Keys Not A Conspiracy Theorist

Alicia Keys said she was quoted out of context in the latest Blender issue, which quoted her saying "‘Gangsta rap’ was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other" and that the feud between Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. was cooked up "by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing."

In a statement issued by J Records April 15th, Keys said, "My comments about ‘gangsta rap’ were in no way trying to suggest that the government is responsible for creating this genre of rap music.

"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."

The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter was also quoted in the magazine as saying that she wears a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck "to symbolize strength, power and killing ‘em dead."

In the statement, Keys explained that AK-47 is a nickname her friends call her "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."

Blender spokeswoman Kate Cafaro told The Associated Press April 15th, "We stand by our story."

In Keys’ cover story, Blender noted that last year the New York Police Department released documents that disclosed she was put under surveillance prior to the 2004 Republican Convention, because, according to a statement, they’d targeted "those openly talking of anarchist actions."

Keys had spoken out publicly against President George W. Bush and donated $500 to the Democratic National Committee.