The Loudmouth Protestant

October 5, 2009

An Open Letter to Alicia Keys

By now we have all heard the story and all its layers. If you’ve been hiding under a rock, or you just don’t concern yourself with the goings-on of pop culture, allow me to break it down for you. R&B artist Alicia Keys and hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz have been having an affair for some time now. Swizz is married to R&B artist Mashonda. He is still married to her despite going public about his affair with Keys—I presume the divorce is pending. In the midst of this Keys is on Twitter tweeting sweet nothings to her betrothed producer while Mashonda, his damsel in distress, is tweeting just that, her distress. Last week, Mashonda tweeted an open letter to Alicia Keys on how she feels about Keys grip on the situation. It was heartfelt and though I disagree with her tweeting her emotions as opposed to just confronting Keys in person, I suppose you have to take advantage of the technology. So it got me thinking that I need to write my own open letter to Alicia Keys. Ok, “need” may be a strong word, I more so want to write it but I feel the need to write it as a longtime fan of her music and her as a person. And to my understanding, we may serve the same God and if that’s the case, I actually have carte blanche to hold her accountable for her actions. Now, if someone knows Alicia Keys is an atheist, Satanist, Hindu, Buddhist, Scientologist, Zoroastrian, Pagan, etc, than let me know, and I rescind my letter (probably not). But for now, here goes.

Dear Alicia,

I remember the day that I bought your first album. It was the summer before my senior year in college on a shopping trip at Super Wal-Mart with my mom where we were mostly buying food, school supplies and stuff for my apartment, I snuck your CD into the cart. I couldn’t wait to listen to it and as I usually do with CDs I buy, I removed the wrapper from the CD well before I got in front of my CD player because I didn’t want to waste a moment once I did get near the CD player. I listened to that first album countless times and that album alone with its hit single “Fallen” cemented me as a fan of you for life. I loved that of many of the female artists of the time you didn’t feel the need to conform. Sure, you were light-skinned and gorgeous which followed the standard of the—and all—times, but you fought to wear your hair in cornrows until YOU didn’t want to wear it like that anymore. You were always fully dressed in your videos  and any hint of sensual-ness or sexuality was an organic part of your being, not an act to sell music. Your music was based on your pure, unadulterated talent and passion and I loved every bit of it. I bought every album that followed with the exception of your live one because…Well I don’t remember why, I just didn’t. Anyways, in my mind, you established yourself as a respectable woman, one of good character and reputation. Yeah there were rumors that swirled around about you, but I wasn’t compelled to believe them. After all, you were Alicia Keys, not bent on being a conformist and I believe your strength scared people. Your music spoke of that strength. You weren’t the damsel in distress. You weren’t vulnerable. No, you were telling men that they need to go ahead and get gone. You were telling women about their worth. You were into showing strength on superhero levels. You were into liberating women through your music by example. You were into all of this until you weren’t as of a few weeks ago when news broke about your affair with Swizz Beatz, a married man with a child.

I’ve heard that you said that you can’t help who you love. I understand that in the case of loving outside of color lines in places where doing so is still taboo. Or maybe—though I don’t necessarily condone it—same-sex relationships. But not being able to help loving a married man is not one of the cases that apply to the “can’t help who you love” clause. Why doesn’t it apply? Because love doesn’t come at the expense of hurting someone else’s feeling so that you can get yours. Yes, this is very elementary, but it is true. Sure, you may think to yourself, “I’m not the sole reason for the dissolution of their marriage. He told me they have other problems.” Sure, he did and this may very well be true, but it is actually not your responsibility or place to be in the spotlight declaring love for a man who still has unfinished business at home. You are a part of the problem, even if you are not the cause, and that alone should make you feel deeply conflicted. Conflicted enough to not speak about your lovely feelings in very public forums. I wonder if you’ve taken a step back from this whole situation and thought, “Let me put myself in Mashonda’s shoes and see how it would feel if the man I committed myself to for life had an affair with another woman.” Mashonda fell in love with this man and started a family, I bet she could say, from a different perspective, “You can’t help who you fall in love with.” I also wonder if you have thought about the fact that it wouldn’t be too far-fetched if Swizz’s case of infidelity with you in the midst of his being married won’t be his case of infidelity with someone else in the midst of your lovely relationship. Why do you think that it won’t happen to you? Don’t you remember the lyrics to your song Karma, “Cause what goes around, comes around. What goes up, must come down.” That alone should tell you the consequences for your actions. I don’t follow karma but I’m a believer in, “You reap what you sow.” Or maybe you are just living out the lyrics to your song “Wreckless Love” and at this point you just don’t care.

Well Alicia, baby, I just want to tell you that if you think this is love, you’ve got it all twisted up. If you think on God and what he would have for you, it isn’t another woman’s man. Point blank. God does not orchestrate confusion on any side. And if Swizz were to be for you and with you, it’d be well after the ink dries on the divorce papers and his own heart was restored and ready for new love. I don’t know where you are right now with this situation. It may well be that following Mashonda’s open letter that you have changed your mind and decided to lay low for a while and think about the consequences of your actions. I hope that is the case and not even for Mashonda’s sake but for God’s sake. If only for you to realize that what God has for you it is for YOU. He doesn’t dish out sloppy seconds. What He has for you, in terms of love, is pure and true. Love is patient and kind. Love is not envious—meaning it doesn’t envy established relationships and covet them. It does not boast, it isn’t proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking—meaning, in this case, it’s not you on Twitter showing off your stolen love to the world while someone else is hurting because of it. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong—the crazy part of this is that though you are wrong, God can make it right and he’ll forgive you and keep no record of your wrong, iff—that’s if and only if—you have a repentant heart. It always trusts, hopes, perseveres and never fails. Sound familiar? That’s because it came straight from the Bible and it is the love you should be going after. I bet it’s the love you want and think you have. I don’t know the content of your relationships with Swizz, but I’m willing to put money down that it ain’t a love like this. It ain’t a love like God wants for you. I believe that more than anything. I hope one day you’ll believe it too. Until that day, I’ll be praying for you Alicia.

Sincerely Still Your Biggest Fan,


1 Comment »

  1. right on the button sister alicia needs to know how to prepare herself for the law orf reaping and sowing! because, her season to reap is just around the corner!!And that poor child! being made out of an adulterous and fornicative relationship will experience alot of the curse also!!!she better begin to pray and repent now! or no telling whats in store for her!!

    Comment by Robert — July 30, 2010 @ 7:33 pm | Reply

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