Hip-hop Media training

R. Kelly Gets Off, Again

Hip-Hop Media Training


Did you hear that?

The late superstar attorney Johnnie Cochran, known for helping keep O.J., Michael Jackson and Snoop Dogg out of jail, has spoken from the dead.

"What!," he said, shocked that R. Kelly's defense team managed to convince a jury of 9 men and 3 women that their client was not guilty of the child pornography charges brought against him in the four week trial.

I bet R. Kelly didn't even think this was possible.

I guess it never helped that the girl believed to be the underage victim in the video tape denied being in the 27-minute clip. It didn't matter that one of her aunts, former R. Kelly protégé Stephanie "Sparkle" Edwards, maintained that it was in fact her niece and that she introduced the then 12-year-old child to Kelly. (Click here to see my 2002 news story: Former R. Kelly Protege Says Singer Molested Her Niece.) There were still three other family members of the alleged victim serving as witnesses for R. Kelly's prosecution team. They said that the girl on the tape was not their relative.

In the Thank You credits of R. Kelly's next album we can expect him to send a shout out to that mole on his back because that apparently is what saved him. While the man doing the dirty work in the video had a mark on his back in the same place, the mark was not a mole. So voila, R. Kelly gets off.

When the jury began deliberating yesterday, I knew that it would not take long to reach a verdict. I changed my social networking site status updates to: "Billy wonders how many minutes it's going to take to deliberate the R. Kelly trial," and later, "Billy thinks R. Kelly should remake 'I'm Going Down.'" I could not have been more convinced that R. Kelly was headed to jail.

Maybe it's unfair for me to have reached this conclusion without having been a witness, privy to any special insight or even a juror, but I just never felt good about R. Kelly's innocence.

Call my rationale unsubstantiated, but here are the 7 reasons why I believed he was guilty:

1) The Tape - So, I did see it. I only watched it once. I did not examine it, and I don't own it. I will admit that it was hard to tell for certain that R. Kelly was the man on camera, but as former BET reporter Ed Gordon told Kelly in their interview, Kelly sure looks a lot like the man in the video. I've read reports that the studio where the filming occurred looks like R. Kelly's Chicago recording studio.

2) R. Kelly's History With Aaliyah - May Aaliyah's sweet soul rest in peace. I apologize to Aaliyah's family for even mentioning her here... But we can not ignore that R. Kelly did marry Aaliyah when she was 15. He even had the audacity to produce a record for Aaliyah called "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number." I don't believe in coincidences.

3) R. Kelly's Lyrical Content - R. Kelly is a musical genius. He has an undeniable catalog of songs produced for himself and some of the biggest names in the business, Michael, Janet, Celine, but something is not right. Maybe it's his inner rapper, but songs like "It Seems Like You're Ready," "Feelin' On Yo Booty," and "You Remind Me Of Something," spell guilty to me.

4) The BET Ed Gordon Interview - I don't know one person who watched this interview and afterwards felt that R. Kelly made a good impression. He was visibly sweating. He was either partying with Whitney Houston or lying. I wish this could have been done on that new polygraph TV show The Moment Of Truth. (Get Ed Gordon interview details.)

5) "Trapped In The Closet" DVD - "Trapped In The Closet" made my summer of 2005 exciting. I remember arriving to a destination in my car and sitting in the car for as long as 10 minutes, waiting for the local radio station to play the newest chapter. I felt like the days before television, when families sat around their radios. When the "Trapped" videos were released, it was even better. I love that it prompted Trey Songz to record a "Trapped" version from the husband's perspective. (Hear Trey's take.) But Chapter 5 is where it should have stopped. I hosted a little "Trapped In The Closet" party at work for my 35th birthday, and we watched the DVD. When the midget jumped from underneath the kitchen sink in Chapter 7, 8 or 9, I was done. I knew that R. Kelly was a sick man with extremely poor judgment. He clearly did not know when to stop. This was another sign of his guilt.

6) The Subliminal Message Factor - I know there's got to be a subliminal message embedded in the "Step In The Name Of Love" record. I bet if you play it backwards, you will hear Kells saying, "Don't believe the hype. I'm innocent." It is a great record, no doubt. This is what saved R. Kelly's fan base. Once the allegations dropped, Jay-Z pulled out of their Best Of Both Worlds promotion. "Step In The Name Of Love" was R. Kelly's secret weapon. Even though the public was outraged and ready to cast blame on R. Kelly, "Step In The Name Of Love" was so good and so on time for R&B music that many of us turned our heads. How shameful. But we were hypnotized.

7) He Calls Himself The Pied Piper - I first heard radio DJ K-Sly bring up this argument on air a few years ago. According to the German legend, the Pied Piper is the story of man who vowed to help the town of Hamelin cure its rat infestation. The townspeople agreed to pay him for his service. He used his magic pipe to play music which hypnotized the rats in the town to follow him. He led the rats to a river where they all drowned. However, the townspeople refused to pay the Pied Piper for his services. So he returned to the town for revenge. This time, he used his pipe to lure more than 100 children away from their families. The children were never seen again. After learning the history of this legend, can one person please tell me why any man would elect to call himself the Pied Piper? Anyone? (Read about the Pied Piper yourself by clicking here.) 

I don't care what the jury decided. I rest my case.

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