R. Kelly In Concert - Atlanta, Georgia
R. Kelly performs at the Holiday Jam at Fox Theater on December 27, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.
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'Surviving R. Kelly, Part II' Episode 4 Recap: Rescued Survivor, Dominique Gardner, Shares Her Story

In the fourth part of the docuseries, viewers are updated on what happened to Gardner after she broke free from Kelly's mental stronghold.

Readers note: This recap may be triggering to those who have experienced sexual assault.

In season one of Surviving R. Kelly, we watched Michelle Kramer, Dominique Gardner's mother, go on a risky rescue mission to save her daughter from R. Kelly’s captivity. Hours after Kramer found her daughter in a Los Angeles hotel room, Gardner left with her mother and they flew back to Chicago. In the fourth episode of Surviving R. Kelly Part II, we learn about the emotional struggles Dominique faced since leaving Kelly.

“She was fu**ed up,” Kramer said of Gardners’s first night back home. “I didn’t even sleep that night because I’m watching her because she couldn't sleep because she was worried about what he was going to say.”

Before Gardner met R. Kelly, she was a bubbly teen. But after leaving him, she was dark and a loner, her mother said. She was only 98 pounds when she came home and was afraid to interact with men because Kelly’s rules still haunted her. She also felt guilty about leaving Joycelyn Savage, another woman in Kelly’s stronghold, behind.

“I felt bad for leaving her because it’s like we was all we had,” Gardner said. “That’s not my heart. I don’t just leave people hanging.” She left a letter apologizing to Joycelyn before leaving.

Gardner also detailed her relationship with Kelly and the dynamic between her, Clary, and Savage. Gardner was the most rebellious and faced “punishment,” such as being locked in a room for days at a time with little to no food. Kelly once pulled Gardner hair out to punish her.

When asked about rumors that Gardner’s masculine appearance was to please Kelly’s desire for her to be a boy, she declined to comment.

“I was not aware of Robert having attractions to boys until a couple of the girls in the house started to talk about there being a guy that he was involved with who would sometimes come into the bedroom with them,” said an anonymous, former employee.

After her mom’s rescue mission, Gardner went back to check on Joycelyn and Azriel and see Kelly. She left again after the singer didn't allow her to attend her younger brother’s graduation and never looked back. “It took me nine years to leave,” Dominique said.

On Feb. 25, 2019, Kelly was released from Cook County, Illinois, jail after his friend Valencia Love posted $100,000 bail. Just days after being released, Gayle King interviewed R. Kelly, Azriel Clary, and Joycelyn Savage on CBS This Morning.

“I was so happy to see that his big TV interview was with Gayle King because it sort of mitigated a lot of things that he might have been able to get away with with a white journalist,” said W. Kamau Bell, stand up comedian and TV host. “There’s a narrative in American history of Black men being oppressed, being hunted, begin accused of things that we didn’t do, but when he sits across from Gayle King, she can sort of push aside that and go, 'But what about you?'”

Robert had a breakdown and it appeared he was going to harm King during the sit-down. Survivors Asante McGee and Jerhonda Pace said that watching the interview was triggering because they remembered Kelly’s short-temperedness.

The CBS interview inspired a Saturday Night Live skit with Kenan Thompson playing Kelly and Leslie Jones as King. Both Dave Chapelle and Aziz Ansari included commentary about Kelly in their Netflix specials in 2019. People also used viral clips of Kelly’s interview and turned it into jokes.

“The response to the allegations against R. Kelly dating back to when he was dating Aaliyah, so much of it has been humor,” said writer and cultural critic Jamilah Lemieux. “I don’t know that America deserves to laugh at R. Kelly because America has been laughing at R. Kelly for too long.”

Lemieux added: “What I don’t hear from Aziz Ansari nor Dave Chappelle in these routines is any sort of empathy for what happened to these girls and women.”

