R Kelly has addressed the sexual misconduct claims levelled against him in a new 19-minute song called ‘I Admit’.
The singer was accused last July of running an “abusive and controlling cult” of young women, while earlier this year he was also accused of grooming a 14-year-old girl to be his “sex pet”. In April, Dallas police confirmed they were investigating allegations that Kelly gave a woman an STD and plied her with drugs and alcohol when she was 19. He has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.
Kelly continued to deny those claims in the new song, saying he had “done made some mistake” but “how they gon’ say I don’t respect these women when all I’ve done is represent (30 years).” The relevant verse continued: “Take my career and turn it upside down cos you mad I’ve got some girlfriends (girlfriends).”
Elsewhere in the track, the musician admitted to having relations with “older and younger ladies”. “I admit I fuck with all the ladies, that’s both older and younger ladies (ladies),” he sang. “But tell me how they call it paedophile because that shit is crazy (crazy).”
He also referenced the #MuteRKelly campaign, which called for a boycott of Kelly’s music because of the accusations made against him. “Yeah, go ahead and stone me, point your finger at me (stone me, yeah, yeah),” the track goes. “Turn the world against me, but only God can mute me (against me, mute me).”
Later on in ‘I Admit’, Kelly also referenced allegations made by Jocelyn Savage’s parents. They have accused Kelly of brainwashing, grooming and imprisoning their 19-year-old daughter and other women in Chicago and Georgia, who the musician started dating in 2016.
“Said I’m abusing these women, what the fuck, that’s some absurd shit (what?),” Kelly addressed the claims on the track. “They’re brainwashed, really? (really)/Kidnapped, really? (really)/Can’t eat, really? (really)/Real talk, that shit sound silly (yeah)/And if you really, really wanna know (know)/Her father dropped her off at my show (show)/And told this boy to put her on stage (yeah).
“I admit that she was over age (age)/ I admit that I was feelin’ her and I admit that she was feelin’ me (she was feelin’ me)/ I admit that that’s the shit that comes with/ being a celebrity (celebrity)/ I ain’t chasing these ladies, no (no, no)/ These ladies are chasing me, yeah (chasing me).“
He also spoke directly to Savage’s parents in the piece, saying he was only addressing the issue “cos how they tryna play me, yeah (yeah, oh).” He continued: “I admit that this is no disrespect to the parents (no disrespect)/But this is my advice to you ’cause I’m also a parent (parent)/Don’t push your daughter in my face, and tell me that it’s okay (my face, okay)/Cos your agenda is to get paid, and get mad when it don’t go your way (yeah, go way).”
Kelly questioned what was “the definition of a cult” while giving details on what he says the women he is involved with “want” from him sexually. He also discussed his own history of sexual abuse as a child, singing: “Now, I admit a family member touched me (touched me, touched me, touched me)/From a child to the age 14, yeah/While I laid asleep, took my virginity (sleep, gini’).“
Jim DeRogatis, the Chicago journalist who has been reporting on misconduct claims against R Kelly for years, also got a shout out on ‘I Admit’. “To Jim DeRogatis, whatever your name is (whatever your name is),” Kelly sang. “You been tryna destroy me for 25 whole years (25 whole years, yeah)/Writin’ the same stories over and over against (stories, stories, yeah)/Off my name, you done went and made yourself a career (a whole career)/But guess what? I pray for you and family, and all my other enemies (prayed for you, enemies)/I’m not gonna let y’all steal my joy, I’m just gon’ keep on doing me (my joy, doing me).”
Earlier this year, Kelly released a new statement about the allegations against him, saying he was “heartbroken” by the claims. He described himself as “a God-fearing man, a son, a brother, and most importantly a father” and said the media had “perpetuated… dissected and manipulated these false allegations” in an “attempt to distort my character and to destroy my legacy that I have worked so hard to build.”