How Alicia Keys Hopes to Change the Use of Offensive Language in Music

In a new Nick News special, Alicia Keys reveals how she personally hopes to reduce the use of offensive music in songs on and off the radio. Watch the sneak peek clip.

By Mike Vulpo Jun 30, 2020 5:39 PMTags

Alicia Keys knows the power of words.

As a Grammy winning artist, the "Girl on Fire" singer has moved pop culture fans with her unforgettable lyrics and messages. And because she is a mother of two, the musician also knows how much children look up to their elders. 

So perhaps it's only fitting that Alicia decided to participate in Nickelodeon's special edition of Nick News that helps amplify young Black voices while also providing anti-racism resources for families.

When sitting down with a group of kids, Alicia asked if they ever had an experience where friends "used offensive language." When one young girl admitted to hearing friends say controversial words in songs, Alicia shared her perspective.

"One of the things I've been thinking about in my family and my friends as well is how important it is to hold each other accountable. What I mean by that is speaking up and saying, ‘Hey, that's not cool. That really makes me feel uncomfortable. I would like to explain to you why that makes me feel uncomfortable to me and as my friend, I'd love for you to consider not using that word,'" Alicia shared on Monday night's Kids, Race and Unity: A Nick News Special.

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Alicia continued, "Even as myself, I want to share that I feel very strongly about the N-word. I ask people to replace the word king for that word. Can you say king? Can you say brother? Even giving people another language to use."


Monday night's special is the first of a series of Nick News specials that will air on Nickelodeon in the coming months.

During this week's telecast, other familiar faces like Simone Biles and Naomi Campbell spoke to kids about never giving up on dreams and speaking up for what's right.

Chance the Rapper also helped try to explain the Black Lives Matter movement to a younger audience.

"Black Lives Matter: I'm sure you guys have been hearing that a lot lately, and maybe curious or had questions about what it means," the rapper shared. " Black Lives Matter means everybody will be treated fairly and it just means everyone will get a fair shot at life and pursuit of their own happiness and treated like a human being."

Chance continued, "So as you see all of these things happening in the world, just know that it's your parents fighting for a better world for you guys and wanting to reeducate ourselves as well as you guys on what it means to be a good person." 

Gather your families around and watch the entire Nick News special on YouTube now.