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alicia keys, lil mama

Source: Sean Zanni;Roy Rochlin / Getty

Lil’ Mama’s ambush of Jay Z and Alicia Keys’ performance of “Empire State Of Mind” at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards went viral before we knew what viral meant and it led to a long bout of embarrassment for the Harlemnite. Back in April, she said that her attempt to reach out to Keys and Jay Z throughout the years to apologize have been left unanswered, leaving her to assume that she wasn’t forgiven. In an interview on “The Morning Hustle Show,” Keys said all is forgiven regarding the moment that will never be forgotten.

“Of course,” she said when she was asked if you forgave Lil’ Mama. “Listen, to this day, I truly never knew she was even on the stage — that’s the craziest part of the whole thing for me. I was on that stage, Jay was in the middle, she was on the other side of Jay, and I never saw her. Never. So, that was wild to me. But I absolutely — it’s not even a statement. That was then. You know, she’s from New York, too. You know, I think she really felt the energy of the record and she loved it and she couldn’t hold herself back. Look, this is what my music does to people. What can we say?”

When Jay Z did address Lil’ Mama’s actions, he said he was “a little angry” at her for coming on stage during the performance and that her doing so disregarded all the planning that went into it.

“Me personally, I would never do that,” he told Angie Martinez in 2009. “I would never have the nerve to do that. Someone’s up there performing. We went to rehearsals and we did run throughs and we worked really hard at the performance to put on a show for people. To interrupt that moment for us, I don’t think that was the right thing to do. I thought it was the equivalent to what Kanye West did to Taylor Swift but nobody really talked about that because I’m not a little, sweet girl from the middle of America…I’m cool with her being excited and all that. I understand that…It was a lot of planning that went into that performance. To disrupt that was out of line.”


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