Chance The Rapper has been forced to apologise for his comments made in a controversial R Kelly documentary recounting the sex abuse allegations against the R&B singer.
The final episodes of Surviving R Kelly, which aired on Lifetime on Saturday night in the US, featured a previous interview with Chance, 25, saying it was a ‘mistake’ that he worked with R Kelly in the past in light of the serious allegations. During the critically-acclaimed documentary, a clip was shown of Chance introducing R Kelly as a surprise guest while performing at Lollapalooza in 2014. Chance is heard telling the audience: ‘Make some noise for the Pied Piper of R&B.’ At the time, the pair had recorded a collaboration, Somewhere In Paradise. Then, a clip from a May 2018 interview with Chance was also aired, in which the rapper said working with the R&B singer was a ‘mistake’. He also said: ‘Maybe I didn’t care because I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women.’
Amidst a storm of backlash from Lifetime viewers, Chance apologised and offered an explanation for his comments on Twitter. The No Problem rapper said: ‘The quote was taken out of context, 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.’ In the throwback interview aired during Surviving R Kelly, Chance told Cassius’ Jamila Lemieux: ‘Making a song with R. Kelly was a mistake.
‘At the time, it wasn’t even present in my mind that people could feel any type of way about his presence on a track of mine. I think for a long time I was only able to understand R Kelly’s situation and presence in the world when it comes down to his trial and his accusations and his accusers as a victim.’ ‘I don’t know if that’s because I’m from Chicago or ‘cause he made great music or ‘cause he is a black man.’ The Chicago-native continued: ‘We’re programmed to really be hypersensitive to black male oppression. But black women are exponentially [a] higher oppressed and violated group of people 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.