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R. Kelly has released a 19-minute song titled I Admit, in which the singer addresses the sexual misconduct claims levelled against him.
“Today is the day you’ve been waiting for,” Kelly wrote on Twitter, sending his followers a SoundCloud link.
“Now the truth in this message is I’m a broke-a** legend / The only reason I stay on tour is ’cause I gotta pay my rent,” Kelly sings. “I never thought it would come to this, to be the most disrespected artist / So I had to write a song about it / Because they always take my words and twist it / Believe me, it’s hard to admit all this.”
Kelly openly discusses a number of the accusations he’s faced over the last few years, including the allegations made by several women that the R&B singer had kept women against their will for his “sex cult.”
“I admit I am not perfect / I never said I was perfect / Say I’m abusing these women / What the f**k, that’s some absurd s**t,” Kelly sings of the “sex cult” allegations. “They brainwashed, really? / Kidnapped, really? / Can’t eat, really? / Real talk, that sounds silly.”
He later adds, “What’s the definition of a cult? / What’s the definition of a sex slave? / Go to dictionary, look it up, let me know, I’ll be here waiting / Now I admit I got some girls who love.”
WATCH BELOW: The latest on R. Kelly
He also sings about the parents of women he’s accused of harbouring at his home and allegedly priming to join a group of women he lives and travels with. “Don’t push your daughter in my face / And tell me that it’s okay / Because your agenda is to get paid / And get mad when it don’t go your way.”
Kelly also addresses Spotify removing his music from its popular featured playlists during his 19-minute song.
Spotify removed Kelly’s music off its playlists on May 10. The music streaming service announced that, under a new public policy against “hate content and hateful conduct,” it would no longer feature Kelly’s music on its playlists. (His entire catalog is still available on the streaming service.)
“Spotify, took me off they playlist / I admit that I been underrated,” Kelly sings. “I’m not convicted, not arrested, but dragged my name in the dirt / All this work to be successful and you’re bending me because of what you heard.”
He also sings about his inability to read, making references to his dyslexia. Kelly explains that he was unable to read his contracts as a young artist which he claims resulted in himself signing away his rights to publishing his own songs.
“But I can tell you I’ve been set up (up) / I admit it, how ever since the first day (first day) / That without knowing that I signed my publishin’ away (away) / I admit it, I was young and caught up and so blind, yeah (so blind),” Kelly sings. “Said I had dyslexia, couldn’t read all them contracts, yeah / Now the truth in this message, is I’m a broke a** legend.”
During the song the singer also takes aim at Jim DeRogatis, the Chicago journalist who has reported on misconduct claims against Kelly’s for over 20 years.
“To Jim DeRogatis, whatever your name is (whatever your name is) / You been tryna destroy me for 25 whole years / Writin’ the same stories over and over against,” he sings of the journalist who has written multiple accounts of Kelly’s alleged sexual misconduct. “Off my name, you done went and made yourself a career / But guess what? I pray for you and family, and all my other enemies / I’m not gonna let y’all steal my joy, I’m just gonna keep on doing me.”
Kelly also referenced the #MuteRKelly campaign, which called for a boycott of Kelly’s music in April because of the accusations made against him. “Yeah, go ahead and stone me, point your finger at me (stone me, yeah, yeah),” he sings. “Turn the world against me, but only God can mute me (against me, mute me).”
WATCH BELOW: R. Kelly says it’s ‘too late’ for the #MuteRKelly boycott to succeed
Kelly’s behaviour has come under closer scrutiny over the last year as women have come forward to accuse him of everything from sexual coercion to physical abuse. Kelly has denied such charges.
He’s faced numerous sexual assault allegations, starting in 1994 with his most famous indiscretion, when he married the underage singer Aaliyah. (At the time, she was 15 years old and he was 27. The marriage was annulled shortly afterward.)
He has long been the target of sexual misconduct allegations, which he has denied. In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges after a video circulated allegedly showing him having sexual intercourse and urinating on a 14-year-old girl.
Additionally, he’s agreed to several out-of-court settlements with women who’ve accused him of sexual assault, one even as young as 15.
Many musicians and celebrities posted their reaction to Kelly’s new track on Twitter after the singer released the 19-minute song.