Chicago’s hip-hop soulster Common is choosing to stand on the right side of history and the opposite end of the actions from his fellow Chi-Towner and disgraced R&B crooner R. Kelly.
In a recent one-off with TMZ, Common expressed everything that’s been wrong with Kelly’s sexual deviancy controversy, from the marginalization of Black women in the justice system, to the cold-shouldering of the longstanding allegations, all the way down to the community-wide failure to properly address and deal with it all. But he’s not absolving himself of any of those errors either. And in one of his most noble moments from the interview, he revealed that he, too, is guilty of singing along to the Pied Piper’s greatest hits while overlooking what was going on in the Pied Piper’s closet.
“Meaning, the system doesn’t have a value for Black women the way they do, you know, white women, or just other nationalities.” While the “Glory” artist did acknowledge that Kelly should seek help with some “deep and dark, heavy issues,” he won’t judge him—but he won’t condone his actions either. “Ever.”
“Instead of trying to be like, ‘Yo, let’s go try to resolve this situation, and free these young ladies and stop this thing that’s going on’.” Instead, he added, everyone—himself, included—rocked along to the music, he addressed. “I’m guilty of that too, myself.” In hindsight, he also acknowledges that he should have spoken out against it. R. Kelly may be one of his hometown neighbors in the industry with his own humanistic issues, but he doesn’t stand behind what everyone has allowed to go on for so long, he said.
“We failed our communities as Black people,” he expressed. That’s sans-justice system and other entities that the Black community has been oppressed by, too. “We should have been caring about our young ladies.”
The silver lining in all of this, however, is that he believes this era will stop that cycle now that awareness is rising, he finished off.
Now, that’s the voice of a king for you, ladies and gentleman.
Hear his full sentiments in the clip above.
(Photo: Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for Ozy Media)