In a new interview with Billboard promoting her upcoming album Kimberly: The People I Used to Know, K. Michelle spoke out about her relationship with R. Kelly and and the abuse allegations leveled against him in recent months.
In July, BuzzFeed News first reported that R. Kelly is running an abusive “cult” and holding women against their will, according to police reports filed by alleged victims’ families. Three former members of Kelly’s inner circle told BuzzFeed News similar stories, and another woman — who said she had an abusive sexual relationship with R. Kelly when she was underage before singing a settlement agreement with him — came forward in August. R. Kelly has denied all of the allegations.
On her 2014 song “Build A Man,” Michelle sang about her relationship with Kelly: “There was Kellz, he adored me. Loved to hear me sing but control me.”
Asked her opinion about the allegations against Kelly, Michelle told Billboard that she’s “not surprised by them,” and said that she plans to speak up more about abuse as a result of the stories. “I do feel like it’s my obligation as a woman to tell the truth and to do right by other females that are in the business and all these young women who don’t have a voice,” she said. “I’ve been going back and forth with how to speak about it and how to do right for those girls.”
Michelle recalls visiting a blog and seeing people “tearing [up]” one of the accusers over the allegations. “It immediately brought tears to my eyes because I remember what that was like trying to tell about my abuse,” she said. “I’ve dealt with other abuse and I tried to tell but when I was telling people were calling me a liar, they were bashing me, they were telling me I was hateful.
To read those comments about these women, these young women, these little girls and how people were so naïve to reality or just didn’t give a fuck about the reality and to call these little girls liars and to really take them down, is something I don’t really know right now if I’m willing to stand aside and watch it happen.”
According to Michelle, it’s the logistics of speaking up that she’s still struggling with. “I can honestly tell you right now that I have yet to find the proper platform and the proper way to protect and voice my support for these women. I’m not here to bash but right is right and wrong is wrong,” she said. “That’s all I can really say right now.”
Asked directly if she believes the allegations against Kelly, Michelle said that she “can’t speak on it,” but that she learned from her mentor that “it’s just the right time and place to say things, to do it properly so that the people you’re trying to help are actually helped instead of taunted. So I’ll be speaking more about it but I’ll be doing it in the right way.”
You are always efficient, well-organized, dependable, and self-sufficient. You prefer to plan things in advance and aim for high achievement. People who rank lower in conscientiousness may view you as stubborn and obsessive.
You are trustworthy, kind, and affectionate toward others. You’re known for your pro-social behavior and you’re often committed to volunteer work and altruistic activities. Other people may view you as naïve and overly passive.
You are known for your broad range of interests and vivid imaginations. You’re curious and creative and you usually prefer variety over rigid routines. You’re known for your pursuits of self-actualization through intense, euphoric experiences like meditative retreats or living abroad. Others may view you as unpredictable and unfocused.
You experience a high degree of emotional instability. You’re more likely to be reactive and excitable and you have higher degrees of unpleasant emotions like anxiety and irritability. Other people may view you as unstable and insecure.
OK, you remember some of “Our Song,” but it was their song, not yours, so who cares if you know all the lyrics. You probably know all the lyrics to your song, you just don’t know all of them to “Our Song.”
You got: “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together”
You’ve learned that not everybody’s worthy of your efforts and attention. Some people are just out there to use you, and some just seem to be out there to waste your time. It doesn’t matter to you, though, because you’re over it.
You’re a bit cynical, or at least you are as of late, when it comes to love. It seems like every time you get someone you chase them off, but you’re also a sucker for love. You’ll never stop the chase because you know that to get what you want, you have to get up and fight for it.
You’ve been through some pretty rough times, but now you’re back for blood. You may have been the butt of the joke before, but you kept your list of names and you’re coming after all of your wrong-doers now. You believe in karma and it’s what gets you through every day.
You’ve had a lot of trouble with love, but you’re still a hopeful person. You know that life isn’t easy and neither is love, and you’re determined to put your all into everything you do. The only question you have to ask the world is, “Are you ready for it?”
It should be noted that the single did not debut at No. 1 like some Swifties and Lambs may have hoped. The song began its ascent at No. 77, but it received a huge boost from streams. In fact, Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” had a record-breaking 84.4 million streams in the United States — the highest of any song this year and the only woman to ever do so.
Guys, it’s been nearly THREE years since we got a new album from Taylor Swift, and I for one am seriously counting down the seconds until Reputation is released.
So, in my humble but very educated opinion, here are some of the best and most overlooked Taylor tracks for your pure enjoyment.
