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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