Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wait until you hear her version of "Fight the Power"...

On some level, this was a humorous read. The NME's website reports that Alicia Keys is demanding an apology from Blender magazine regarding comments she made taken out of context that apparently made her out to be a racist and conspiracy theorist.

The humor comes not when you hear about the tiff itself, but when you think about what the music press is willing to sensationalize. The comments in question were her insistence that "gansta rap was a ploy to get black people to kill each other." Keys is going after the mag for making her sound like she thought the government was responsible for gangsta rap.

She is also upset over a sequence where she reveals the meaning behind an AK-47 pendant she wears around her neck: as a symbol of "strength, power, and killing 'em dead."

At first, I thought what most other readers are probably thinking right now: "Alicia Keys?!?! A militant!?!?! Really?!?!"

Keys' comments, as her public statement reveals, were in fact taken out of context. However, the real issue at play regarding her first comment seems that she actually didn't say anything that was untrue! Elected leaders, along with the music industry, have indeed played a role in portraying hip-hop as uniquely violent and depraved. Ever since the biz wrapped their tentacles around the genre, there hasn't been a single gangsta rap album that really takes up the issues that groups like N.W.A and others took up in the early 90s. It's gone from "in the streets" to "In Da Club."

As far as the second comment: "Regarding the AK-47 reference, AK-47 is a nickname given to me by some of my friends in jest, as an acronym for Alicia Keys and a metaphor for wowing people with my music and performances, 'killing 'em dead' on stage. The reference was in no way meant to have a literal, political or negative connotation."

It's probably just as well. I doubt anyone can picture Keys standing on stage singing "The revolution has come, time to pick up the gun."


P. Stanislaw said...

Wish someone would, though (sing "the revolution has come, etc.). Tired of waiting. No, I'm not that guy either.

Kid Che said...

seriously, are politics that much dirtier than the shit that most entertainers talk about? not saying she is, but so what if she is militant? we need more muhammad ali's and less um.. where would i even begin. and last pontification, wouldn't it be dope if alicia b-sided that with her version of 'revolution #1'?