Open Thread: Alicia Keys

by Latoya Peterson

In the May issue of Blender magazine – which hits stores tomorrow (April 15) – the Grammy award winning singer said
that she believes the government created gansta rap as a “ploy to convince black people to kill each other.”

Keys also said the government perpetuated the bi-coastal hip-hop feud that snuffed the lives of rap greats Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G., “to stop another great black leader from existing.”

This is a side of the artist fans haven’t really seen. The side that sports a gold AK-47 charm around her neck which she says symbolizes, “strength, power and killing ’em dead.” SOURCE

On the way to work this morning, I heard Alicia Keys giving a radio interview to clarify her comments. She stood by her basic statements, but says that somehow, her words got a bit twisted. Take, for example, the AK-47 pendant. That was apparently an in-joke as her friends call her AK (for Alicia Keys) and the “strength, power, and killing ’em dead” was in reference to her performances. She also said she did not blame the government for gangsta rap, but the government did encourage this kind of violence and did not take the steps needed to quell the coming violence in certain communities. And so on.

I’ve heard a lot of people weigh in on this one, but here are my favorites.

Jay Smooth kills it as usual:

Some other thoughts from Average Bro, dnA, and Lauren & Cord from Stereohyped.



Your thoughts on Keys’ comments and the fallout?

About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

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