Chance The Rapper and Advancing the Value of Black Women


As the Surviving R. Kelly series on Lifetime wrapped up, Chance The Rapper came under fire for a comment he made about making music with Kelly.

Chance said he regretted collaborating with Kelly on the 2015 song “Somewhere In Paradise,” but his explanation on why he did upset quite a few people.

“Making a song with R. Kelly was a mistake. I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women,” he said. “I made a mistake.”

The quote was taken out of a larger statement Chance made about Black women essentially being the most oppressed group of people in the world. The Chicago rapper took to Twitter to explain that the quote was taken out of context and to further explain his position.

Chance then shared the full video of his statement which added more context to the quote.

In his last statement on Twitter about the quote, Chance reminded his followers that we’re all capable of dismissing Black Women and their experiences because it’s indoctrinated.

Patriarchy is a system set up that we often solely associate with White male privilege, but White men aren’t the only group of men who benefit from the oppression of women. Black men, as oppressed, under attack and undervalued as they are, still have a leg up over Black women because they are men. And Chance’s former stance stems from the aforementioned system.

The truth is that Chance’s former belief is what has kept R. Kelly and other known abusers in the Black community, in the church, at grandma’s house, etc. able to openly physically and sexually abuse little girls and boys and adults with no repercussions.

As a community, the stories and experiences of Black women are often overlooked, and it’s past time for everyone to join in on doing intentional work to fix the way the world and the community values the lives of Black women. They deserve more.

So while having dialogue with Chance, we should also further explore who his former thoughts are currently true for to bring culture shifting discussion to the conversations on why so many men assisted and abetted and overlooked R. Kelly’s actions and so many people (women and men) were still lining up at his concerts in 2018 .

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Bryant Lydell

Bryant Lydell is creative, personable and quick-witted Howard and USC alum. He's the founder of The Top Tea, a songwriter, screenwriter and member of the casting team for Netflix's NAACP Image Award-winning hip-hop competition series Rhythm + Flow.

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