Timbaland Calls R. Kelly "The King Of R&B," Fans Lash Back

The producer said that we should separate the art from the artist.

BYGabriel Bras Nevares
Timbaland R Kelly King R&B

Timbaland just caught a lot of heat online for proclaiming that R. Kelly, convicted sex offender, is "the King of R&B." Moreover, the producer made such comments during his conversation with Shannon Sharpe on the latter's Club Shay Shay podcast, where they also broached Timbo's struggles with addiction. However, his praise of the disgraced R&B star didn't come without its caveats, as he acknowledged that it was a loaded subject that people quickly bash on. Still, he maintained the importance of separating the art from the artist when it comes to their greatness and impact, and Sharpe was actually the first to do so in the conversation. Many fans expressed disappointment and anger with this take, especially considering that the Virginia native produced for one of Kelly's victims, Aaliyah.

"R. Kelly’s the king of R&B," Timbaland stated. "We all know that, man. And it’s funny, I’m glad you talk about that, because I be having talks- everybody jump when you say R. Kelly. I’m like, ‘So we just gonna ignore his music that he gave us, that we all jam to?’ No, we can’t do that. His art is his art, I ain’t gonna bash the man’s art. Don’t mix music up with personal. Music is a feeling, it stands alone. Music is something that don’t have no race, it brings people together. It don’t have no drama with it. It is a place of enjoyment, a feeling, so don’t bring drama into music. Leave that outside."

Read More: R. Kelly Victim Gets Priority Access To His Royalty Fund

Timbaland & Shannon Sharpe Speak On R. Kelly's Legacy

Furthermore, the 56-year-old currently serves a 30-year prison sentence stemming from a New York conviction. In addition, authorities convicted him of sex trafficking, child pornography, and other federal and civil charges in Chicago this year. While the Chicago sentence is technically an additional twenty years, only one of those will be added to his total time, as the rest serve concurrently with his New York sentence. Undeniably, his legacy saw a massive and irreversible taint as a result that re-contextualized his entire work under a dark light. Check out reactions to Timbaland's take below.

Twitter Reacts To The "King Of R&B" Take

Regardless of his thoughts on legacy and artistic separation, the case of R. Kelly precedes much of his work in today's discussions. As such, many out there continue to make sure his crimes are not forgotten in probably the most extreme example of a tarnished musical legacy. Whether that persists for years to come remains to be seen, and whether others will face a similar fate is a mystery. For more news and the latest updates on R. Kelly and Timbaland, stick around on HNHH.

Read More: R. Kelly Files For Appeal In Federal Sex Crimes Case In NY

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About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.