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Come On Now Timbo

Timbaland is catching some heat for claiming that R. Kelly, despite now being a convicted sex-offender, is still the "King of R&B"

Renowned-record producer and songwriter Timbaland has made a name for himself for his contributions on hit songs like "Apologize", "The Way I Are", and "Bounce". However, he has recently been a subject of criticism after claiming that R. Kelly, who was convicted months for committing multiple sex-crimes, was still the "King of R&B".

He made such a declaration while on Shannon Sharpe's Club Shay Shay podcast, believing that Kelly's music was worth looking beyond his actions to appreciate.

"R. Kelly’s the King of R&B. We all know that, man...And it’s funny, I’m glad you talk about that, because I be having talks — everybody jump when you say R. Kelly. I’m like, ‘So we just gonna ignore his music that he gave us, that we all jam to?’ No, we can’t do that. His art is his art, I ain’t gonna bash the man’s art," Timbaland stated.

Continuing: "Don’t mix music up with personal. Music is a feeling, it stands alone. Music is something that don’t have no race, it brings people together. It don’t have no drama with it. It is a place of enjoyment, a feeling, so don’t bring drama into music. Leave that outside."

Online-users were quick to point out that Timbaland had been a producer to the late-singer Aaliyah, who was married to R. Kelly when he was 27 and she was 15, and his own biases- as well as possible feelings towards her-were leading him to make a flawed-argument for separating art from the artist.

R. Kelly is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence for sex-trafficking, but was recently given an additional 20 years for second federal sexual-assault case.

The topic of separating art from the artist is frequently a topic of conversation whenever a singer, actor, director, writer, etc. is revealed to have committed a heinous act of some kind. In most of these scenarios, individual fans will find it difficult to remove the artists who have impacted their lives in some way from their tastes, and will attempt to rationalize their continued appreciation of their work.

While removing one's favorite song from a Spotify playlist or favorite movie from Letterboxd list due to a celebrity involved being revealed to having done a terrible thing can be hard, perhaps all of us, including the colleagues of these artists, need to reflect on the way we view celebrities and consume content from them so that making such choices will not be as tricky.

Most importantly, taking the time to do such contemplation can keep us from mitigating the real harm caused by people like R. Kelly.


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