It’s been years since Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz hooked up, but animosity towards the couple is still riding high—especially from Alicia’s female fans.
While some have forgiven and forgotten, plenty of fans still have no qualms about demonstrating their frustration with the Grammy winner. They take to urban blogs and message boards to leave comments like “homewrecker” and “slut” on any given post mentioning her.
So you may be asking, "Why hasn’t Swizz received the brunt of the criticism?" After all, he was the married party. Well, perhaps women did not think very highly of the hip-hop producer to begin with. There were constant rumors in the industry of him being a womanizer while he was married to Mashonda. So, this type of behavior from him did not come as much of a shock. But for Alicia, it discredited her sista-hood.
It appears fans now see the singer in a not-so-positive light. In fact, there are at least four legitimate reasons why fans might still be holding on to their disappointment toward Alicia:
Reason 1: She Justifies Her Bad Behavior
Alicia seems to believe that Swizz is her soulmate and that they were meant to be. If you follow her on Twitter, you will see that she comments on things in a very metaphysical manner. She is quite the “moon-child.” Now, I have some moon-child traits myself, but I don’t use them as a reason to justify my bad behavior.
In a recent Vibe interview, Swizz claimed that he tried to get Alicia’s phone number in 1998, when they first met, before he was ever with Mashonda. He got shut down then. "It wasn’t our time yet," he told the magazine.
The article goes on to explain:
"There was another encounter several years later. The two split the check for a business lunch and in the midst of some usual after-meal payment confusion, Swizz ended up with the ‘Fallin” singer’s credit card in his back pocket. The couple, who married in 2010, would eventually look at their quirky encounters as signs of fate. ‘My credit card was in his pocket,’ Alicia said. ‘Why was my credit card in his pocket?’
‘It was the craziest thing,’ Swizz remarked."
I don’t know about you, but when I read that, I threw up a little in my mouth. She sounds as cliché as the mistress who claims that the husband would not have cheated on his wife if she were keeping him happy. It is apparent that Alicia feels that the two were meant to be, and for her, that justifies however they came together and whomever they hurt in the process. Let us not forget that Swizz was a married man and that Alicia was very much aware of that fact. Also, as a side note, by Alicia presenting herself as being a moon-child and a free spirit who is one with the world, we come to expect her to have higher morals than that of a person who is less connected to her fellow man. I know I did.
Reason 2: She Was Our Homegirl
Women viewed Alicia as their homegirl from up the street. She was only about 18 or 19 when she first hit the scene with her hit single “Fallin’,” so, fans grew up listening and bonding with her over life, love, men and other coming-of-age experiences. We saw her grow from a tomboy with braids to a confident, beautiful, young woman. As her music matured, so did we.
Much like other women in my age demographic, I literally grew up listening to singers like Alicia and Beyoncé. Years of supporting an artist can make you feel as though you know them intimately. So, you can understand why many fans become so opinionated over the lives of these women. So much so that when they commit what we see as a life-altering mistake, we are quick to offer our opinions and criticisms of them—whether they appreciate it or not.
Reason 3: She Is Not Apologetic
Judging from her Vibe interview and her overall public demeanor, Alicia has expressed no feelings of remorse about her actions or their effect on Mashonda.
What rational person would expect Alicia to feel the need to apologize for decisions she’s made in her life? Obviously, the average fan is far from being rational when it comes to the artists they chose to obsess over and support. In fact, they place high expectations on these people—rational or not.
While fans might not expect her to write an apology letter, they were still disappointed that Alicia blatantly ignored Mashonda’s request that she leave her then-husband alone. Mashonda has said that Alicia has never apologized in any form for the way things went down.
I have news for you: She never will. She does not feel that her actions were in any way wrong. And any feelings of regret were perhaps quickly replaced with a diamond ring and new baby, all courtesy of Swizz.
Reason 4: She Is No Longer The Woman That We Can Relate To
While Alicia has spent most of her career perfecting her role as the best friend in our heads, she quickly flushed that persona down the toilet by involving herself with a married man. You see, before this, she was widely relatable; but now, she is the “other woman,” someone we love to hate.
She conjures up the worst fear of a lot of women, whether married, dating or single. The idea of a woman knowingly sleeping with a man in a committed relationship—a man that could easily have been their significant other—is upsetting.
So now, all of the familiarity and sympathy is shifted to Mashonda, the abandoned wife, while Alicia is viewed as the slutty mistress who stole her husband.
Some of the respect Alicia’s fans once had for her has been lost. It is a sad place for both to be in.
LJ Knight is a freelance journalist who currently resides in Los Angeles but is originally from Chicago. She is dubbed "the voice of the urban sophisticated woman." You can catch more of her opinionated flavor of writing at her own site YeahSheSaidIt.com.