The Internet has a lot of thoughts after The Isley Brothers played two of their previous collaborations with the disgraced R. Kelly during their Sunday Verzuz battle.
In their Easter match-up against Earth, Wind & Fire, Ron and Ernie Isley played their 2001 song “Contagious,” written and produced by Kelly — who is currently in prison awaiting trial on federal and state criminal charges involving sexual assault, sexual trafficking, abuse of a minor, and more.
However, the two did not feature Kelly’s verse, which is toward the end of the track.
Additionally, The Isley Brothers played their 2003 tune “Busted,” also written and produced by Kelly.
Needless to say, social media users were not pleased that the iconic soul group played tracks associated with an accused abuser.
“If y’all miss listening to R Kelly just remember he was touching on little girls and all of his songs are about him freaking on children, have a nice day. #Verzuz,” one Twitter user alleged.
“Petitioning for The Isley Brothers to re-release ‘Contagious’ without R. Kelly,” a different commenter suggested.
“I hate R.Kelly for ruining great songs,” another wrote.
On Monday, DJ D-Nice, who DJ’ed the Verzuz battle, went on “TMZ Live” and explained that each band gave him the songs they wanted to play.
“It wasn’t my choice,” he explained, adding, “I respect their decision to perform the music they made. It’s on them.”
While admitting that playing “Contagious” felt “weird,” D-Nice made sure to skip Kelly’s verse.
“I had to cut out the R. Kelly verse, though,” he said, “I needed to fade that out before they got to it.”
Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all of his charges.