In the week since the Surviving R. Kelly aired on Lifetime, hip hop artist Drake has come under fire for exhibiting R. Kelly like behavior.

Drake‘s current girlfriend is eighteen-year-old model Bella Harris, making him fourteen years older than her. While eighteen is the legal age in the United States, the age difference is more than a little weird. But what makes the whole situation even more uncomfortable is the fact that the pair has known each other since 2016. When she was sixteen.

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It wasn’t the first time I heard strange things about Drake.

While R. Kelly was a part of my childhood, I didn’t care about him as much as I did Drake. Like many other kids, I spent my Fridays watching Degrassi, when Drake went by Aubrey Graham. I loved Jimmy. I cried when he got shot, and to this day it’s Hazel and Jimmy over everyone. When he signed to Young Money, I tried memorizing as many songs as I could. It’s the main reason why it’s been so hard for me to hold Drake accountable in the way that I’ve held R. Kelly, but I know I can’t be a hypocrite.

A few months ago, I was watching the 2018 Emmy’s video with Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown. She was being interviewed about her relationship with the thirty-two-year-old Toronto rapper.

“He a great friend and a great role model. We just texted each other the other day. He was like ‘I miss you so much,’ I was like, ‘I miss you more,’ he’s great.”

Millie was only thirteen at the time of the interview. I don’t know how celebrities work, but there is no reason for a thirty-something-year-old man to be texting a thirteen-year-old girl. And why would he tell her he missed her? I talked about how that behavior was a problem with my friends, but I still listened to his music. And then a video resurfaced from a 2010 concert of him and a seventeen-year-old girl.

He invites her on stage, kisses the back of her neck as he dances with her and touches her breasts. When he’s finished, he then asks her how old she is. To which she responds seventeen. He blurts out, “I can’t go to jail yet, man!” He gets really gross and says,

“Why do you look like that? You thick. Look at all this. I don’t know if I should feel guilty or not, but I had fun. I like the way your breasts feel against my chest.”

Um… what? I was completely grossed out, not just with Drake, but with myself. I’m normally the annoying friend that blurts out “your fave is problematic” every chance I get. Why couldn’t I follow my own standards? Why didn’t I listen to my gut when I heard Millie talk about him back in September when I knew it was creepy for a grown ass man to be texting a little girl? I let my love for his music and what he meant to me when I was younger cloud my judgment. And for that, I’m sorry.

Even though there have been no sexual misconduct or assault accusations against Drake, we need to remember his behavior and make a mental note of it. We can’t pick and choose who we hold accountable; no matter how much we love a certain celebrity, we can’t pick and choose who we let slide. Men like Drake, R. Kelly, and so many others need to be held accountable for their actions. No matter how difficult it will be for us to let them go.

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Photo: Drake / Instagram

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