Rapper and producer will.i.am has stirred up a bit of online controversy after his performance with Nicki Minaj at last night’s MTV “Video Music Awards.”

The Black Eye Peas front man appeared on stage in “blackface,” a 19th and 20th century American minstrel performance wear that has long been considered offensive and racist to Black Americans.

Twitter erupted with comments on his darkened look.  Some people are asking, why was “blackface” even necessary last night?

The performer got word of the criticism from Twitterverse and had this to say:

“1st. just because I where all black including head mask as expression and emphasize my outfit, it shouldn’t be looked at as racial . . . ,” the artist tweeted.

Let go of the past.” he continued. “There are far more important things 2 bark about. (Jobs, health, education) not a black man wearing all black everything.”

Responding to viewers who were still not pleased with his on stage look, will.i.am. said, “Are you guys serious? My outfit set “black people back 100 yrs?” Choose your twits wisely. No education sets people back, no jobs, bad health.”

But is the artist’s ”blackface” 2010 style really offensive? Should all people, Black and White let go of the usage of “blackface” in general?

Does will.i.am’s “blackface” say to White people, that it’s okay? Sound off!

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  • Rita

    Its not like he not already black as hell. It’s not a far reach from his complexion lol

    • EmpressDivine

      *Hi-Fives Rita*

      Yea the worst thing a black person can do is be black. o__O GTFOH!

      Clutch can we get an article on anti-black bigotry exhibited by black people. It’s looking more and more relevant these days when I read the comments section. Let the healing began.

  • Clnmike

    Thank you Rita for showing us that the N word will never go out of style with your ignorant ass.

  • deeceevoice

    Does anybody here even know what true blackface is? Will.I.Am is not in blackface; he simply has darkened his skin. Blackface is a very specific kind of grotesque racial caricature with prominent eyes, broad lips and inky skin that grew out of the minstrel tradition. Will.I.Am’s makeup is NOT blackface. (Duh.)

  • He has black paint on his face, but I don’t really consider this blackface.

  • deeceevoice

    Those of you making snarky remarks about Will.I.Am’s natural skin color need to go somewhere and get your heads right. You’re soul-sick if you think there is anything wrong with chocolate brown — or inky, bluish/purlish black — skin.

    “The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.” ;)

    Those of you who think he was in blackface the night of the MTV Awards might benefit from an article on the subject which I wrote in substantial part (certainly, 98% the material related to the U.S., Zwart Piet, and on the enduring legacy of Blackface) on Wikipedia. You can find it here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackface .

    Educate yourself.

    • deeceevoice

      That’s purplish black. I’ve seen Sudanese who were so dark, their skin had a purple cast to it.

      And they were magnificent.