Archive for the ‘You Tube’ Category

Here’s the truth about Internet “Privacy”: There is no such thing   Leave a comment

https://i1.wp.com/nazmulrony.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/5816482161_9679562278_o.jpg
Many of you have probably heard this saying somewhere before. The fact of the matter is it’s 100% true. It’s that simple. Once something is put on the internet, it’s no longer private. Even stuff put on Google Drive, Box.net One Drive and other online storage websites. The internet’s only 20 years old but one thing it’s certainly done well is made the world a much smaller place. I don’t just mean in regards to georgraphy and communications but I also mean in regards to Social Media.

Having said that:

https://i2.wp.com/mideastposts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/BigBrother.jpg

 

I always find it hypocritical and IRONIC so many people profess their desire to keep the government out of their private lives yet have no problem violating their own right to privacy on social media. That is the irony of using Social Media: You forfeit your right to privacy the moment you start using Social Media. This is because by design, social media is a platform for you to share yourself to the world.

While it is true Facebook has made efforts in recent years to give users more control over who can see or look up what about them, those efforts mean NOTHING if the account holder A. Doesn’t know about them and B. Doesn’t make use of them. I’ll use a recent privacy breach that happened to me with my Facebook account.This past Sunday, a family member saw something on my Facebook profile they didn’t like and gave my grief over it almost immediately. It was info regarding my employment situation I thought had been set to private. While I didn’t really care for the reaction to what was shared, I DID care about the context the info was in and who could see it.

I immediately went into my FB Privacy Settings and set all my past, present and future posts to only be viewable by my Friends list contacts. I also set my employment history and other stuff to private. I even took things a step further and set it to make it much harder for anyone not on my friends list to look up my FB Page via Facebook OR a Search Engine. I had actually removed my last name from all of my social media accounts two years ago, replacing them with my pen name Aurabolt. I started doing the same with all but one of my email accounts as well. The one email account that has my actual last name in the letterhead is for my non-social media purposes.

Let me hit you with some statistics:

https://i0.wp.com/magazine.ucr.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/infograph_public_privacy.jpg

https://745techprofcomm.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/pew-internet-privacy-chart.png?w=1000https://i1.wp.com/image.slidesharecdn.com/privacytheinternet-140912102516-phpapp01/95/privacy-the-internet-an-overview-of-key-issues-13-638.jpg

…So, yeah.

Once you’ve created a digital footprint and more specifically a social media presence, it’s there forever. There actually ARE tech companies that specialize in helping you shrink and privitize your online presnece but more often than not, their services are sought out AFTER either an account is hacked or an identity is stolen. The easiest way to prevent either of these outcomes is to simply not use social media and severely limit your internet presence as much as possible.

Those of you reading this with social media accounts should take the time to look into the sites’ privacy options if they have any. You should also limit who can see what you post be it someone on your friends list or someone who isn’t but has a social media account. At the very least, NONE of the following should be readily visible to ANYONE who views your account on social media or any other website for that matter:

 

  • Full Name: Use a nickname based on your name if you want like I do.
  • Date of Birth: Set it to private
  • Employment Status and History: No one’s business, set it to private.
  • Education Status and History: Same as above
  • Home or Work Address: Goes without saying.
  • Home or Cellphone Number: Not unless you want scammers calling you.
  • Your email address: Privately give it to whoever you want but it should NOT be visible.
  • Clear Profile Pic: Not unless you want someone to make a fake ID with your face.

–I’ll pause there and say this is all anyone needs to steal your identity or set up fraudulent accounts in your name. Yes, even finding our your social security number won’t be very hard with all this info. If you allow ANYONE on your friends list to see any of this info, MAKE SURE they’re all people you trust 100%. There are groups the younger generation are in whose only purpose is building friends lists. The major problem with these groups is  they’re sandboxes for identity thieves, scammers and con artists. More on this in a bit.

