R. Kelly Is Broke And Trying To Sell His Music Catalog But No One Wants It
Despite not having released new music since 2018’s “I Admit,” Robert Sylvester Kelly is staying booked (by the feds), busy (in court), and blessed (by Satan). He’s currently standing trial in New York on charges which include “bribery, kidnapping, forced labor, producing child pornography and knowingly infecting some victims with a sexually transmitted disease.” He’s also facing additional charges in Minnesota and Illinois. And people called James Brown the hardest working man in show business! Pfft. The only problem is that Robert’s current gig as a professional defendant does not pay the bills. In fact, it incurs them. So, according to Billboard, Robert is trying to unload his catalog. The only problem is nobody seems to want anything to do with this radioactive pile of shit. Or its music!
Consequence of Sound reports:
Having resided in a jail cell since 2019, Kelly is facing a crisis of cash. “His funds are depleted,” his lawyer Devereaux Cannick said earlier this month. And though his catalog continues to generate something like $1.7 million per year in the US, according to a Billboard estimate, next to nothing trickles down to Kelly. Because while he’s currently on trial for sex trafficking in New York, he’s already lost a couple of legal battles, including to a woman who won $4 million in a lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing her when she was 16, and to the landlord of his former recording studio.
Damn, still a bum even if you don’t count the crimes against humanity. Robert probably popped out of the womb asking the doctor if he could hold a dollar. The reasons for Robert’s catalog of hits being worth about as much as one of his handwritten IOUs (the only “word” he can spell by heart) are obvious and plenty. And if Robert is convicted “the catalog’s value could plummet even further,” meaning that owning it could actually become a financial liability.
The obvious buyer would be someone like Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnosis Songs Fund founder and CEO of The Family (Music) Ltd. Hipgnosis recently acquired Red Hot Chili Peppers’ catalog for $140 million, and since 2018 the company has purchased half of Neil Young’s catalog, as well as everything by Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Shakira, producer Jimmy Iovine, and selected works of Bob Rock’s that included his share of Metallica’s self-titled album. But Mercuriadis won’t touch it.
“It has been offered to me a number of times by his team, and of course, I’ve said no for the obvious reasons,” he said. “There are incredible songs in that catalog, but why would you take that kind of risk?”
Another anonymous asset buyer who passed on the catalog in 2019 told Billboard, “We wouldn’t go near it with a 10-foot pole.”
Other asset buyers anonymously suggested to Billboard that they wouldn’t say no to the catalog if it came to them cheaply and quietly. But in all likelihood, Kelly’s songs will appear in no advertisements or commercial films for the foreseeable future, and if a few more civil lawsuits go against him, every penny earned could be owed to some of his many, many alleged victims — perhaps for decades.
Well, if the price keeps dropping surely someone will buy it if only for the rights to write a scathing song parody called Remix to Conviction.