Alicia Keys Says ‘Gangsta Rap’ Comments Were Misinterpreted

By Allen Starbury  |  04/15/2008

Alicia KeysIf you haven't read about it yet, Alicia Keys is a conspiracy theorist. Well, not exactly, but as previously reported, the singer spouted ideas that the hip-hop subgenre known as "gangsta rap" was created by the government to "convince black people to kill each other."

She says this in an interview in the new issue of Blender. Since the news surfaced, Keys has been the talk of the moment. However, Keys says her comments were misinterpreted in a negative way, and they were not meant the way they looked.

On Tuesday morning (April 15), the singer called into Ryan Seacrest's Los Angeles radio show to address the article, explaining what she told the writer may not have been clear.

"I feel that I wasn't a 100% clear on what I was saying and so, because of that, it got slightly misinterpreted, and somehow it got misinterpreted that I was saying that the government was creating gangsta rap -- and that’s not what I was saying," Keys said on the air. "What I was saying was that the term 'gangsta rap' was so over sloganised during that time... That's what I was trying to talk about."

She further explained that it wasn't just the government, but everyday people who could have stopped things from happening in the inner cities, which would later be talked about by artists, and later deemed "gangsta rap."

"In so many ways, everyday people, as well as the government, could have really done so much more to sorta obliterate and eradicate the things that were going on in the communities at that time that forced the artists to discuss and talk about, so strongly, what they saw, what they lived with," she explained. "I wasn't saying that I'm a conspiracy theorist, and I wasn't saying that I'm anti-anyone because anybody who knows my character knows that I'm a very positive person... My only aim is to uplift people and spread love."

According to Alicia, the interview was long, and during that time, they discussed several topics, but one or two lines caused all the media attention.

"You're in an interview for half and hour, 45 minutes... and you're talking about these different thoughts and ideas and I think... there's a way that I didn't exactly clarify what I meant to the point where he (the journalist) could misinterpret it," Alicia said. "It was merely a line or two that has provoked all of this madness. I regret that a negative spin has been put [on it]."

Despite it all, she was happy with the story, though. "I don't regret doing this interview; overall it was a great article," she said.