The fight against disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly is intensifying as both sides of the controversy—his detractors and supporters—argue in denouncement or defense of the Chicago artist.
Their tensions came to a head on Saturday (January 12) and right outside of his Chi-Town recording studio, which also happens to be the location that his alleged sex cult hostages were being held at one point, according to Surviving R. Kelly. The clips from the fracas outside of the building show both sides, as Kelly’s die-hard fans parade posters of support around while his protesters wield anti-Kelly signs on the other side. Thus, it was only a matter of time before the opposing sides finally clashed, and that they did upon a few hostile encounters from that same day.
One of his supporters, who held a megaphone and responded with, “No!” in an attempt to suppress the massive anti-R. Kelly crowd.
In a lengthy speech to the rest of the pro-R. Kelly folks, one woman even attempted to speak gospel to the situation, proclaiming that “we all carry dark secrets” and encouraging people to pray for him. She said that “this story may be used for the glory of God” and stated that “this man is a person just like you and I.” While she does point out that she doesn’t “condone what this man has done and if he has done it,” she believes that more people should unite to uplift him in prayer. The woman detailed his possible mental state, claiming that no one is aware of the “burden” or “emotional state” he may currently be in. “So our group is basically here to basically show support so that he knows he may have one or two people” out of his global fan base to actually pray for him.
Afterward, the aforementioned supporter wielding the megaphone took the floor to say that “what took place—we don’t know if it’s right or if it’s wrong, or true or not true” and that “he’s going to be used for God’s glory” and “has a gift from God.”
And stood face-to-face with Kelly’s support group. “Brother! Brother! Are you praying for our Black women and girls?” one protester addressed to the supporter. “He needs accountability! You can pray for someone and still hold them accountable![…] You should be ashamed of yourself!”
See their standoff in the video below.
(Photo: Brittany Greeson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)