Erykah Badu is trying to live up to the title of the 2008 song “Healer”. The Neo Soul trailblazer recently came to the defense of her R&B “sibling” R. Kelly, professing her continued love for him and hopes that he can be “healed” in light of the decades long allegations and charges against him. Badu has never been one to mince her words, and even though she was met with a sea of boo’s, she stands firm in her belief that R. Kelly can be forgiven.
R. Kelly had been speculated for decades to have a strong fascination with younger woman, even marrying an underaged Aaliyah at the top of her career. Accusations piled up for years about his antics until he was finally charged on February 22, 2019 following the release of a Lifetime documentary and Mute R. Kelly campaign. He was also dropped from his label. On July 11, 2019, Kelly was taken into custody facing a total of 22 counts as of January 29, 2021.
While many agree that the charges were due, several black celebrities have come forward with thoughts on the case and what they think has been a witch hunt or unfair treatment of the Chicago legend, who is still considered an icon to many.
Tichina Arnold was one of the first to step forward. The “Martin” and “Everybody Hates Chris” star took to her twitter some time back to speak on “kindness and compassion”. Her tweets came around the time of Kelly’s initial sentencing so many felt they were directed towards him and his treatment by the public. “Its disturbing to watch black ppl pounce on other black ppl when they are already down..guilty or not, but when it comes to holding others races accountable for their horrific actions, I hear crickets. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Operate through love & compassion.”
*Its disturbing to watch black ppl pounce on other black ppl when they are already down..guilty or not, but when it comes to holding others races accountable for their horrific actions, I hear crickets. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Operate through love & compassion.— Tichina Arnold (@TichinaArnold) March 7, 2019
Singer Lil Mo also commented on R. Kelly, wondering why his victims took so long to speak out. “He helped a bucket list dream of mine come true, I’d never been to [Dr.] Dre’s before,” she said. “I refuse to allow this industry or anybody to taint his legacy. You mean to tell me that somebody is all of a sudden this monster? Don’t do that. If something happens to the head of the house, the rest of the family struggles and suffers.”
Erykah Badu was doing a performance in January in R. Kelly’s hometown when she decided to offering him her prayers. “I dunno how everybody else feel about it but I’m putting up a prayer right now for R. I hope he sees the light of day if he done all those things that we’ve seen on TV and heard those ladies talk about. I hope he sees the light of day and comes forward.”
She responded to boos from the audience: “What y’all say, f**k him? That’s not love. That’s not unconditional love. But what if one of the people that was assaulted by R Kelly grows up to be an offender, we gonna crucify them?”
I love you. Unconditionally.— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) January 21, 2019
That doesn’t mean I support your poor choices.
I want healing for you and anyone you have hurt as a result of you being hurt. Is that strange to you ?
That’s all I’ve ever said. Anything else has been fabricated or taken out of context. – eb
Some fan responses:
You are Cancelled 😡— Carla Marie Mills 🌍✈️🛳 (@MillsConnection) January 21, 2019
It’s more than “poor choices.” Poor choices = eating fried foods everyday. Poor choices = breaking up with someone over text. Serial rape and abuse of black/brown girls and young women for over 20 years is a helluva lot more than a “poor choice.” LET’S. BE. REAL.— Junebug (@avnyc01) January 21, 2019
Auntie @fatbellybella we understand your point of view and you’re not raising monsters. Your belief is simple love, unconditional love. It’s not meant to be perceived as you taking his side. I think that’s the misconception, you’re obviously not condoning his behavior. pic.twitter.com/6XWGIf4Ku4— Graphics 20/20 (@G20Twenty) January 21, 2019