His reputation in Chicago reportedly gives him a sense of comfort.
Not many inmates who face the charges stacked against R. Kelly would ask to be released into a jail's general population. Those accused of crimes against children are often subjected to violence while behind bars and would prefer solitary confinement or, at the very least, restricted contact with other inmates.
Not Kelly, who's currently being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago. The singer was reportedly locked away in a cell with no or little to no interaction with other people, but it's been reported that he's been granted access to the general population. Kelly stated that his housing unit offered too many restrictions, and the Chicago Tribune stated that in a jail call back in July, Kelly talked about how popular he was inside. That's why he wanted to distance himself from others, initially.
According to TMZ, Kelly is finding mixing and minging with other Chicago inmates to be a breeze because in his home city, the Pied Piper is a "legend." However, the outlet reports that Kelly is nervous about how he will fare in New York when he goes to trial in the Empire State. Kelly's lawyer told TMZ that no matter where his client resides, Kelly is protected as much as possible and he isn't overly worried about his safety.