Drake fans are scratching their heads over the revelation that R. Kelly has a songwriting credit on his latest album, Certified Lover Boy, amid Kelly’s ongoing criminal case for various sex crimes against accusers who say they were underage when they began relationships with the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer. The song, “TSU,” samples/interpolates some arrangements from Kelly’s 1998 single “Half on a Baby,” according to Billboard.
Along with Kelly and Drake receiving credits, the song’s producers Harley Arsenault, Noel Cadastre, OG Ron C are also given credit. Justin Timberlake also received a credit due to a sample of ‘NSYNC’s 1997 version of Christopher Cross’ “Sailing.” The only credit causing a frenzy is Kelly’s. Twitter users are baffled by the inclusion in light of recent events.
People are defending this R. Kelly credit, talking about “it’s a sample”… okay?????? So Drake chose to sample his work, knowing he’d have to clear it with R. Kelly, and that Kelly would get a check/royalties. He could’ve done away with the sample/track, he clearly doesn’t care. pic.twitter.com/CzOEkNjhjJ
— JO (@byDonnaJo) September 3, 2021
R. Kelly, while currently on trial for sexual abuse of countless Black women and girls, is going to be making money off the most anticipated album of the year thanks to Drake giving him a songwriting credit on #CertifiedLoverBoy
And that’s why both #CLB and #DONDA are trash.
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) September 3, 2021
While samples aren’t anything new, the news is sending shockwaves as witnesses have been taking the stand in Kelly’s sex abuse and sex trafficking case currently underway in Brooklyn, which have unearthed years of accusers alleging decades of sex, verbal, emotional, financial, mental, and physical abuse at the hands of Kelly.
Making matters worse for some Drake fans, emotional testimony from those who claim they knew of the circumstances of Kelly’s illegal marriage to Aaliyah has been a huge focal point. The singers married in 1994 when Kelly was 27 and Aaliyah was 15 after a member of Kelly’s camp bribed an Illinois government employee to supply the two with a fake ID to display Aaliyah’s age as 18. Aaliyah’s parents had the marriage annulled two years later. Fans are blasting Drake over what they consider to be a contradiction.
Drake working with R. Kelly’s music/R. Kelly? makes his obsession with Aaliyah that much creepier…..not that it wasn’t already.
— ~~~ (@Alb3sure) September 3, 2021
Problem is R.Kelly the child rapist is getting royalities from that and Drake has a Aaliyah tattoo thats the ultimate sign of disrespect.
— Victor memeh (@VMemeh) September 4, 2021
Drake has maintained that he’s a huge fan of Aaliyah, even being featured on the late singer’s songs. He also sports a tattoo of Aaliyah proudly.
But Rolling Stone reports that “TSU” isn’t new and that a previous version of the song surfaced in 2018, months before Lifetime’s critically acclaimed docuseries Surviving R. Kelly began airing in January 2019.