R. Kelly released a brand new song on Monday titled “I Admit,” in which he addresses a handful of “sins” that he’s committed in his life. Among the most notable “sins” that Kelly sings about is his illiteracy and the allegations that hes’s been running a sex cult, which were lobbied against him last year.
On the second verse, Kelly admits that he’s always had trouble reading, and that he struggled to read the words on the teleprompter during a year in which he was onstage at the Grammy Awards. “I admit I can’t spell for s**t I admit that all I hear is hits,” he sings. “I admit I couldn’t read the teleprompter when the Grammy’s asked me to present.”
Later on in the track, Kelly addresses the claim that he has multiple girlfriends, and is keeping them in a “sex cult” in Atlanta against their will. “What’s the definition of a cult? / What’s the definition of a sex slave?,” he asks. “Go to the dictionary, look it up / Let me know I’ll be here waiting.”
Kelly went on to sing: “Say I’m abusing these women. What the f**k? That’s some absurd s**t. They brainwashed, really? Kidnapped, really? Can’t eat, really? Really talk that s**t sounds silly.”
These allegations first surfaced in 2017, when Buzzfeed journalist Jim Derogatis published a piece titled “Inside The Pied Piper Of R&B’s ‘Cult'”. The piece claimed that Kelly had been keeping several women against their will at a complex in Atlanta, and that he was keeping them drugged so that they could not escape. Kelly denied the allegations after the piece went viral.
The singer directs a verse at Derogatis on “I Admit,” claiming that the journalist has a personal vendetta against him and that he’s been trying to bring him down for decades. “To Jim DeRogatis, whatever your name is / You been tryna destroy me for 25 whole years,” Kelly sings. “Writin’ the same stories over and over again / Off my name, you done went and made yourself a career / But guess what? I pray for you and your family, and all my other enemies.”
Kelly also denied any such allegations as true. “I done made some mistake,” he sings elsewhere on the song. “How they gon’ say I don’t respect these women, when all I’ve done is represent / Take my career and turn it upside down, ’cause you mad I’ve got some girlfriends. The singer goes on to address the rumors that he is a pedophile. “I admit I f**k with all the ladies, that’s both older and young ladies,” he adds, “but tell me how they call it pedophile because that s**t is crazy / You may have your opinions. entitled to your opinions / But really am I supposed to go to jail or lose my career because of your opinion.”
Kelly concludes the verse by singing: “Yeah, go ahead and stone me, point your finger at me / Turn the world against me, but only god can mute me.” The last line is in reference to the ongoing #MuteRKelly campaign, which has been an effort to not listen to the singer’s music in protest.