Despite campaigns to remove his catalog from streaming services following sexual assault allegations, R. Kelly is laughing all the way to the bank.
“I’ma tell you something,” Kelly, 51, said in a video from May 17 that surfaced Tuesday. “I’ma take this musical s—t, and I’ma inject these motherf—kers … I’m handcuffed by my destiny. It’s too late. They shoulda did this s—t 30 years ago. It’s too late. The music has been injected into the world.”
In the clip, Kelly is surrounded by men and can be seen drinking and smoking a cigar.
“To all the strong motherf—kers in here right now. Motherf—kers like you is why I still continue to do what I do, because I have a basketball mentality,” he contiunued. “As long as I’ve got the ball, the world is on defense.”
He might have a point. Streaming numbers for Kelly have remained intact a week after Spotify announced it had removed the R&B singer’s music from its playlists, citing its new policy on artists accused of “harmful” or “hateful” conduct.
Kelly’s streaming numbers have seen some small growth: Before the announcement, he averaged 6,584,000 weekly streams for the year, but from May 10 to May 16 he garnered 6,676,000 streams for the week, according to Nielsen Music.
The embattled singer’s streams have grown steadily over the last two years: His music averaged 4,709,000 weekly streams in 2016 and 5,666,000 weekly streams in 2017. For 2018 to date, he averages 6,674,000 weekly streams from Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and other platforms.
Spotify removed his music from their promoted playlists and algorithms following the #MuteRKelly campaign from the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements.
The campaigns have gained steam since claims of Kelly controlling numerous women and girls in a “sex cult” emerged last year, though at least one woman allegedly in the group has spoken out and denied being held against her will.
This week, Faith Rodgers sued Kelly for sexual assault and infecting her with genital herpes. Rodgers alleged that Kelly sexually abused her and told her she looked “about 14.” She also claimed he locked her in a van for hours at a time and that he was attempting to groom her to join the sex cult.
The Grammy winner was acquitted in 2008 of child pornography after a video circulated appearing to show him having sex with a teenage girl.
Kelly has denied all charges of sexual misconduct and hired a crisis team in light of the most recent allegations against him.
Source: Page Six