In one episode of Lifetime’s overnight hit documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, Chance The Rapper is shown saying, “I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black woman,” making it sound like Chance was willing to ignore the sexual misconduct allegations that have been made against R. Kelly because the women making the allegations are black. This weekend, Chance has explained that his comment has been taken out of context and that people are misinterpreting his point, sharing the full clip of his interview and reiterating that he regrets having ever worked with R. Kelly (which he did on the 2015 track “Summer In Paradise”).
In the larger clips (via Billboard), he explains that he has been “programmed to really be hypersensitive to black male oppression,” so he automatically thought of R. Kelly as a “victim” and was able to ignore his accusers because they were black women and society didn’t turn the accusations into a huge scandal like he says it would’ve if they had been white woman. That all being said, though, Chance also acknowledged that any context his comments had and any justification he can present is irrelevant, because anyone who ever “ignored the R. Kelly stories” or “believed he was being setup/attacked by the system” was “doing so at the detriment of black women and girls.”
Basically, he’s saying that he didn’t really mean what it sounded like he was saying, but it doesn’t really matter what he meant because by excusing or ignoring R. Kelly’s alleged behavior at all he was acting against black women—something that he didn’t recognize in the past but does recognize now. This whole situation is a little bit like what Questlove was concerned about when he refused to participate in Surviving R. Kelly, saying that he thinks Kelly is “trash” but that he didn’t want to end up talking about Kelly’s “genius” and appearing in “the ‘good times’ portion” of the series.