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Alicia Keys garnered both eye rolls and clenched-fist praise on Sunday in her old Harlem neighborhood as fans mulled the R&B diva’s controversial gangsta rap theory.

Her claim in Blender magazine that gangsta rap was a government “ploy to convince black people to kill each other” was seen by some as wacked – while others gave it merit.

“The government has proven in the past to be untrustworthy,” said William Fox, 65, a retired counselor, who lives in Keys’ former W. 137th St. building. “I don’t want to say they’re behind it, but they’re somewhat behind it.”

Shawn Gillis, a 21-year-old rapper and poet, said Keys discredits the trail blazed by gangsta rappers N.W.A., Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G. and Snoop Dogg.

“I don’t think it was the government. The government didn’t make them who they were,” Gillis said.

Keys, who at 27 is an 11-time Grammy winner, also told the magazine that the government and the media perpetuated the fatal feud between Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. “to stop another great black leader from existing.”

Miss NJ:  So, A. Keys is a conspiracy theorist?  This is an interesting idea, but it has no merit at all.  There is no way the United States government is behind anything that makes young black males rich.  Now that doesn’t mean I don’t think there is a conspiracy to keep positive uplifting music off the radio and tv; it just means I don’t think it’s the government.

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