I want to be crystal clear on this subject.
I think R. Kelly was once a brilliant song writer for a good chunk of his life. I don’t think the last few years are proof of that. The last few years lyrically showcased dreck that a 12 year old who is ruled by his hormones would write.
The music he has written in present times does not live up to his great storytelling on previous hit songs ‘When A Woman’s Fed Up’, If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time’, ‘Did You Ever’, ‘I Believe I can Fly’ and ‘ I Wish/ I Wish Remix’.
These songs should have been his legacy. They should have propelled him into a mature level of song writing that would have instituted him as a treasure.
Instead, we had to watch a man come undone on national television. Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W Public Relations & Crisis Management Mogul summarized a few valid points to me.
Orethpedia: Do you think R. Kelly improved his image?
Ronn Torossian: Kelly is using the court of public opinion to try and influence the court of law. He is looking to influence a jury with this interview, and even though he looked awful, remember that judges and juries read papers too.
Orethapedia: Honestly what do you think drove R. Kelly to do this?
Ronn Torossian: Frankly, this seemed like a last ditch effort to sway public opinion. R. Kelly‘s aggressiveness during his interview did way more harm than good. His actions portrayed him as desperate and distraught, not apologetic at all as he raised his voice repeatedly. That was not a smart approach as he tried to “redeem” himself. The public already sees him as this aggressive and awful guy—and now he has further solidified that image.
Not to mention, there’s a really simple way to prove his innocence in the court of public opinion – how about a lie detector test?
All that being said, Michael Jackson was found innocent in the court of law but largely perceived as guilty in the court of public opinion. It’s up in the air whether or not R. Kelly will have a similar fate.
Orethapedia: Does anyone ever win in the court of public opinion? In R. Kelly who do you think came out smelling like a rose?
Ronn Torossian: The court of public opinion stands with Kelly‘s accusers. Kelly, by talking to King, must have thought he would somehow be able to change that—but this was, and will never be the case. R. Kelly‘s career is over, and he will be remembered for this in the long term (not his music.) The public perception of R. Kelly has ultimately led to his downfall, and will probably lead to him behind bars. No matter what happens, his reputation is 100% damaged. The court of public opinion can be permanent, and I think in Kelly‘s case there will be no sympathy, not now or ever.
After talking with Mr Torossian, I could not help but think about the master songwriter’s future. His reputation is finished. No matter what R. Kelly does from now until forever his greatest days are now behind him. He will have an asterisk next to his name. He is a social pariah. He will have live out his life with people remembering his emotional overwrought interview with Gayle King.
It’s a a shame.
A man’s perverse illegal actions have colored and destroyed his career. I don’t think radio, television or social media will ever ‘unmute‘ R. Kelly.
He once sang the following lyrics in the song ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’:
Never knowing I’d be singing this song some day
And now I’m sinking, sinking to rise no more
Funny and sad how art imitates life and life displays truth in art.