All that said, you can also just set up a Social Media account with NONE of your personal information. More and more folks have been doing this with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Kik in particular as an extra layer of protection: They have their actual FB account with people they personally known or trust and then they have a second account just for messing around. It’s become more and more important for folks to aggressively control how much of themselves is shared on social networks.

https://i2.wp.com/cdn.someecards.com/someecards/usercards/MjAxMy0xNzYwODM5YmQ0NTlhMzA0.png

https://www.icsi.berkeley.edu/icsi/sites/default/files/blogphotos/misunderstanding1.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/www.chicagonow.com/listing-beyond-forty/files/2014/01/internet-privacy.jpg

 

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/86/9d/41/869d41f47823abd0d8fb4aa5ff6a977a.jpg

…That last one is a book and a very good read. Check it out sometime.

The world’s increased dependency on the internet is cause for concern for reasons other than the obvious loss of privacy. I’ll get to those other reasons in spearate posts. Anyway, the Internet Privacy Rights Movement (IPRM for short) says it champions an “unregulated internet” where all who use it “should be free of government surveilance”. Their arguement is since the internet is used by the whole world, no one country should have the power to regulate the people, companies and otherwise that use it 24/7/365.

…This is the most dangerous ideology of the Digital Age yet.

This campaign is also a front for its TRUE objective: providing a cover for those who SHOULD be watched by the government to make themselves invisible online AND giving cyber criminals the tools they need to stay ahead of law enforcement. The IPRM has already made it clear: They are against government surveilence of ANY kind under ANY circumstances. Their arguement is “the government has no business looking at my browsing history”.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/IknFkrciaE4/hqdefault.jpg

I’ll put it this way: I support the online group collectively known as Anonymous, what they do and what they stand for. I have no problem admitting they are the one good thing that came out of the Snowden Leaks. They do what the governments of the world are unable and unwilling to do: True Digital Social Justice. Wall St., ISIS and many governments fear them. It goes without saying their reputation preceeds them. They consider themselves everyone and no one. They are chaos incarnate. They cannot be contained. They cannot be stopped.

For every Anonymous member unmasked, arrested or killed, 10 more move in to replace them somewhere in the world. I’ve talked about Anonymous in previous blog posts before but I think this is the first time I’ve outright saud I support what they stand for. They are aligned to no one and no thing, a force that cannot be bought or controlled. They simply do what they please.

That said, I I draw a hard distinction between Anonymous and the IPRM: Anonymous are digital ghosts because of what they do. the IPRM simply doesn’t want “anyone” to know what they’re doing. I actually don’t have a problem if it was just that. What I do have a problem with is their calls for a a completely unregulated and unmonitored internet. Since I’m going to talk about Free Speech and the internet in a separate post, I’ll leave it at that.

Back to my original train of thought:

https://i0.wp.com/image.slidesharecdn.com/internetprivacyinservicebonnieb-131015175729-phpapp02/95/internet-privacy-presentation-in-service-5-638.jpg

If you want to use the internet, like it or not YOU willingly and easily give up the right to privacy and free speech. I’ll speak more to the second point in a separate blog but here’s something to think about. Who DO all of the above websites and thousands of other commonly used websites and apps want at least your full name and email address? “It’s just to confirm it’s really a person making the account and not a macro.”, right? That’s what your answer will be if you know that much about creating accounts on websites.

The truth is, THAT is the price you pay for the free use of their “free” services. You pay with your right to privacy. See, all these websites have done something I will concede the IPRM have long been aware of: User Information is the currency of advertisers. Over the last year You Tube, Facebook and Twitter users will have noticed ads and trending articles matching topics they’ve recently browsed online appearing much more frequently. If you were browsing GameFAQS or Gamestop, you’ll see news on upcoming video games. If you were ordering pizza from the Dominos Pizza website, you’ll see comfort food Page suggessions. If were looking at my Anime Blog, you will see channel suggestions for anime fans. I assure you, that is no exaggeration.

There has also been a renewed effort by advertiserd to demonize people who use ad-blocking tools. How and why? Simple: Under the guise of giving you “control” of what ads you see. “Please disable your ad blocking ad-ons to support our website”. The funny thing websites don’t want you to know about that is they only get a fraction of the profits from Ads. I used to run a website for 5 straight years. I’d know.

