Chance the Rapper Apologizes for Working With R. Kelly - NBC Chicago

Chance the Rapper Apologizes for Working With R. Kelly

A clip of an interview with Chance appeared in the new Lifetime series “Surviving R. Kelly.”

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    Under the Tucson Sun
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    SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: Chance the Rapper performs during XQ Super School Live, presented by EIF, at Barker Hangar on September 8, 2017 in Santa California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for EIF)

    Chance the Rapper has issued an apology for working with R. Kelly after a clip of an interview with him appeared in the new Lifetime series “Surviving R. Kelly.”

    Chance, who did not participate in the docu-series, wrote on Twitter Saturday that the quote used in the episode “was taken out of context.”

    “But the truth is any of us who ever ignored the R Kelly stories, or ever 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,” he wrote. “I apologize to all of his survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out.”

    In the new Lifetime series, a quote from a May interview Chance did with Cassius was included. In it, Chance can be heard saying “I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women… I made a mistake.”

    Chance faced criticism over the quote following the series’ release.

    But the Chicago rapper later shared the full interview clip, in which he talks about the opression he says black women face.

    “We’re programmed to really be hypersensitive to black male oppression. It’s just prevalent in all media…But black women are exponentially a higher oppressed and violated group of people, like just in comparison with the whole world,” he said in the clip. “Maybe I didn’t care because I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women.”

    Jamilah Lemieux, who conducted the interview with Chance in May, tweeted that “he spoke clearly and unequivocally in support of [black women] and the victims.”

    The six-part series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which describes decades of Kelly’s alleged sexual misconduct, aired last week on Lifetime. It features multiple women who have accused Kelly of sexual, mental, and physical abuse and includes interviews with Kelly’s brothers, the founder of the #MeToo movement, talk-show host Wendy Williams and singer John Legend.

    Kelly has previously denied any misconduct regarding accusations of sexual abuse, even detailing the claims in a song released last year.

    The embattled entertainer has long been accused of behavior that has ranged from questionable to potentially criminal. He was accused of child pornography after a widely circulated videotape appeared to show him having sex with, and urinating on, a teenage girl. He was acquitted of all charges in 2008 and continued to rack up hits and sell out stadiums around the country.

    Kelly, 51, is one of pop music's best-selling artists and his hits include "Ignition," ''I Believe I Can Fly," ''Step in the Name of Love" and "Bump N' Grind." He has also written hits for artists ranging from Celine Dion to Michael Jackson to Lady Gaga.

    In April, Kelly's concert in his hometown of Chicago was canceled around the time the Times' Up campaign took aim at the singer over the latest allegations. Weeks later, Spotify removed his music from its playlists, citing its new policy on hate content and hateful conduct.

    In May, a woman filed a lawsuit against Kelly, accusing the singer of sexual battery, knowingly infecting her with herpes and locking her in rooms for punishment.

    Chance the Rapper isn’t the only celebrity to speak out against Kelly in wake of the series release.

    After the first episode aired, Legend tweeted on Friday, "To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn't feel risky at all. I believe these women and don't give a f--- about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision."

    Last week, Jada Pinkett Smith posted on Instagram that she didn’t understand how “R Kelly’s music sales have spiked (substantially) since the release of the docuseries.”

    “I need some help in understanding,” she wrote. “What am I missing???”

    Neyo also posted Monday with the hashtag “MuteRKelly.”

    “There is NO excuse. Music is important. It really is. But it’s not more important than protecting our children, protecting our little girls. PERIOD,” he wrote.

    NBC News reached out to Kelly’s representatives about the series and they said they had no comment. Lifetime also did not immediately respond to a request for comment surrounding Chance’s quote.

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