I know that country music isn’t for everyone, so I’m going to start this list with her more recent ~pop~ music, and lean you into her more country-inspired stuff slowly. There’s a Spotify playlist at the end of this post for your convenience.
Possibly one of the biggest bangers on 1989, the chorus is catchy as hell and pretty much impossible not to sing along to. Fun fact: I took a “All You Had To Do Was Slay” poster to her concert. Clever, I know.
Perfect for: Screaming along to while you’re driving in your car with all the windows down.
This is a 1989 bonus track for reasons that I’ll never understand, as it is so album-worthy. With Alice In Wonderland-themed lyrics, it’s all about falling into the rabbit hole of intense love that comes with a new relationship.
Perfect for: Playing on full volume after a break-up, once you’ve gotten past all the sadness and can happily reminisce.
What is it with this girl making all of her best songs bonus tracks? This is a much more slowed down one, with beautiful vocals and lyrics that somehow manage to work their way into your bloodstream and make you feel everything.
Perfect for: Listening to in the dark on a low volume. Sounds weird but trust me, it’s great.
This is a classic love song about two teens in the ’40s falling in love in the way only teenagers can. She wrote this song about Bobby and Ethel Kennedy after seeing a photo of them dancing together, which makes things even better.
Perfect for: Singing along to while reminiscing about your first ~Big Love~.
This song is MY ANTHEM. God, I love it so much. There’s something about this song that just makes you want to go outside in the sun, spin around, and forget about everything. She sang this when I saw her live last year and I nearly dropped dead, it was so good.
Perfect for: Having a dance therapy session, letting loose, and just shaking everything off.
This song is basically a reflection on fame and how you can go from being adored one minute to being dragged to hell the next. It makes me feel like at any minute Taylor might throw in the towel and go plant a rose garden somewhere.
Perfect for: Calming your mind when you’re having an existential crisis.
Not found on any of Taylor’s albums, this song was written for the Hunger Games soundtrack. A duet with The Civil Wars, her vocals on this track are PERFECT. They just make me want to give her a hug and pat her hair? That might just be me…
Perfect for: Listening to just before you fall asleep.
Taylor originally wrote this song when she was 16, before she got famous, and for years all we had of it was a low-quality YouTube live version of the song. Then, like an angel on Earth, she recorded it and included it as a track on Speak Now. It’s SO GOOD, guys.
Perfect for: Listening to while you walk down the street, hands in your pockets, pretending you’re in a movie.
This song really captures the magical, fairytale feeling that I associate with a lot of Taylor’s old music. It reads like a diary entry, and I can just imagine her writing this at 1am in her pyjamas, with a fluffy pen.
Perfect for: Listening to after you see a hot person on the train and imagine your lives together.
Do you remember being 16 and when someone wronged you, you had really vivid daydreams about performing a song in front of a whole crowd, with poignant lyrics calling them out for everything they ever did to you? Well, “White Horse” was the song I always dreamed of singing to a certain person in a school assembly, because the melodies are beautiful but the lyrics are damning as hell.
Perfect for: Performing to an audience of no one in your bedroom.
This song was included on the Platinum edition of Fearless which I HIGHLY recommend you check out for some stellar B-sides (or whatever B-sides are called now). If you mention this song to any Swiftie, I guarantee they’ll yell back at you: “WITH YOUR FACE AND THE BEAUTIFUL EYES AND THE CONVERSATION WITH THE LITTLE WHITE LIES AND A FADED PICURE OF A BEAUTIFUL NIGHT YOU CARRIED ME FROM YOUR CAR TO THE STAIRS.” Try it out.
Perfect for: Sing-yelling after you’ve had five wines.
If you asked me to name one song that perfectly sums up the vibe of Taylor’s debut album, this one would be it. It’s so bright and cheerful and just makes me think of teenage Taylor spreading light to everyone she meets.
Perfect for: Singing along to with all your girlfriends.
This song was never included on an album and every time I think about that it just makes me sad. Something about the lyrics and music just work their way inside you and fill you with joy. I didn’t fully understand it when I first heard it, but as I got older and fell in love and knew what that felt like, this song just got better and better. “Doesn’t he know that I’ve had him memorised for so long” is real as hell.
Perfect for: Playing on full-blast on your car stereo in the middle of summer, with all your windows down.
Happy listening, my loves.
And if you scrolled all the way down here to write a negative comment about this article or Taylor Swift, I’m going to stop you right there. Write it on a piece of paper and throw it in the bin. Spread love.