Once untouchable, ‘I Admit’ shows that R. Kelly is hurting
NEW YORK — Although Oronike Odeleye is the co-founder of the #MuteRKelly campaign, she is still excited about the embattled R&B superstar’s new song, “I Admit.”
Not because she is blasting it on her stereo — but because the release of the track confirms that the social media campaign she launched is working, and putting a dent in the entertainer’s career.
On Monday, R. Kelly posted the 19-minute track “I Admit” to Soundcloud, singing about his battles and troubles, from allegations he has sexually abused women to his illiteracy to being sexually assaulted himself as a child.
While painting himself as a tragic figure wrongfully targeted, he also sings about loving “older and young ladies” and says his alleged victims were willing participants in his escapades.
Odeleye says to her, “I Admit” is not a true song: “We’re calling it a 19-minute sex trafficking anthem.”
“It’s really more of the same victim blaming. It’s more of the same denying. It’s more of the same, ‘It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It’s everybody’s fault,'” she said in an interview with The Associated Press. “While he’s saying, ‘I admit it’ — he’s actually not admitting anything.”
Odeleye, an arts administrator in Atlanta and Kenyette Barnes, a social activist, launched #MuteRKelly last year as a financial boycott against the 51-year-old Grammy-winning performer, who is one of the record industry’s best-selling artists of all-time, though his hit-making prowess has waned in recent years. He’s written all of his own music — from inspirational songs like “I Believe I Can Fly” to raunchy titles like “Feelin’ on Yo Booty” to feel-good anthems like “Step in the Name of Love.” He also penned songs for Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, Celine Dion and many more.
R. Kelly, who was once acquitted of child pornography charges, appeared unbothered when articles claiming he abused young women resurfaced over the last few years. His social media was filled with inspirational, humorous and musical posts, and he dismissed what he called his haters.