Back in 2015, while Tinashe was signed to RCA, she teamed up with Chris Brown for a song called “Player.” Shortly after, her R. Kelly team-up “Let’s Be Real Now” arrived. On Wednesday (Sept. 12), the singer reflected on working with two men accused of abuse in a new interview with the Zach Sang Show.
“I literally block out that R. Kelly song from my mind. I forget that it even exists,” she said in a clip from the interview posted to TikTok. “That is so embarrassing. That is so unreal that I even have a song with R. Kelly. That’s so embarrassing.”
She added that she was “so young” when “Let’s Be Real Now” came out, with Sang noting that there is not a lot of “control” over collaborators when you first sign to a label and that it wasn’t fair for Tinashe to face scrutiny over the releases.
“Especially when it comes to singles, for example — that song with Chris [Brown],” Tinashe replied. “That was a song that we all wanted it to be this big moment, this big single. So I feel like, in their mind, they were like, ‘You need the support.’ He was their biggest artist that they had on rhythmic radio at the time. To me, I was like, ‘Well, this is a pop song. So, I really don’t feel like we should put Chris on it.’ That doesn’t compute to me, but I don’t know.”
Brown has a history of reported violence against women, dating back to his 2009 assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna. R. Kelly, meanwhile was found guilty in 2021 on all nine charges brought against him by the government, including racketeering and sex trafficking, at the end of a federal trial in New York.
Tinashe left RCA in 2019 and signed with Nice Life Recording Company earlier this year. See the interview clip below.