…In closing, the same rules online apply in the real world. Truse NO ONE with your personal information. The more they insist “Your personal information will not be shared”, the more likely it actually is. Remember: That’s money to them.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The latest Viral Dance Craze has divided the Internet   Leave a comment

I’m of course referring to The Nae Nae:

This one totally went over my head when I first heard about it in February. In fact, I had to ask my Facebook contacts about it the other day. Buzzfeed compiled everything you might wanna know here.

Then NECN featured this local principal doing the Nae Nae on the first day of school:

That said, I just emailed the principal of the Holmes School (where I will be working this school year) and asked her if she would be interested in doing it on Tuesday. If she agrees, I will post the video. Even if she declines, I plan to do it myself.

Getting back to the main topic, the song has divided the internet. On one side, you have those who love the song for the dance. On the other side, you have those who hate the song’s repetativeness, simplicity and lack of any substance despite being categorized as “Hip Hop”. That said, it definitely ISN’T music and was never meant to be “enjoyed” alone: All the song does is tell you what to do and nothing more. I rarely say this publicly but those who hate the song are haters or jealous haters who are just mad they never thought of comingup with the cash grab first. LOL.

Speaking of interactive songs, there was another song that came out about 15 years back that is still considered today one of, if not the greatest dance song ever thought of:

Yep, DJ Casper’s Cha Cha Slide. This song’s selling point, like Watch Me Whip/Nae Nae is literally nothing but telling you what to do yet it hasn’t received any of the hate the newer song has. Makes no sense if you ask me.

At present, Watch Me Whip/Nae Nae has clocked in nearly 196 Million hites on You Tube. If you think that’s alot, keep in mind the You Tube King Gangnam Style by Psy has 2,406,842,219 hits (and still counting!), a feat highly unlikely to be topped anytime soon. The question to ask is “Is this You Tube video something I will want to watch every day several times a day?” When you keep that in mind, the answer is obvious =D

I finally figured out why Frozen feels nostalgic when I watch it   Leave a comment

https://i1.wp.com/www.stitchkingdom.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/12x12_Frozen_Poster_Hi.jpg

…And the funny thing is I realized it when I bought the soundtrack from a non-Disney classc, An American Tail. For those born after 1995, you probably have no memory of what I like to call the final days of children’s movie blockbusters. In plain English: Hugely popular movies geared towards younger audiences that became smash hits by fans of all ages.

I consider myself lucky to have grown up when movies like Aladdin, Home Alone, Hook and The Lion King premiered. For TOO LONG, there hasn’t really been a kid-centric movie since the late 90s that would easily have folks talking about it 20 years later. Then Frozen came on to the scene two years ago.

Let’s take a look at the hit song, Let It Go:

Not ashamed to say I bought two copies of Frozen’s soundtrack and have listened to this song over 400 times. Now, you millenials are new to the runaway hit phenomenon that is this song. It also asks the question of which is more popular: The song or the movie?

Disney did this almost every year during the 1990s starting with 1991’s The Little Mermaid. Here’s the hit song from that movie that I know parents are not ashamed to sing acapella in the family car/minivan, Under The Sea:

Samuel E. Wright voiced Sebastian, Triton’s majordomo and royal composer. Wright himself is an experienced musician. After the movie’s release, he recorded some  kids’ sing-alongs. Here’s one of them:

 

…He’s got range to say the least! According to an interview with him, Disney approached him to offer him the role. He’s still in the business though obviously, the royalties from his work with Disney ALONE will ensure he’s set for life!

Moving on to Aladdin next. I’ll skip over Beauty & The Beast though the track Gaston (who, by the way is the movie’s bad guy BECAUSE he’s awesome in every way) has been enjoying renewed popularity due to cosplayers. That movie’s hit song Beauty & The Beast, like Aladdin’s hit song A Whole New World has two versions: The movie version and a single post-production version. Here’s the movie version:

We’ll look at three more songs before we stop. I’ll pause for a moment to remind folks the legendary Robin Williams had been tapped for this movie, contributing my personal favorite Prince Ali as well as the smash hit Never Had a Friend Like Me to the film. Disney established its dominance with this film. It was a powerhouse as a movie maker.

