Wednesday, August 28, 2013

soulacoaster indeed

Jeez, I had no idea that "soulacoaster, the story of me" by R. Kelly would be so sad.  Grew up with no dad in rough Chicago area, totally poor, surrounded by a lot of drunks (although also love from his family), molested for years by an older woman starting at the age of 8 (which think about the sexes being reversed there if it doesn't seem so bad), household just generally sexually inappropriate in general including being asked to watch sex and take pictures from a very young age, shot as a little kid! and has a learning disability that led to him being completely illiterate through at least high school. I haven't gotten further than high school yet.

He kept getting passed through grades, partially because of his skill at basketball but he lived with an enormous amount of shame because of his molestation and illiteracy.  It sounds like every day of school was torture for him until a music teacher took him under her wing.  She taught him to play piano, write songs, and sing every type of music including opera.  He says that music floods his head 24/7 since he was very young.  A real prodigy.  Before his record deal he supported himself by busking.

It's not really a very weird or funny book, but one strange passage is about how he had sex with a girl on her period at 17, freaked out because he didn't know what was happening, and then didn't have sex again for 2 years.

Here's a short video with R. sinking a half-court shot at Jamie Foxx's house

10 comments:

Natalie Rose said...

R. Kelly questions for the day.

Does he ever publiclly admit having sex with under age girls?
With a past as a sexual abuse survivor, a highly inappropriate sexualized household and later fame and money I can certainly see how he would continue those same patterns. Just wondering how it all fits together and if he owns his own behavior.

And as a super fan Becky where do you stand on those accusations?

-Natalie.

beckler said...

No, he's denied this, although he was married to Aaliyah when she was 15, which I thought was somehow legal (because of different age of consent laws in different states), but turns out they lied about her age and it was annulled.

I basically think of it like this: when it comes to an artist, I respond to their art first and their personal story second. I have enjoyed the work of sexist and/or anti-semitic writers, for instance. I love Roman Polanski movies, and what he did was reprehensible.

I think he should have gone to jail but I can't control that. I also think Roman Polanski should have gone to jail. I don't know for how long, but I guess for the same amount of time that non-celebrities go.

I don't think that people have the same reaction to someone playing a Michael Jackson song cuz he's somehow gotten a pass.

So that's how I think about it. If anyone gets upset when I write about him I can stop.

Natalie Rose said...

Whoa, whoa

I'm not getting upset at all, nor am I calling you out.

I was just curious.

N.

beckler said...

i didn't think you were. dp asked me the same thing last week in an email.

it sounds too defensive because it's written down. that's just my mental justification for loving this fucked up dude

beckler said...

r. kelly not scott

Anonymous said...

which begs the question: does Scott do R. Kelly?

-omf

Anonymous said...

Michael Jackson got a pass? The guy was hounded and pilloried in the press and the butt of 10000 pedophile jokes. (perhaps justifiably, but still)

what are some more good music (auto)biographies? Joe Boyd's was so good. Just read the Mick Fleetwood one, and I'm currently on the Nile Rodgers book, which is great. I liked the Keith Richards, Kiedis. Did anyone read Ray Davies?

-chafs

Anonymous said...

I loved the Ray Davies but its marred by this sort of sci fi framing device. I mostly skipped those parts but it has some great stories in it.
My favorite autobiography is Art Pepper's Straight Life, but I actually haven't read all that many.

JD

beckler said...

michael jackson gets a pass as in young people who love him pretend that none of that is true and it's a media conspiracy. heckamax started arguing with a student about whether the baby dangling thing was real until he realized he was arguing with a tween about mj.

so he shook if for many people when he died and became a saintly figure

yolkie said...

I'm reading Questlove's book, Mo' Meta Blues, right now. It's pretty good so far. One time Prince invited him to go rollerskating on Valentine's Day. It's good stuff.