Chance The Rapper Explains Why He Worked With R. Kelly Despite The Disgraced Singer’s Reputation

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With Surviving R. Kelly wrapping up Saturday night, the discussion over the disgraced singer online turned from criticism of his actions to wondering about the friends, family, and colleagues who enabled him throughout 20 years of questionable activities. While the series’ producer, Dream Hampton, had expressed disappointment about the number of music industry professionals who turned down interviews, an out-of-context quote from one of R. Kelly’s collaborators who did appear in the show quickly became a hot topic as fans turned some of their ire to Kelly’s fellow Chicagoan Chance The Rapper.

In an interview for Surviving R. Kelly, Chance admits that working with Kelly was a “mistake” in clip taken from a May 2018 interview with Cassius’ Jamilah Lemieux. Referring to his 2015 collaboration with Kelly on the singer’s song “Somewhere In Paradise,” and bringing him out as a surprise guest during his 2014 Lollapalooza set, Chance explained, “Maybe I didn’t care because I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women.” However, as the quote only included a part of his response, as it was shared on Twitter, many expressed anger toward Chance before he chimed in with further context and received some backup from Lemieux, who said that he “spoke clearly and equivocally in support of [Black women] and the victims.”

“The quote was taken out of context,” Chance wrote. “But the truth is any of us who ever ignored the R Kelly stories or believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as Black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of Black women and girls. I apologize to all his survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out.”

The full video of the Cassius interview can be seen below.