Since we are discussing sexual assault (or potential sexual assault), it’s probably best to provide a trigger warning here. Also, please make no mistake… while parts of this music video are humorous, when it turns dark, we get serious. Sexual assault isn’t a laughing matter.

It was the summer of 1994. I was fifteen and a half years old. My life was about to drastically change a few months later, with the death of the guy who adopted me, but that’s a story for another time.

Adorning the walls of my former step-sister’s bedroom was a giant poster of R. Kelly and a styled “12 Play” written next to it. It didn’t look like the album cover, but it was similar. She was a big R. Kelly fan, as we all were when we were teens.

Of course, we had heard the rumors that he had married an underage Aaliyah, but this was before the internet and before a time when TMZ would pay someone off to leak a wedding certificate, which we’ve all witnessed now in this new age of information. Now we know for sure it was true, rather than relying on Kurt Loder to tell us at the bottom of the hour on MTV.

1994 sucked. We lost Kurt that year.

One of the tracks on the album was called “Summer Bunnies,” but that version wasn’t released as a single. Instead, it was remixed, with Aaliyah singing the hook and a sample of “It’s A Shame,” by The Spinners. That version became one of those “songs of summer” that was on repeat all over music video channels back when they played music videos.

For example, one of those music video channels, called “The Box,” allowed you to request videos by dialing a 900 number, inputting a three digit code and voila… you get your request in the queue, which would play either immediately or after its place in line. I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed that I still know the code to Bone Thugs N Harmony’s “Thuggish Ruggish Bone.” It’s “757,” if you had the audacity to challenge my obscure pop culture reference database known as my brain. At least it went to use doing something.

This gives my Generation X ass so much life.

By now, we’ve all decided it’s a good thing R. Kelly has been cancelled. Sure, there are those who will defend him, regardless of what evidence is provided, but the court of public opinion has weighed in and convicted him. There’s probably a good portion of us who have seen the Lifetime docuseries and unfortunately, there are some of us who have either danced to his songs at weddings (Step In The Name Of Love) or sung one at graduation (I Believe I Can Fly). It’s a hard place to disassociate the artist from the music and moments those artists have created. As a film buff, I appreciated Woody Allen, but given the circumstances surrounding who his partner is now, it’s hard for me to stomach any more of his films. Maybe I’m in the minority.

As I write this, I must make a confession: I haven’t seen all of the R. Kelly shows past the original one, so I don’t know if I’m covering ground that’s already been covered.

But we need to talk about “Summer Bunnies.” Specifically, that video, which was “775” on The Box.

First off, who told Robert that swimming goggles are a good look?

You looking to go swimming later?


R. begins the video in the (now vintage) Shaquille O’Neal USA Basketball jersey, complete with shorts, which Shaq wore during his MVP performance over the 1994 FIBA Basketball Tournament. (Shaq still should have gotten the nod over Christian Fucking Laettner in the 1992 Olympics and no one will ever change my mind on that.)

That wouldn’t get by me. And I sucked at basketball.

After a crossover that would be deemed “weak sauce” post Allen Iverson, R. goes to collect his money, because apparently, he needs to hustle people on the basketball court, as opposed to just… singing?

“Where’s my share?” – probably, his teammates.

He picks up his cell phone, which is attached to his car (yes, millennials… that was a thing) and talks to someone and makes plans for the day.

Probably setting up his next victim.

Aaliyah shows up, of course, seeing that R. won’t let her out of his sight. She rolls up in the Jeep, which apparently will end up reminding R. Kelly of someone later on in his life.

Rest in peace, Aaliyah.

She’s rocking a throwback Aaron McKie Temple jersey, three sizes too big, because that’s how we used to roll before you assholes ruined everything with your skinny jeans. Interesting fact: Aaron McKie just resigned his role as the head coach of the Temple men’s basketball team.

I am better than your favorite DJ. I use wax.

Speaking of you “assholes ruining things,” here’s a shot of someone DJing the party and not using a computer to mix at a party. It’s how I learned. It’s how everyone should learn. You shouldn’t be able to pick up a controller and Serato, followed by setting up your instagram profile, and claim you’re a DJ. I digress. This isn’t the point.

Can someone tell me what they’re playing?

Apparently, R. didn’t win enough money on the court, nor is he getting his royalties in a timely fashion, so he joins a card game to further fund his sex trafficking operation.

What a creep.

I told you R. wouldn’t let Aaliyah out of his sight.

I wish she still with us, not only to tell her story, because she was on a fast track to success after she got away from this perv.

This is when we get “problematic,” although maybe I shouldn’t put that in quotes because we’re not assuming this is problematic. It flat out is.

I remember these moments vividly as a kid, because you can’t unsee black censoring boxes over these moments. Example A:

Now, it looks like he’s probably just jiggling her behind. I wonder now why we put a black box over that. Was it to really censor it? My bet is that if this video is called into a court deposition, R. could say that you couldn’t see anything, therefore, you must acquit.

Here we go… about five seconds of fondling, covered up by a black box.

Unless R. and his friend are checking for breast lumps, I don’t see the point of this.

Haven’t you done enough, Robert?

Another quick ass grab here. Three minutes and 29 seconds in.

As if that weren’t enough, Kells is going to point at the girl he’s about to fondle.

Insert “stop_it_get_some_help_michael_jordan.gif” here

Of course, you can never see how or where he actually grabs, which is probably the point of the black boxes. Given the stories of what we’ve heard, it’s a safe assumption that none of these girls ever gave their consent.

This all being said, I don’t want anyone to think this is me, initiating a call for R. to be further cancelled than he already is. Again, the court of public opinion is in with their verdict.

I am definitely not someone who subscribes to being on the front lines to cancel anyone, because I am sure that sometime during my high school or college years, I made someone feel uncomfortable. For that, I will apologize well in advance and constantly do so, if ever confronted.

Some people grow.

R. Kelly never did.

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