Alicia Keys has been in the news for the past few days all because of a few quotes in a story written by one of my brethren in entertainment media. A statement has been issued to say that she doesn't really believe what the story conveys and of course, the publication is standing by its reporter.
I wonder if she was misunderstood or if that's how she feels and doesn't want anyone to know. I'm not exactly sure but she deemed it necessary to call the Tom Joyner Morning Show yesterday to sort of clarify this whole mess.
Long story short, Keys was quoted in a story in Blender magazine saying "`Gangsta rap' was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other. `Gangsta rap' didn't exist." Of course, she and her label, J Records, have issued a statement to do some damage control so that this doesn't take on a life of its own.
The whole flap is about whether or not she's a conspiracy theorist. Granted what she says makes a lot of sense but Dick Gregory, she is not! Honestly, I don't think she's saying that the music is to blame for us killing each other but she made a very valid point that the music is full of hatred for each other and the white-controlled establishment that is the record business is doing nothing to rectify.
At the same time, speaking as somewhat of an old-school hip hop head, the music is not to blame for everything. At some point we have to accept the responsibility for ourselves and our children.
Now, speaking as a reporter, sometimes you go to your editor with what you think is a solid story and by the time you leave your editor, it has taken on a whole new life and meaning.
What I would be willing to bet my rent check on is she probably did say that, along with a bunch of other stuff, and the editor and reporter conspired, OK, they got together and decided to make the whole story about 30 seconds of the interview.
The bottom line is she needs to be conscious of what she's saying. After you get so big and so famous, everything you do becomes a source of scrutiny and let's face it, no matter how nice or philanthropic your efforts, somebody is gonna hate on you. Miss Keys has some haters and this whole episode is their work.
So as a public announcement to her and her famous counterparts, if you don't say it, we can't quote it. If you don't say it and we quote it anyway, it becomes libel or slander and the best way around that is to run your own tape recorder and/or have someone present during the interview to be a witness.
To accurately quote Miss Keys, "...stayed tuned 'cause there's more to see ..."
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