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The latest news about R. Kelly illustrates how we are failing Black girls, we are failing Black women.

A new chapter in the R. Kelly saga broke yesterday when Buzzfeed published an investigative piece about the artist. The article details accusations of the singer/sexual predator having a ‘cult’ or harem of young women whom he houses in various properties. Kelly allegedly dictates how they dress, controls what they eat, confiscates their cell phones and limits their contact with the outside world. According to sources, he also records their sexual encounters and shares them with the men in his circle. Journalist Jim DeRogatis, who has been writing about Kelly’s exploits and misdeeds for decades, spoke to several victims and their families, including the parents of a 22-year-old girl (now identified as Joycelyn Savage) who was absorbed into Kelly’s entourage when she was 19. Savage’s mother, who went by J in the article, was quoted as saying that she was "really impressed" by Kelly when she met in at a 2015 concert in California. Money and power in the hands of masculinity IS impressive, aint it? J is in her 40s, so this mother, who was an adult when Kelly's 2008 trial occurredwas STILL a fan despite evidence of his abusive history. The only thing that can describe the horror of this is internalized misogynoir. She was willing to sell out her daughter’s existence to a known predator because he was acquitted–despite the video evidence circulated widely of him urinating on a 14-year-old girl.
Related: THE U.S. STILL HAS A CHILD BRIDE PROBLEM

4:44 is a raw look into Jay-Z’s mind. He offers explanations and apologies for years of toxic behavior.

Last week, Jay-Z's 13th studio album, "4:44" was released. It's the response that folks had been waiting for ever since Beyoncé's visual album, "Lemonade" dropped last year. The album chronicled the experiences of a woman betrayed by her lover and ultimately fighting through the sorrow to mend the relationship and move forward with a stronger bond. Of course, everyone began speculating whether or not Bey was alluding to her relationship with Jay.  I knew "4:44" had to be juicy because the number 4 is very significant in Jay and Bey’s lives–they were both born on the fourth day of their birth months and they were married on April 4th. Bey was most vulnerable on her 4th solo studio album, so Jay is following the theme. It’s also mad creepy that he woke up at 4:44 am to write the title track. [caption id="attachment_46839" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Jay-Z's 13th studio album, 4:44.[/caption] Jay Z’s "4:44" is a similar yet less masterfully executed attempt at relating to his fanbase and revealing his alter egos and vulnerability. He tries to outline the dissociation of Jay-Z and Hov with Shawn Carter, as evidenced by the leading track "Kill Jay-Z" and his seventh track "Bam". While Beyoncé’s introspective journey through love and identity lasted a little over an hour, Jay’s was nearly half that, deliberately coming in at around 35 minutes. The brevity could very well represent the toxic relationship that Black men have to masculinity–where even their most vulnerable moments occur in eclipses. In 35 minutes, Jay reveals and apologizes for decades of mental and emotional abuse that he put his wife through, mostly articulated in the title track "4:44". Seeing that they’ve been going at this love game since 2001/2002, he admits “took me too long for this song. I don’t deserve you”. He describes living and growing up in the projects and his progression to the over $800 million net worth that he boasts today. This album arguably encompasses four themes: introspection/apologies; industry commentary; personal growth & development and Black wealth (both individual and generational).
Related: DO IT LOOK LIKE I WAS LEFT OFF BAD AND BOUJEE?

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