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MusicSex & Gender

let’s learn from r. kelly and be mindful of drake

January 11, 2019
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If you’re late as f*ck, you’ll need to know that some time in the last week an old video of Drake resurfaced showing the 6 God kissing and groping a 17-year-old girl on stage at a concert in 2010. In the gross and grainy video, Drake can be seen kissing and feeling on the young lady before asking how old she is. Finding out that she’s 17, the crowd erupts in cheers and jeers, weirdly amused by this. “I can’t go to jail yet, man!” Drake yells. “Why do you look like that?!” He continued, “Well look, I had fun. I don’t know whether I should feel guilty or not, but I had fun. I like the way your breasts feel against my chest. I just want to thank you.”

Wait, what?

The disturbing video follows some serious rumors that Drake is dating 18-year-old model Bella Harris, a relationship some have suggested began as early as her high school days. Yuck. Some 13 years her senior, it’s kind of hard to imagine what the two could be talking about. Dating an 18-year-old isn’t against the law, but shawty doesn’t even remember the Y2K scare! What exactly does a grown-ass, world-famous musician have in common with a high school student?

I don’t know what Drake is up to. But what I learned from Surviving R. Kelly is that so many men who prey on young girls are hiding in plain sight. They can be openly sexual with young women and the publicness of the boldness is regarded as a reason to believe nothing nefarious is happening. In the same way that Donald Trump hides Russian collusion by essentially putting it right out there with the brazenness of his statements.

Hip hop history knows that child predator R. Kelly illegally married singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 years old; three years after they first met. At the time, Kelly was 27. A few months later, the ill-fated pop star came about with the R&B classic, Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number — mostly written and produced by Kells. (Yeah, that’s him on the cover in the background.) Fast forward eight-ish years when a 31-year-old Jay-Z had already set his sights on an 18-year-old Beyoncé. Now, we get a 31-year-old Drake maybe, possibly dating a recent high school graduate, like that’s a thing.

Drake is major, major money. Which means his resources and will stretch mad long. Like too many powerful men, he can probably get away with anything he wants. I’m not saying that he does. I’m not saying Drake is a sexual predator. And we surely don’t have enough evidence to label him as such. What I do know is that Drake has had inappropriate interactions with girls under 18 years of age. From texting Millie Bobbie Brown — a 14-year-old — about boys to groping the 17-year-old girl at a concert. I’m not here for cancel culture. It’s not as simple as “canceling” someone. We need to prevent abuse before it happens and call out suspicious behavior before it grows to become something more. Drake keeps crossing boundaries with underage girls. And we need to be concerned as fuck about that.