Tuesday, April 15, 2008

enough, already

when i read this, i thought, okay -- this really cuts it.

alicia keys' remarks are proof positive that pop stars, while exposed to so much information and culture in the world, are quite often clever on cue but as it turns out, aren't necessarily intelligent or even smart.

in all likelihood, a standard issue liberal arts BA from any state college could have fixed that, but oh well. now that she's read a few books and found her "political voice," we'll be subjected to more of these spontaneous outbursts of gut-churning "brilliance" from her. what's obvious is that she's a corporate tool with no room for political anything. why she doesn't see that is even more bizarre than what she said about tupac and biggie. the nanosecond she releases something political that doesn't sell, the label will make her release something else that does. when you're a corporate tool, that's the way it works.

what really cuts it for me is that every insipid little thing she says reverberates around the world a thousandfold, for anyone to edit and misinterpret as they please. that's why some artists don't do interviews. no one likes a pretty girl with a strong opinion but when what she says is this bent, everyone has a field day.

yes, there are a lot of artists who started their careers singing sappy love songs and matured to ultimately create political life-changing music. marvin gaye is a personal favorite. but that was the 70s, when the times made room for, and in many ways demanded such material. do you really think that Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young could release ohio in this day and age? when the kent state campus shootings happened in ohio, those rich, famous, drug-addled rock stars were outraged enough to do something. in a matter of days, neil young wrote the song, they recorded it -- and it was flooding the airwaves within two weeks. (that's right: a protest song reached all the way up to #14 on the billboard hot 100. so there.)

nowadays, so-called artists are way more concerned with bling-bling and making money to write a real protest song. i know, i know -- everybody has their charities nowadays, their benevolent funds and organizations and whatnot. and i'm sure that those organizations do good things worldwide. but the upshot really is that their insipid yet danceable music is what's floating through everyone's consciousness. not information, not political awareness.

at this juncture, with our country in the state that it's in and now that she's filled our ears with audible well-produced fluffernutter, which would she rather have, as an artist: music that protests, teaches, inspires -- or songs that collectively numb us out? according to that pesky interview/article in blender magazine, apparently ms. keys would prefer the former.

hm. let's see what her next cd sounds like.

okay, so here's two sides of the same coin: the promo blip for the interview in blender and the clean up that ms. keys and her publicist attempted, to clear the air. interesting that she didn't correct any of that black panther stuff, or the tupac/biggie conspiracy theory. enjoy.


Alicia Keys has theory on Tupac-Biggie feud

Thinks the government and media fueled fued between the slain rappers

updated 6:21 p.m. ET, Tues., April. 15, 2008

There’s another side to Alicia Keys: conspiracy theorist.

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter tells Blender magazine: “‘Gangsta rap’ was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other. ‘Gangsta rap’ didn’t exist.”

Keys, 27, said she’s read several Black Panther autobiographies and wears a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck “to symbolize strength, power and killing ’em dead,” according to an interview in the magazine’s May issue, on newsstands Tuesday.

Another of her theories: That the bicoastal feud between slain rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. was fueled “by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing.”

Keys’ AK-47 jewelry came as a surprise to her mother, who is quoted as telling Blender: “She wears what? That doesn’t sound like Alicia.” Keys’ publicist, Theola Borden, said Keys was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

Though she’s known for her romantic tunes, she told Blender that she wants to write more political songs. If black leaders such as the late Black Panther Huey Newton “had the outlets our musicians have today, it’d be global. I have to figure out a way to do it myself,” she said.


Alicia Keys says comments to magazine were 'misrepresented'

NEW YORK (AP) — Alicia Keys says she's not a conspiracy theorist. In a statement issued Tuesday, Keys said she was clarifying "comments that were made during my recent Blender magazine interview since they have been misrepresented."

According to an interview in the magazine's May issue, the 27-year-old singer says: "`Gangsta rap' was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other. `Gangsta rap' didn't exist." She also is quoted as saying that she wears a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck "to symbolize strength, power and killing 'em dead."

"We stand by our story," Blender spokeswoman Kate Cafaro told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

"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."

As for the AK-47 remark, Keys said Tuesday that AK-47 is a nickname given to her by friends "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."

When AP attempted to reach Keys last week about the Blender interview, her publicist, Theola Borden, said the singer was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

The multiplatinum star behind the hits "Fallin'" and "No One" most recently had success with her latest CD, "As I Am," which has sold 3.4 million copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan.

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