Chance the Rapper Walks Back Comments About R. Kelly

Chance the Rapper and R. Kelly (Credit: Shutterstock)

Chance the Rapper admitted “making a song with R. Kelly was a mistake” on the final episode of the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly. He also said, in the past he didn’t “value” the validity of stories from black female accusers.

But after several news outlets published articles about Chance’s comments, he suggested he had been misquoted.

“The quote was taken out of context,” Chance tweeted Saturday night, just before the episode aired.

While he didn’t explain how his comments may have been misrepresented, he added, “The truth is any of us who ignored the R Kelly stories or ever believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls. I apologize to all of his survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out.”

Chicago natives Chance and R. Kelly previously appeared together on stage, and collaborated on Chance’s 2015 single Somewhere in Paradise.

In his comments on Surviving R. Kelly, Chance told interviewer Jamilah Lemieux, “Making a song with R. Kelly was a mistake.”

Chance went on to admit, “I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women. I made a mistake.”

Lemieux took to Twitter a few minutes after Chance posted his statement, explaining that he was “unequivocally in support of victims.”

“FYI, I conducted the interview with Chance in May,” she tweeted. “He spoke clearly and unequivocally in support of BW and the victims.” She was retweeted by Chance.

Chance was one of only a few celebrities to appear in the docuseries, which premiered Thursday and aired over three nights.

The exceptions were Wendy Williams, John Legend and R&B singer and former R. Kelly protégé Sparkle, who said her teenage niece was the 14-year-old girl in the infamous sex tape that led to Kelly’s sex abuse trial, in which he was found not guilty.

Legend appeared earlier in the series and on Saturday night said, “He is a serial abuser that has gotten away with it for far too long,” adding, “#TimesUp for R. Kelly.”

Surviving R. Kelly addressed claims that the R&B singer abused his ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, and had sex with countless underage girls. Kelly has repeatedly denied the claims.

Despite his denials, several people said the chart-topping singer liked to pick up teenagers at Kenwood High School in Chicago, and at shopping malls around the country.

“We’d go in the mall in every city,” said Kelly’s former tour manager and personal assistant, Demetrius  Smith.

One of Kelly’s former backup singers, Jovante Cunningham, said she witnessed him having sex with an underage girl.

“The first time I witnessed a sexual act in the studio was during the recording of (Kelly’s song) ‘Slow Dance (Remix).’ He had one of my teenage friends in the booth with him, bent over. We were all right there. I will not say with whom, but I knew she was underage,” Cunningham said.

She also alleged that Kelly had sex with the late Aaliyah Haughton on a crowded tour bus when she was 15 and he was 27.

“It just so happened we were all laying in our bunks and the curtains are open, everybody’s communicating, laughing,” she said. “When the [room] door flew open on the bus. Robert was having sex with Aaliyah.”

Aaliyah’s mother released a statement before the series premiered, calling Cunningham a “liar.”

“The woman and so-called back up singer in the forthcoming ‘Surviving…’ documentary that describes seeing, meeting or ever breathing the same air as my daughter, Aaliyah, is lying and is a liar,” Diane Haughton said.

Former tour manager Smith said in the first episode he noticed there was something going on between his boss and Aaliyah.

“I was beginning to suspect things,” Smith said. “But Kelly denied it.”

Smith also alleged that R. Kelly came to him saying he feared he had gotten Aaliyah pregnant.

“Man, we got Aaliyah in trouble,” he said Kelly told him. When Smith asked the singer to explain, he claimed Kelly said, “I think she’s pregnant.”

Smith went on to say he was in the room when Kelly married a 15-year-old Aaliyah. Smith said he even had the paperwork forged that allowed Aaliyah to claim she was 18 years old.

“I had papers forged for them,” he said. A marriage license shown on-screen listed Aaliyah’s age as 18.

“Robert said ‘I do,'” he added. “Him and Aaliyah.”