Thursday, April 17, 2008

Alicia Keys: Conspiracy Theorist?

Multiple Grammy Award winning singer and actress, Alicia Keys, has been getting hit pretty hard in the press lately thanks to a recent Blender Magazine article and rapper, 50 Cent's, two cents worth on her comments.

Associated Press reported that Keys is quoted in the Blender May issue as saying "Gangster rap was a ploy to get black people to kill each other" and that she dons a gold AK 47 pendant around her neck to symbolize "strength, power, and killing 'em dead"--a throwback to some sort of militant Black Panther thinking.

But Keys says her comments have been misrepresented. Here's her statement taken from MSNBC.com:
“My comments about ‘gangsta rap’ were in no way trying to suggest that the government is responsible for creating this genre of rap music,” Keys said in a statement issued by J Records. “The point that I was trying to make was that the term was oversloganized by some of the media causing reactions that were not always positive. Many of the ‘gangsta rap’ lyrics articulate the problems of the artists’ experiences and I think all of us, including our leaders, could be doing more to address these problems including drugs, gang violence, crime, and other related social issues.”
And what about the "kill 'em dead" comment?
“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.”

Here's my little theory: Although Blender is standing by its article, I'm willing to bet the writer saw a chance to paint a different picture of the Keys we've come know publicly and ran with it. Controversy sells! Which is why now "Fiddy" Cent's anti-Alicia Keys comments are popping up all over the internet and in the press. I'm not reprinting them, but they can be found on AOL News HERE.

So when some reporters can not find controversy, many get creative. Notice how the lines between entertainment and journalism have thinned considerably over the years, just like those separating love and hate in a bad relationship. It's no wonder press rooms are devoid of celebrities eager to talk after major industry events.

So if Alicia Keys is such an angry militant and conspiracy theorist as Blender portrays her, why would Dove soap and MTV continue trusting her as the face of their new marketing campaign?

Fresh Takes
, a new microseries featuring Keys is running on MTV as part of an ad campaign for Dove. In the series, three close friends--all in their 20s--take a bite out of the Big Apple and in the process discover more about themselves than big city living. It's not quite Sex in the City, but it's still good chick flick viewing. And midway in the series, Award-winning actress, Lynn Whitfield, makes an appearance as Key's lively mother.

To view all the episodes and to get more info on the series click HERE to visit Dove's site. MTV.com is also streaming Fresh Takes so just click the title to see the series and all the network's exclusive extras.

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