Tuesday, April 15, 2008

C.Y.I.N. Case Study: Has Alicia Keys Lost Her Friggin' Mind?!?

crossposted at The Secret Council of American Negroes

I've never been the biggest Alicia Keys fan. Not because I don't like her somewhat bland and overly-hyped music, but mainly because I just don't really mess with R&B like that much nowadays. Yeah, I'm cool with Dwele, and that recent Erykah Badu was a-ite, but overall, I spend more time on the AM dial, far removed from the thump and bump of the typical Hot/Power/Kiss genre of playlist-driven stations. When I do listen to music on the radio, I'm far more of an "urban contemporary" or "smooth jazz" guy.

And besides, I'm just not feelin' those damn vocoders.[1]

[Editor's Note: I'm also prolly still a little salty over that India.Arie/Grammy thing a few years back. And I know India's career has since fizzled and she's back to working the 3rd shift at Denny's, but still, she got straight robbed!]

That said, while I generally find Keys to be relatively inoffensive Starbucks background music and little more, I wonder exactly what was she sippin' when she went all Dale Gribble[2] on us and gave these quotes during a recent interview with Blender Magazine.

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."

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.

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 bi coastal 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."
This whole thing reminds me of that old Chris Rock routine. Just put on your headphones and fast forward to the 40 second mark.

"MLK was assassinated. Malcolm X was assassinated. Them two Negroes got shot!"

Alicia Keys, please stick to your formulaic piano ballads and leave the Biggie and Pac conspiracy theories to the LA Times.

Question: Is Alicia Keys making any sense?

Alicia Keys shares her conspiracy theories on 'gangsta rap' [NY Daily News]

[1] Seriously, what the hell is Mariah Carey doing singing with a vocoder? She actually has talent. My "The Vocoder Is Ruining My Life" post is coming later this week. Stay tuned.

[2] Only the best character from the best animated TV series evar, just in case you were wondering.

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