Timbaland has come under fire for saying that R. Kelly is still the “King Of R&B,” despite being convicted of sex crimes in multiple states.

Timbo commented on Kelly’s controversial legacy during an interview on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay podcast, where he said it was imperative to separate the art from the artist in regard to his music.

“R. Kelly’s the King of R&B. We all know that, man,” the producer said. “And it’s funny, I’m glad you talk about that, because I be having talks — everybody jump when you say R. Kelly. I’m like, ‘So we just gonna ignore his music that he gave us, that we all jam to?’ No, we can’t do that. His art is his art, I ain’t gonna bash the man’s art.”

He continued: “Don’t mix music up with personal. Music is a feeling, it stands alone. Music is something that don’t have no race, it brings people together. It don’t have no drama with it. It is a place of enjoyment, a feeling, so don’t bring drama into music. Leave that outside.”

R. Kelly Files Appeal For Federal Sexual Crimes Case In New York

R. Kelly Files Appeal For Federal Sexual Crimes Case In New York

Timbaland’s comments are interesting considering he produced for the late Aaliyah, whom R. Kelly married in 1994 when she was just 15 and he was 27.

The Virginia native quickly caught flack online for his comments, with some claiming Timbo’s own romantic feelings he had for a teenaged Aaliyah as the reason why he still supports R. Kelly.

“Timbaland is ok with R Kelly’s music because he himself had the same thoughts about Aaliyah. He’s said it,” wrote one critic on Twitter.

“Remember when that one lady that said when r kelly got her pregnant at 16 but lost the baby and r kelly wrote ‘you are not alone’ for her. THATS WHY we can’t even separate the music from the criminalities,” someone else wrote.

Another added: “This is especially nasty coming from Timbaland seeing that one of the girls R. Kelly was violating was Aaliyah, someone he would refer to as ‘baby gir.’. Like n-gga, how do you NOT think that pedophilia wasn’t in his early music when he was with her?”

While he’s currently serving a 30-year prison sentence for sex trafficking convictions in New York, R. Kelly was found guilty of a second federal sexual assault case in Chicago where he was sentenced to 20 additional years in February.

A grand jury ultimately found the “Ignition” hitmaker guilty on six of the 13 federal charges, which included three child pornography charges for sexually abusing four girls — three of whom were minors.

They also found Kelly guilty of making three videos of himself sexually assaulting his 14-year-old goddaughter, which resulted in another three charges for producing sex tapes with a minor.