to control women by regulating when they ate, used the restroom, and contacted their families.
Kelly has continued to deny all allegations against him, and he is not currently charged with any crimes. His lawyer has threatened to sue Lifetime over the series, TMZ reported.
This article has been updated to clarify that Rolling Stone quoted Chance’s remarks as they appeared verbatim in the documentary.
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