By fiifi DZANSI
Creative work and crime.
Robert Sylvester Kelly.
He’s one of the biggest names in the R&B world. While growing up, his songs touched us so much. To us, he was a creative genius.
Anytime his songs played on the radio, I paused whatever I was doing just to listen to the powerful lyrics.
Time and again, ‘I believe I can Fly’ and ‘Storm Is Over’ elevated my spirit when I was down.
R. Kelly, now, is found guilty of several crimes of sexual nature against women. Horrifically, against underaged women. He faces up to a lifetime in prison.
When the victims’ attorney spoke about his deeds, I was gutted. Never will I condone such acts against any human, let alone children.
That’s what brings up the question: Can we separate a person’s crime from their creative work?
Many radios have stopped playing his songs because they want to distant themselves from someone known as a sexual predator.
Some people are vowing not to listen to his music ever again. Others also argue that such choices should be left to individuals to make and that it’d be morally wrong for authorities to impose a ban on R. Kelly’s music.
The streaming platforms, on the other hand, have not removed his music.
He’s not the only creative person to be found guilty of a crime. In the past, the artist Caravaggio was accused of murder. But people, however, go to galleries to look at his art. And his works cost millions.
Caravaggio is dead. So any money people spend on his art goes to an organization and not him.
What weighs heavily on me is that R. Kelly is alive, and when we buy his music, the money goes to him.
It’s our support for his work that got him rich, famous, mighty and aided him to commit these crimes for decades.
So what would you do?
Stop listening to his music?
Or just separate his crime from his creative work?