Toward the end of the documentary, viewers also heard from Halle Calhoun, R. Kelly’s ex-girlfriend. She met him when she was 20 at a South Carolina show with her mother. Calhoun describes a time when her mother came to visit Kelly and she became suspicious of her presence.

“When Joy and Azriel’s parents started making this a big deal, Rob was getting very paranoid and he didn’t know who was against him so when my mom wanted to see me, he did want her to go in the sauna with just a towel so he could know there were no cameras,” Calhoun said. Kelly also made Calhoun’s mother sign false documents.

Calhoun said that she and Kelly got into an altercation when he thought she was looking at another man. She shoved him because he was yelling in her face. After the fight, she had bruises on her face and neck, according to an anonymous former employee. Calhoun eventually broke up with Kelly, but she describes their interactions as something akin to normal fights significant others and family members have.

“Sometimes abuse at an early age teaches you love is violence,” said Dr. Jody Adewale, clinical psychologist. “It teaches you love is crossing my boundaries. Some of these men might actually love these women, but they hurt them. Some of these women might believe that love is hurt and most people’s book. Hurt does not equal love.”

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50 Cent And Kenya Barris Developing TV Series Based On 'The 50th Law'

Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is teaming up with actor and director Kenya Barris to create a television series based on Jackson's New York Times bestseller, The 50th Law, co-written by author Robert Greene. The Power executive producer and black-ish creator will join forces to create an original show that will stream on Netflix. No word on its premiere date or who has been cast for the series.

In true, 50 Cent fashion, Jackson took to his official Instagram to celebrate and share the news. "Netflix now you know this is a problem, Kenya Barris is no joke," reads his post's caption. "And if me and you ain’t cool, you ain’t gonna make it. 😆Let’s work! 💣Boom🔥 🚦GreenLight Gang #bransoncognac #lecheminduroi #bottlerover"

Jackson will serve as co-producer by way of his G-Unit Film & Television company which has a hand in Starz's Power Book II: Ghost and ABC's For Life. Barris will work alongside his #blackAF co-executive producer Hale Rothstein for the pilot and show's script under his production company, Khalabo Ink Society.

Speaking of Khalabo Ink Society, Barris' and his company will have a hand in a couple of upcoming projects: Kid Cudi's upcoming adult animated music series, Entergalactic and MGM's upcoming biopic on the career and life of comedy legend, Richard Pryor.

Fif's G-Unit Film & Television imprint, more original programming is on the way: Power Book III: Raising Kanan premieres this summer and Black Mafia Family has begun shooting its series debut. His current shows —Power Book II; and For Life—have been renewed for another season on Starz and ABC, respectively.

Jackson and Greene's The 50th Law is a semi-autobiographical book that tackles lessons around fearlessness and strategy while including inspiring stories from 50 Cent's life and tales from notable historical figures. It went on to be a New York Times Bestseller in 2009.

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Questlove Is Directing A Sly Stone Documentary

The Roots' own Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson will be directing a documentary about the life of Sly Stone, founding member of legendary funk band, Sly and the Family Stone.

The untitled feature film "follows the story of the influential artist, king of funk, and fashion icon Sly Stone, a musician who was breaking all the rules at a time when doing so was extremely challenging, even dangerous. The pressure of explosive mainstream pop success and the responsibility of representing Black America forced him to walk the fine line of impossible expectations."

“It goes beyond saying that Sly’s creative legacy is in my DNA," said Questlove in a press release. "....it’s a black musician’s blueprint....to be given the honor to explore his history and legacy is beyond a dream for me.”

“Sly’s influence on popular music and culture as a whole is immeasurable, and what his career represents is a parable that transcends time and place,” expressed Amit Dey, Head of MRC Non-Fiction. “Questlove’s vision, sensitivity and reverence brings the urgency that Sly’s story and music deserve, and we’re excited to be working with him to bring Sly’s story to life.”