Then 1995’s The Lion King changed the game: Three years after its release, Disney was forced to change the movie’s rating from G to PG. The reason: Mufasa’s death scene and the aftermath involving Simba and Scar. That was pretty dark for Disney as they’d never done anything like that up until this movie. The other reason they changed the rating were the high-profile school shootings in America at the time (Columbine happened in 1997). The movie has a number of memorable songs but it’s the opening number that draws you in:

The Lion King was the highest-selling film in studio history until Frozen was released. It nuked all expectations when it was released. The Broadway Adaptation, which launched in 2005 for the movie’s 10-year anneversary has toured all over the world. Here’s the opening number:

Before I forget, the moment where Rafiki raises Simba atop Pride Rock is an homage to Alex Haley’s Roots. Here is the famous scene:

Oh and yes a woman is cast as Rafiki in the Broadway version. No biggie. Johnathan Taylor Thomas voiced young Simba while the legendary James Earl Jones (aka Darth Vader) voiced Mufasa. Moving on, we’re looking at another big budget film that had its teaser included in the original VHS release of The Lion King: Pocahontas.

Like The Lion King before it, Disney did its homework to be as accurate and respectful as possible to the descendants of the Native American tribe featured in the movie. I mean in terms of how they were depicted in the film and its sequel. In the movie’s teasier, Disney did something it hasn’t done since and gave audiences the movie’s lead song almost a year ahead of the movie’s theatrical release, Colors of the Wind:

…By the way, I didn’t miss an interesting message portrayed in the movie: The arrival of the Englishmen and Jamestown’s settlement heralded the beginning of the end of Native American life as they knew it. I don’t think this underlying message was intentionally put in but that message was pretty obvious. It’s more overtly done in James Cameron’s Avatar. The call to protect the unspoiled parts of our world is raised as well. America looked very different from how it does now 100 years ago.

Anyway, I say it’s about time the Disney and knew and loved as a kid made a comeback. The generation before mine has fond memories of The Sound of Music. The current generation now has Frozen. It was a movie that came in at just the right time. The musical numbers carried the movies. Thanks to Frozen, it looks like Disney is going back to its roots ^_^

 

Saved by the Bell cast reunite on The Tonight Show!   Leave a comment

First, a group photo:

https://i2.wp.com/a.abcnews.com/images/Entertainment/apa_saved_by_bell_jt_130125_wmain.jpg

…And how they look now:

…Yes, those are the original actors 20 years later =O

In case you’re wondering, Tiffani Thiessen (Kelly) actually is pregnant. They simply wrote her pregnancy into the sketch. Noticably absent from the sketch–as well as recent reunions–are Dustin Diamond (Screech) and Lark Voorhies (Lisa).

Lark moved on since her time on Saved by the Bell (1989-1993) according to her IMDB page. She’s still in business but does alot of off-screen work now. It’s likely her position as head of her own production company kept her from being able to make it with the rest of her former colleagues. I don’t see it as a snub personally. That said, disregard the crap being spewed about her on the You Tube video’s comments. While she is the only member of the cast who is barely recognizable (Warning: The IMDB picture of her is actually her now. Disregard the one floating around claiming to be of her. She has said it isn’t her and sued the magazine that claimed it was her.), I seriously doubt that’s why she didn’t appear in the sketch as she did appear in reunion specials with the others (excluding Dustin Diamond, see below). After all Jimmy Fallon technically wasn’t on the show yet he appeared anyway!

