Chance The Rapper Admits R. Kelly Collaboration Was “A Mistake”

INDIO, CA – APRIL 13: Chance the Rapper performs onstage during the 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 13, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docu-series continues to spark controversy across social media platforms and beyond. Chance The Rapper found himself enveloped in the debate after his segment aired in the series’ finale.

In an interview conducted last May — part of which was broadcast on Saturday night (January 5) — Lil Chano admits working with R.Kelly was an oversight and suggested he didn’t quite understand the gravity of the accusers’ stories.

“Making a song with R. Kelly was a mistake,” he told writer Jamilah Lemieux. “At the time, it wasn’t even present in my mind that people could feel any type of way about his presence on a track of mine. I think for a long time I was only able to understand R. Kelly’s situation and presence in the world when it comes down to his trial and his accusations and his accusers as a victim. I don’t know if that’s because I’m from Chicago or ‘cause he made great music or ‘cause he is a black man.

“We’re programmed to really be hypersensitive to black male oppression. But black women are exponentially [a] higher oppressed and violated group of people just in comparison to the whole world. Maybe I didn’t care because I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women. Usually, niggas that get in trouble for shit like this on their magnitude of celebrity, it’s light-skinned women or white women. That’s when it’s a big story. I’ve never really seen any pictures of R. Kelly’s accusers.”

After catching flak for his comments on Twitter, Chance clarified his statements and offered an apology to anyone affected by Kelly’s actions. He says his quote, “I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women. I made a mistake” was “taken out of context.”

“The quote was taken out of context, but the truth is any of us who ever ignored R Kelly stories, or ever believe he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of back women and girls,” he wrote in a Twitter post. “I apologize to all of his survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out.”

At the 2014 Lollapalooza music festival, Chance brought out the R&B superstar as a surprise guest. The following year, Chance made a cameo in Kelly’s “Backyard Party” video and joined him on the track “Somewhere in Paradise.”

In the wake of the documentary, it’s clear Chance has his regrets.