Alicia Keys has declared that she is “ready to speak on what’s happening” with her new album, saying that “the world is fucked up – it’s backwards, and it’s getting more backwards.”
The New York singer/songwriter will release her sixth studio album, ‘Here’, tomorrow (November 4). A$AP Rocky will feature on the song ‘Blended Family (What You Do for Love)’, while Keys’ husband, Swizz Beatz, executively produced the album.
In a new interview with FACT, Keys said that she hopes to address some of the troubling issues facing the world with her new album, such as police brutality against African-Americans in the US.
“My sister asked me if I was ready to be the Nina I was born to be, the Bob I was born to be, the Lennon I was born to be,” Keys said. “Because the time is now. We’re living through it. The world is fucked up. It’s backwards, and it’s getting more backwards, blatantly backwards, than I think it’s ever been before. But it’s actually a good thing I think, in a strange way.
“[Until recently] the world and especially America did a really good job at covering up and hiding [racism], but now that the veil is gone, there’s no hiding anymore. We can actually attack it.”
Keys also welcomed comparisons to her song ‘In Common’ with Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Alright’, which has been adopted as the unofficial anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US.
“I love that song – it’s one of my favourites, Kendrick is what it’s all about,” she said. “The message on ‘In Common’ is kinda the same. We’re all living under a strain, dealing with division. The question is, are we gonna get to a place where we can love each other despite our differences? You are what you are, you live where you live, you look how you look, you believe in what you believe, whatever! When are we gonna move past these very trivial things that just don’t have anything to do with who we are as human beings and shouldn’t be reasons for divisions between us? Be who you are! Be an individual, be who you are, where you’re from! You should be allowed to not be judged for it, not be hated for it. Not be killed for it.”
Back in October, Keys joined Chance The Rapper on stage for a surprise performance in New York City. The pair dueted on Chance’s ‘Blessings’ at Keep a Child Alive’s 13th annual Black Ball charity event.