Timbo probably should’ve just sat there and ate his food because I don’t see him winning this tussle with the internet.
Timbaland just caught a lot of heat online for proclaiming that R. Kelly, convicted sex offender, is “the King of R&B.” Moreover, the producer made such comments during his conversation with Shannon Sharpe on the latter’s Club Shay Shay podcast, where they also discussed Timbo’s struggles with addiction. However, his praise of the disgraced R&B star didn’t come without its feedback, as he acknowledged that it was a loaded subject that people quickly bash on. Still, he maintained the importance of separating the art from the artist when it comes to their greatness and impact, and Sharpe was actually the first to do so in the conversation. Many fans expressed disappointment and anger with this take, especially considering that the Virginia native produced for one of Kelly’s victims, Aaliyah.
“R. Kelly’s the king of R&B,” Timbaland stated. “We all know that, man. And it’s funny, I’m glad you talk about that, because I be having talks- everybody jump when you say R. Kelly. I’m like, ‘So we just gonna ignore his music that he gave us, that we all jam to?’ No, we can’t do that. His art is his art, I ain’t gonna bash the man’s art. Don’t mix music up with personal. Music is a feeling, it stands alone. Music is something that don’t have no race, it brings people together. It don’t have no drama with it. It is a place of enjoyment, a feeling, so don’t bring drama into music. Leave that outside.”
.@Timbaland on R. Kelly:
“He's the King of R&B. His art is his art, and I’m not going to bash his art. As a culture we need to separate it, don’t mix music with the person.”
— Club Shay Shay (@ClubShayShay) May 18, 2023
Furthermore, the 56-year-old currently serves a 30-year prison sentence stemming from a New York conviction. In addition, authorities convicted him of sex trafficking, child pornography, and other federal and civil charges in Chicago this year. While the Chicago sentence is technically an additional twenty years, only one of those will be added to his total time, as the rest serve concurrently with his New York sentence. Undeniably, his legacy saw a massive and irreversible taint as a result that re-contextualized his entire work under a dark light.
Regardless of his thoughts on legacy and artistic separation, the case of R. Kelly precedes much of his work in today’s discussions. As such, many out there continue to make sure his crimes are not forgotten in probably the most extreme example of a tarnished musical legacy. Whether that persists for years to come remains to be seen, and whether others will face a similar fate is a mystery. Check out reactions to Timbaland’s take and let us know your thoughts. Are you able to separate artists personal life from their music?
Timbaland’s comments regarding R.Kelly aren’t surprising, seeing that he and Kelly shared the same sick obsession over Aaliyah. pic.twitter.com/SLZKz1uCCq
— LEX (@alexisoatman) May 25, 2023
Timbaland very likely knew what R Kelly was up to before the law caught up with him. Harvey, R Kelly etc, they were open secrets in the industry. Not surprised. https://t.co/HXlyMHbWji
— Machu Picchu (@OparaBecky) May 25, 2023
R Kelly’s music wasn’t good enough and his crimes were too disgusting for me to separate the art from the artist.
— Mark (@markalanhair) May 25, 2023
It’s a wrap. R. Kelly wasn’t caught stealing from a store or something small which if that was the case we can separate it from the music. He hurt people. He hurt black women & black girls. It’s really nasty and telling that he wants to separate it from the music.
— to hell in a Moses basket (@neurodismal) May 24, 2023
I love Timbaland and all but this was an airhead comment it be one thing if R.Kelly was locked up for merkin someone or drugs but he was taking advantage of children MIND YOU CONTINUED AFTER BEATING THE FIRST CASE FOR IT FUCK HIM AND HIS MUSIC https://t.co/JTTLVjJszk
— Chicharon Jones⛸⛸ (@NorthcydeSlim) May 24, 2023
This is especially nasty coming from Timbaland seeing that one of the girls R. Kelly was violating was Aaliyah, someone he would refer to as “baby girl”. Like nigga, how do you NOT think that pedophilia wasn’t in his early music when he was with her? https://t.co/K3YqhTZ4bd
— DJ Green Villain (@DJGreenVillain) May 24, 2023
First off Timbaland ain’t too far off from r Kelly cuz he was obsessed with Aaliyah as well. If my memory serves me right he married someone who resembles her. https://t.co/koNVg00Pkv
— REGINA GEORGE’S SWEATPANTS (@tonytalkalot) May 24, 2023