The project will mark the four-time Grammy Award-winning artist's second directorial project (see his Sundance award-winning Summer of Soul) by way of his Two One Five Entertainment production company. Award-winning actor and rapper Common will serve as an executive producer via his Star Child Productions along with Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone via ID8 Multimedia. Derik Murray and Brian Gersh of Network Entertainment will serve as producers with Zarah Zohlman and Shawn Gee as producing partners.

The film's official title and release date has not been announced.

Earlier today in partnership with BET Digital and Sony Music's “This Is Black” Black History Month campaign, an animated music video for the group's 1968 hit single, "Everyday People." Revisit the classic song down below.

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FX's 'Hip-Hop Uncovered' Shows How Big U, Deb Antney, Haitian Jack, Bimmy & Trick Trick Hustled The Game With Street Savvy

Rarely do the strong survive long enough to tell their story in their own words, so bear witness to some of the most notorious deal makers and street shakers in FX's new docu-series Hip-Hop Uncovered. Hailing from hardcore locations all over the map, California's Eugene "Big U" Henley, Queens, New York siblings James "Bimmy" Antney and Deb Antney, Detroit's Trick Trick and Brooklyn's infamous Haitian Jack, represent the mind and the muscle of the rap world's background boss section, where the real money and moves are made.

After last week's two-episode debut (Feb. 12th) of a six-episode season, we have the cast member's thoughts on what it was like taping the show and why they participated in the series. Remember, these storied behind the scenes executives are normally in the background, but are now telling their important stories that weave their importance in the industry that shapes the world...hip-hop.“A true dime is steel-heavier than a dollar.” Watch Hip-Hop Uncovered Fridays at 10 pm ET on FX.

Deb Antney: "By doing the show, it was very therapeutic. I’ve opened up and let you get a glance of what is in my Pandora’s box. I’ve shed pounds, even inches. I’m truly grateful I’m here to tell any part of my story. Now get ready for my book Unmanageable Me.

The show allowed me to showcase my truth the way it needed to be told. The Debra Antney way!

Being Debra Antney was not always glitter or gold. Like most, I went through some things. I was defiantly a product of my environment, it made me who I am today! I always knew how to get myself to the top and that’s exactly what I did. Thank you for being a part of my journey."

 

 

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Big U: "I loved filming this show. It brought up so many memories going back to the house I grew up in, remembering those special moments with family. It was fun to sort of relive my past, but the best part was really seeing my evolution. I’m such a different man today than I was back then. I feel good that the world will get to see the person I’ve become. I did it because for the first time, I knew I could be in full control of my own story, especially since I’m an Executive Producer on the series."

 

 

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Trick Trick: "[Taping the series was] weird as f---!! Because, I’m not used to that type of attention. I’m very private, but oddly enough, it was somewhat... refreshing!

[I did the show] because Big U called.”

Bimmy:

"Well, I choose to do the series because I was told who was involved from the cast to an all-Black production. Taping was like me living my past all over again and we show[ed] the world how we really lived and the things we went through."

Haitian Jack: "Taping the series, to me, was definitely a great experience.  Everybody that was on there, [producers] Oby, Rashidi and everyone else were very polite to everyone and we got everything we asked for.  When you have a crew like that, it makes it really easy for you to work with it.

[I did the show because] I like when they started to say, 'Let’s dig back into the past,' because that’s what my life is all about, the past.  The fact that Big U came up with it and hit me up with it is another reason because I respect what he is doing out there with the kids and his foundation. So I didn’t mind teaming up with him and everybody else, Deb and Trick Trick, Bimmy. I think we have a great cast and I’m proud to be a part of it.  I think we did it because we all knew where hip-hop came from because we lived it.  We wasn’t just some people who just popped up out of nowhere and started blogging about it. We were there.  We watched the deaths, we watched the lifetime prison sentences.  We lost a lot of friends to death and prison. We all lived it.  They are going to get a good account of what went on in the 70s and 80s."

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