Timbaland just caught a lot of heat online for proclaiming that R. Kelly, convicted sex offender, is “the King of R&B.” Moreover, the producer made such comments during his conversation with Shannon Sharpe on the latter’s Club Shay Shay podcast, where they also broached Timbo’s struggles with addiction. However, his praise of the disgraced R&B star didn’t come without its caveats, as he acknowledged that it was a loaded subject that people quickly bash on. Still, he maintained the importance of separating the art from the artist when it comes to their greatness and impact, and Sharpe was actually the first to do so in the conversation. Many fans expressed disappointment and anger with this take, especially considering that the Virginia native produced for one of Kelly’s victims, Aaliyah.
“R. Kelly’s the king of R&B,” Timbaland stated. “We all know that, man. And it’s funny, I’m glad you talk about that, because I be having talks- everybody jump when you say R. Kelly. I’m like, ‘So we just gonna ignore his music that he gave us, that we all jam to?’ No, we can’t do that. His art is his art, I ain’t gonna bash the man’s art. Don’t mix music up with personal. Music is a feeling, it stands alone. Music is something that don’t have no race, it brings people together. It don’t have no drama with it. It is a place of enjoyment, a feeling, so don’t bring drama into music. Leave that outside.”
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Furthermore, the 56-year-old currently serves a 30-year prison sentence stemming from a New York conviction. In addition, authorities convicted him of sex trafficking, child pornography, and other federal and civil charges in Chicago this year. While the Chicago sentence is technically an additional twenty years, only one of those will be added to his total time, as the rest serve concurrently with his New York sentence. Undeniably, his legacy saw a massive and irreversible taint as a result that re-contextualized his entire work under a dark light. Check out reactions to Timbaland’s take below.
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