Saturday: R. Kelly

July 29

Yeah so R. Kelly is coming to Baltimore, and he’s probably going to perform all of his hits that get cookouts, wedding receptions, and your parents’ Wednesday night line dancing class at the local rec center popping—the three-time Grammy award winner is thought of as a legend in most circles. But Kels is also a serial offender and needs to go to jail at some point, damn. He recently made headlines via a BuzzFeed piece by Jim Derogatis (who has been reporting on accusations of Kelly's abuse for 20 years) because he is allegedly holding several women hostage in a damn cult-like situation. Given Kelly’s history of trash behavior, like illegally marrying Aaliyah when she was 15 years old, and pissing on a young girl on camera, it's impossible to separate Robert Sylvester Kelly the man from R. Kelly the musician. His patterns of abuse are just as extensive as his music catalogue, and for him to skate by without retribution reinforces the fact that black women are denigrated; their sufferings trivialized in both legislation and in the general public. They fend for themselves and live each day combating the double oppression of being both black and woman. Listening to ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ contaminates the movie "Space Jam" and the image of Michael Jordan dunking on a quad full of cartoon versions of NBA greats to save himself from slavery—an uplifting message in direct contrast to Kelly's personal life filled with sexual misconduct and manipulation. It's a matter of personal ethics to enjoy these songs and ignore all of this and to give him your money, but this is where we’re at. 8 p.m., Pier Six Pavilion, 731 Eastern Ave., (410) 547-7200, piersixconcertpavilion.eventticketscenter.com, $62-776. (Reginald Thomas II)

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