On Thursday night, millions tuned in to watch Surviving R. Kelly, Lifetime’s eye-opening docuseries exploring R&B singer R. Kelly’s decades of preying on young girls. The program featured emotional testimonies from a number of Kelly’s victims, who say they were groomed from an early age, abused, and ultimately discarded.
The series not only shined a necessary light on Kelly, an artist who managed to stay on top for years even after marrying an underage Aaliyah and filming a sex tape with a 14-year-old girl, but also music’s statutory rape problem, with everyone from Chuck Berry and Jimmy Page to David Bowie and Ted Nugent accused of preying on underage girls.
And the day after Surviving R. Kelly aired, a disturbing video surfaced on Twitter featuring the rapper Drake.
In the video, shot years ago, he is seen taking a break from performing, and welcomes a fan up on stage from the audience—a young woman.
He kisses her body and lightly fondles her breasts, as the audience hoots and hollers with approval. After, he asks her how old she is. When she says she’s 17, the crowd erupts in laughter—as if it’s all some kind of joke.
“I can’t go to jail yet, man!” shouts Drake, to amused cheers from the crowd. “Why do you look like that?!” “Well look, I had fun,” he continues. “I don’t know whether I should feel guilty or not, but I had fun. I like the way your breasts feel against my chest. I just want to thank you.”
Drake then kisses her face several times again before bidding her adieu.
The video, which was retweeted several thousand times, has received heavy backlash on Twitter. Writer and academic Eve Ewing wrote, “honestly this isn’t just about drake. people are not asking questions that should be asked. And it’s real easy to watch #SurvivingRKelly and say ‘why didn’t anyone xyz…’ but there’s a lot of folks hooting & hollering in this video.”
This is not the first time Drake has received backlash for his behavior toward young women. In September of last year, reports emerged suggesting that Drake was in a romantic relationship with 18-year-old model Bella Harris, whom he’d known since she was 16. Folks then took issue with Drake’s texting relationship “about boys” with 14-year-old Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, with some deeming it inappropriate.