On Sunday, singer Omarion of the boy band B2K (active from 1998 to 2004) announced on Twitter that he’d be retiring songs written by R. Kelly following the group’s reunion Millennium Tour taking place in March and April. The statement comes in the wake of the #MeToo movement and after the premiere of Dream Hampton’s Surviving R. Kelly, the Lifetime documentary that aired on Jan. 3 concerning Kelly’s past and present sexual misconduct allegations. In July 2017, BuzzFeed News published a report that the R&B singer was allegedly holding women against their will in an “abusive” cult.
Like many music lovers who watched Surviving R. Kelly and followed up on subsequent conversations online, we began to examine Kelly’s influence on the industry. We were reminded of Kelly’s involvement in some of the biggest hits of the late ’90s and early 2000s. Sure, we knew that “Ignition (Remix)” was one of the biggest bops of our time, but to reconcile the fact that he wrote songs like “Bump, Bump, Bump,” one of B2K’s biggest hits, brought a fresh wave of resentment. This resentment is formed from a nostalgia for songs that are rooted in our memories — songs that are, or were, such a large part of our culture. “I Believe I Can Fly,” for example, was an anthem of many millennial childhoods and one of the most memorable aspects of Space Jam. Meanwhile, artists loved across generations, like Whitney Houston, collaborated with Kelly on songs like “I Look to You.”
This, however, isn’t an in-depth essay on the reconciliation between a contentious (and an allegedly abusive) artist and his art. Instead, it’s a simple guided tour for those who take part in “cancel culture” and have decided to no longer support Kelly’s work; feel free to send this list to your aunties, uncles, cousins, wedding DJs, etc.
Here’s a list of some of Kelly’s most popular contributions to music:
And R. Kelly's 20-plus studio, video, compilation, and soundtrack albums.