Dustin’s absence is ironic for a number of reasons. First, he’s sitting in jail facing attempted murder charges. Second, he cut all ties with the cast right after the series ended. Third–prior to his recent arrest–he’s been broke for some time. He actually wrote a controversial autobiography about his experience on Saved by the Bell against the advice of basically everyone. In reference to Dustin, his former co-stars opened up in interviews and reunion specials and said he was very distant with all of them outside filming. He was “Screech on screen and off”. According to his book, Dustin admitted he didn’t make friends with his co-stars because of the age  difference (he was 12 in 1989 and the others were 15) at first but also allegedly because he “was left out”, whatever that means. In short he threw his co-stars under the bus in his book, going so far as to say everyone except him was in a relationship with someone else at one time or another (what a surprise). Of course, his co-stars vehemently deny his claims. Actually, no proof backing up his claims has ever been found so it’s basically his biased word against 5 (or more) other people. What little credability Dustin had before the book was swept away after its release.

…Now he’s in a place where he can do no harm to anyone including himself. It really is a shame how his life turned out given for almost a decade, as Screech he brought joy to a whole generation of kids and teenagers. It’s sad to hear him say the experience ruined his life in one breath and trash talk his co-stars in the next.

 On a more upbeat note, the sketch renewed hope by longtime fans there might be a new series in the works with members of the original cast or a reboot with a new cast. Girl Meets World (sequel to the 90s sitcom Boy Meets World) showed it’s definitely possible to revive an old series 10+ years after it ended. A new Full House was confirmed last year so…yeah. Anything’s possible!

Speaking of Michael Jackson…   Leave a comment

What you are about to see is Michael Jackson personified in 17-year old Brett W. Nichols. The video speaks for itself:

The kid did his homework. By the way, he won the Talent Show no surprise.

Here’s footage of MJ doing Billie Jean in Bucharest in 1992 for comparison:

Reportedly the kid’s been studying Michael Jackson’s dance moves for 10 years. He is also a self-styled perfectionist when it comes to the choreography just like the man who inspired him to do this. In an interview he did after the video went viral, he said there were still things he needed to work on. Even sweeter: He’ll be back next year =O

When I first got wind of the video this morning, the video had 1.5 Million hits. 12 hours later, the video has over 5.4 million hits on You Tube!

Five Years After Death, Michael Jackson’s Legacy Lives On   2 comments

The King Has Risen! Just kidding. This is actually a Hologram.

A week and a half after the release of Michael Jackson’s second posthumous album XSCAPE (By the way it’s AWESOME, see below), The King of Pop made a special appearance at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.

But wait, didn’t he die five years ago? I’d know. I watched the coverage all summer. If you were not the kind of person who could accept the fact the dead can’t come back to life, well…this picture speaks for itself:

Michael Jackson died on June 7, 2009. This is fact. Michael Jackson’s body is interred in a crypt in Los Angeles. Also fact.

So how is an obviously dead man touching a living person in front of a live audience and millions more watching?

Simple: It’s actually a hologram of Michael Jackson.

You can tell that it’s not actually a person much easier in these pictures:

…I’ll give ’em credit for trying. Looking at the faces of the live audience–most of whom have probably seen MJ perform live–it goes without saying it’s not the same. It also drove home for alot of folks in denial The King of Pop is dead and has been for five years next month.By the way, the song performed was Slave to the Rhythm from the recently released Album XSCAPE. If the choreogrphy looks familiar, they meshed it from live shows he did. I could tell at a glance it was a combination of the choreography for Billie Jean, Beat it and Remember the Time.

Actually everything on the stage when the curtain was raised onward was a hologram. Only the dancers in the foreground and in the aisles were real people. It would’ve been too obvious otherwise. Unlike Tupac’s hologram from two years ago (which was done to include Dr. Dre and Ice Cube), MJ’s hologram would be performing solo.

 

Enough about the Billboards. Now we’re going to talk about the recently released album XSCAPE:

It’s interesting to note I didn’t even know this was in the works until I saw samplings for some of the tracks on The Playstation Network two weeks ago. That said, when I looked to buy the album on iTunes I decided to buy the Deluxe version so that I could have both the original and remastered versions of each song.

Like I did when I wrote my review of 2010’s “Michael”, I read some of the top reviews on Amazon.com for the album before writing this. They come from folks claiming to be hardcore and lifetime fans of MJ my age and older. They’re quck to call Michael (the album) a failure but hesitate to even suggest XSCAPE is anything but the real deal.

…Just sayin’.

