lady gaga is re-releasing artpop without r kelly
Take my money, Gaga.
Just over six years after the record’s original launch, Lady Gaga’s third studio album Artpop is getting a fresh release. New physical editions of the record will become available on November 11th, but with one notable exclusion from the track list.
The album was once home to Gaga’s controversial collaboration with the singer R Kelly, ‘Do What U Want’. The song received a mixed reception from both fans and the media due to its lyrics, which implied ambiguous consent in a sexual relationship, in addition to the widely-known allegations of habitual sexual abuse attached to Kelly.
On the new edition of Artpop, however, track listings for both the CD and vinyl versions are missing ‘Do What U Want’.
Gaga removed the song from platforms and streaming services in January this year, after issuing an apology for working with the singer in spite of the allegations made against him. In the statement, the pop star admitted to having shown “poor judgement”, and called the allegations against Kelly “absolutely horrifying and indefensible.”
She went on to explain, “As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and video at a dark time in my life. My intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life.”
“I can’t go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault. I have demonstrated my stance on this issue and others many times throughout my career. I share this not to make excuses for myself, but to explain...”
Though this was certainly an action for the better that demonstrated accountability on her part, Gaga’s statement was rightly criticised for conveniently coming at a time when media scrutiny would be greatest – just after the release of Surviving R Kelly, a docuseries detailing the allegations made against the singer. Gaga had also previously defended working with Kelly, stating that they had formed a “bond” together over “very untrue things” that had been written about them.
Kelly is facing 13 federal charges for sex trafficking, and currently awaiting trial.