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THE FLIP SIDE: Alicia Keys’ Theory on Tupac-Biggie Feud

R&B singer Alicia Keys is one of the music industries biggest musicians, who has been able to keep her personal life very quiet. Now in a new interview, fans and outsiders can see and feel another side of Ms. Keys. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter defends hip hop by telling Blender magazine: “‘Gangsta rap’ was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other. ‘Gangsta rap’ didn’t exist.” Keys, 27, who wears a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck “to symbolize strength, power and killing ’em dead,” is an avid reader of Black Panther autobiographies, 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.

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