R. Kelly has already been sentenced to 30 years in connection to various charges in the state of New York City. Kelly has been accused of running a complex ring of employees that have helped him court and date underaged women since the early ’90s. This has included R&B singer Aaliyah and a “Jane Doe” from the home tape that leaked over 20 years ago.
Through all of this, Kelly’s fans have continued to support him, streaming his music and videos and showing up in drones outside of courts to show him he’s not alone. Their latest feat? Getting his music trending on TikTok in a viral challenge that many did not even notice has helped Kelly get some significant streams.
TikTok has no real barometer regarding what songs find their way into the greater lexicon. Sounds from across decades, cultures, and different mediums find themselves on the “for you page,” making pop culture moments out of some of the most unlikely things. For R. Kelly, it is a dance trend based on his song “Leg’s Shakin’,” featuring Ludacris.
The song is off his 2013 album Black Panties and currently has 10 million streams on Spotify. Over on Tiktok, it has 6.1 million views. Ironically enough, the dance has been mostly performed by young black women who all seem to match the age range and description of the type of women R. Kelly used to prey on in his career.
Many people either seem not to know the song is by R. Kelly or simply do not have an issue with him trending and earning some money despite his past crimes. Rapper Da Brat has a popular video doing the dance, and fans in the comments shouted her out for supporting her fellow Chicago native R. Kelly on his trend. “Da Brat probably believes R. Kelly is innocent as well,” said one fan.
It’s reported that the song first reappeared this summer as part of a line dance video that went viral, and then people created a separate dance towards it that includes some handwork and hip movements to the beat. Several people took to Twitter to call out the trend saying, “Idk why the world is pretending to cancel R. Kelly when ‘legs shakin’ one of the most trending sounds on Tik Tok.” Another woman Tweeted, “I cannot the support the Tiktok trend of dancing to ‘Legs Shakin’ by R. Kelly because that song is most likely about a child,” before suggesting people “switch the audio to another R&b song” if they like the dance so much.
As mentioned before, Kelly may have his fans to thank for this uptick in his music, and several of them have taken to social media to support their “king” and uplift him amongst calls to keep him “muted” and “canceled.” “I don’t like the fact people have to hate on an innocent Man to stay relevant! R Kelly is innocent, periodt!,” said one fan.