"Gangsta rap was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other. Gangsta rap didn't exist," Daily Mirror quoted the 27-year-old singer as having said in an interview in the magazine's May issue. Keys was also quoted as saying that she wears a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck "to symbolize strength, power and killing 'em dead".
However, she has issued the statement in order to clarify that she does not hold the government responsible for anything. "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 over sloganized by some of the media causing reactions that were not always positive," she said.
"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 statement added.
As for the AK-47 remark, Keys said that AK-47 is a nickname given to her by friends "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." However, Blender magazine is standing by its article.