Yesterday, DJBooth published a lightweight interview with CeeLo Green, in which he revealed that he’s working on a new Gnarls Barkley album with Danger Mouse, their first since 2008's The Odd Couple. “We’re halfway in and we have some overtures from the other projects that may not have stood the test of time,” Green said. Great news for fans of the soul duo. For fans of accountability in the music industry, it’s less good news.
In 2014, Green was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman (and eventually pleaded no contest), before firing off one of the unmistakably worst Twitter threads in the site’s history, which attempted to absolve himself of any wrongdoing by arguing that sex with an unconscious person could be consensual (via Stereogum):
“if I TRIED but did NOT succeed but the person says I DID then what really happened?… when someone brakes on a home there is broken glass where is your plausible proof anyone was raped… if someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously! so WITH implies consent… People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!”
CeeLo wasn’t around much in the public eye after these comments, since his coaching job with The Voice wrapped earlier that same year. A reality show and some concerts were canceled. But by 2015, Green quietly released a new album called Heart Blanche on Atlantic Records and was pretty well assimilated back in the industry.
Had this happened in, say, October of this year instead of in 2014, he probably wouldn’t be working on an album so quickly with minimal scrutiny from a website “committed to quality music journalism, never clickbait,” one that also reminds readers it’s not OK to listen to R. Kelly anymore. (See below.) But what do I know, change is hard.