Anyway, this review is about MJ’s second post-humous album XSCAPE. Eight songs were chosen for this album. The standard version only has the remastered versions of the songs while the Deluxe Edition comes with both the Remastered and Original versions each song. Both versions of the album include Justin Timberlake’s Remix of Love Never Felt So Good, which can be easily argued has no place on either version of the album. While yes, we get it, Sony wants to attract Justin Timberlake fans and vice versa but it would’ve been better released as an LP on one of his (Timberlake’s) albums or something than including it with XSCAPE.

Moving on, let’s go down the list track by track:

1. Love Never Felt So Good: One could date the original version as part of Off the Wall (the album). This album’s lead track, Love Never Felt So Good does its job of pulling you in. for the rest of the album. The remastered version I think will do its job of pulling in new fans as it is a nice fusion of past and present. It’s also my understanding the remixed version was leaked on the internet late last year according to some reviewers. If that’s true, I never heard about it regardless.

2. Chicago: I heard echoes of “Invicible” in the remastered version and Human Nature in the original version of this song. It’s your classic “girl once burned wants to play the fielnd” ballad. This is one of those songs that are just made to transcend time itself.

3. Loving You: The word for the original version of this song is RETRO. I would highly reccommend anyone who picks XSCAPE as their first MJ Album and likes this track makes Thriller 25th Anniversary Edition their second. The bonus track on that album Carusel and the Original version of this song are so similar, I suspect he recorded both songs for the album but like Carusel, it didn’t make the final cut for Thriller’s original release.

4. A Place With No Name: If the intro for the Original version sounds familiar, MJ sampled America’s “A Horse With No Name” and used it as a base for this song. For the record, he got their blessing and permission to do it. The remasterd version reminds me of The Way You Make Me Feel from Bad. The subtle galloping you hear in the remastered version is a nod to the song that inspired the original version of the song.

5. Slave to the Rhythm: This track seems to be somewhere between Dangerous and Invicible. I think the Remastered version does a better job highlighting MJ’s vocals but the pacing for the original is to jam to. All in all the track does its job of acting as the bridge between MJ’s older albums (Thriller, Off the Wall and Bad) and his newer ones (Dangerous, Blood on the Dance Floor and HIStory). As a reminder, this song was performed by the MJ Hologram at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.

6. Do You Know Where Your Children Are: Easily the most controversial song on the album. I have no doubt it will be used as fodder for the haters and critics. Even I will admit it’s a very odd song and it immediately made me think of Demerol, which is the bridge for the song Morphine (Blood on the Dance Floor). The gist of the remastered version in no uncertain terms describes a young girl who is a victim of child sexual exploitation. Again, unless you heard the bridge for Morphine (in which MJ literally says he’s addicted to Demerol) you’d have thought this to be far outside the realm of what MJ does. Then again, the same could be said about Scream (“Stop F***ing with me”), Privacy (Invincible) and Leave Me Alone (Bad) in which MJ takes shots at his critics and the paparazzi. The original version had more of an emphasis on the vocals and seems to be somewhere between Bad and Dangerous. I dunno. I think this is one of those songs that should have been released while he was alive. Soon enough, his legacy will be called into question once again only this time he’s not around to defend himself.

7. Blue Gansta: Easily my favorite song on the album and a stark contast to the preceeding song. It’s as if MJ is saying “Yeah I wrote that song but so what? What are you gonna do about it?” According to one of the top reviewers, this song was leaked some years ago under the title No Friend of Mine but was renamed Blue Gansta for the Album release. The original version has shades of Smooth Criminal and The Way You Make Me Feel (both from Bad) thrown in with a touch of You Rock My World (Invincible). It also seemed to have the essence of Duke Ellington’s Jeep’s Blues with those trumpet blasts. An instant classic.

8. Xscape: The cover song is yet another blend of classic and mondern MJ. I mean that for both versions of the song.

All in all I give the album a 10/10.

