So why the slow-walk to hold the hip-hop industry accountable? “There’s just certain things in our culture that we just don’t talk about,” says Jackie O Asare, a veteran music publicist who has represented such acts as Lil Jon, Three 6 Mafia and Mya. “Hip-hop tells us to man up, deal with it and keep it moving.”
There are other reasons, of course. Hip-hop, which has surpassed rock as the most popular music genre in the US, is still fueled by largely street, male-dominated energy and has struggled to shake off some of its misogynistic past.
But the most telling reason R. Kelly and others have been able to operate with impunity for years is because most of their victims have been women of color — more specifically black women.