I’d have given it a 8/10 if I only got the standard version. With XSCAPE, I think it’s safe to overlook “Michael” if you didn’t like it. I didn’t have a problem with it personally but that’s just me. This one will no doubt make critics of The Estate releasing his unreleased song rethink their stance. While yes I ‘d be the first to agree the unfinished songs on “Michael” should have never been released, there is a demand from the fans to hear more of his unreleased work.

And we all know that there are HUNDREDS MORE songs where these two albums came from.

 

The thing about R. Kelly you should never forget   Leave a comment

One of R.Kelly’s Many Booking Mugshots.

He is a convicted rapist and a convicted pedophile.

Click that link for the full, uncut and distrubing details of what he did by the journalist who has since made it his life’s work to see to it R.Kelly’s crimes against children are never forgotten. Some of what that article contains is pretty disturbing to read but given what a man of his status went to prison for, it should never be forgotten for as long as he lives.

Having said that, I don’t have a problem being transparent and saying I own this album:

The album contains what most would call some of the greatest-ever R&B songs of the genre before his first conviction. The 2-Disc compelation contains World’s Greatest, Gotham City and I Believe I Can Fly, which was recorded and featured in the 1995 movie Space Jam as and its connecting music video. The song itself is still considered today to be one of the greatest R&B songs of all time despite the fact its creator is a convicted pedophile. Rightfully so but there is no avoiding the controversy of the artist.

Let me expain one clear difference between Michael Jackson and R. Kelly: One admitted to sharing a bed with minors on tape, had said interview used against him in court and was found not guilty of comitting any crime. The other lied about having oral sex with a 17 year old girl and was later found guilty of the rape of a minor.

Despite the fact Michael Jackson was found innocent of all crimes he was accused of, the court of public opinion prefers to forgive a convicted rapist.

Why is that?

They’re both black men so there’s no race/gender bias. They’re both musically gifted (which is indesputable). They both have fans all over the world. Michael Jacks0n deserved a second chance. R. Kelly got several and wasted no time blowing them all:

Shortly after his release from prison R. Kelly released the above album (because let’s face it, he was broke and needed the money). While he was working on Volume 2 R. Kelly’s name was called in a sex tape leaked to the media in which he urinates on a 14 year old girl. In court, Kelly said he did not know the girl was a minor but as an adult already convicted of a similar crime it’s not unreasonable to have expected him to confirm the girl’s age before taking her to bed. This was the case in which the court of public opinion came to the consenus “Ok so what? If he couldn’t tell I don’t think I could either!”

After being released from prison (again) R. Kelly recorded the first “Black Soap Opera”, better known worldwide as Trapped in the Closet:

His timing couldn’t have been better. At the time he released the first 5 chapters Tyler Perry was becoming a household name with the Madea plays. Trapped in the Closet quickly became a cult classic and after chapter 12 was released it really looked like R. Kelly would be able to put his dark past behind him.

Then he is found on tape raping a 19 year old woman. This time, supposedly it’s R. Kelly himself who recorded it. R. Kelly’s latest incident is resolved without jailtime but the damage has already been done. There is a belief among many that now, the guy simply does not care anymore. This is percieved belief highlighted in the recently released Black Panties in which R. Kelly supposedly admits to his previous crimes and that he just can’t help himself. I haven’t listened to the album so I can’t comment on that but I have no plans to buy it.

You see, R. Kelly is like those politicians repeatedly caught cheating on their wives: He’ll just do it again knowing all he has to do is make music to pay off the legal bills sure to come. Does that make ANY sense? No it does not.

Again: I won’t deny he is a very gifted singer. Even so, I can’t support a man whose personal life is so tainted it’s clearly effected his professional life. That’s the other side of why so many look the other way when it comes to R. Kelly. Yes you should draw a distinction between his public and private lives. It’s what I did with Michael Jackson and Paul Reubens (aka Peewee Herman), after all. Even so, R. Kelly has neither shown remorse for what he did or even asked his victims for forgiveness. When you take that into account it’s harder to come up with a valid arguement to support this guy.

I hope this gave you guys something to think about moving forward. Oh, I will listen to the music he’s done in the past that I have. When I do, I prefer to think of him as the man he was before his fall from grace.

%d bloggers like this: