Lyrical jabs and parody videos tend to be ammunition for rappers with a chip on their shoulder. Now, open letters have become the weapon of choice in R&Beef. Case in point: singer Mashonda. Once married to Swizz Beatz, the R&B chanteuse posted the open letter read 'round the world to voice her frustrations with 'Superwoman' Alicia Keys, the woman reportedly dating the Full Surface Records CEO. While everyone loves a scandal, The BoomBox thought it better to celebrate peace rather than beef. Think all they have in common is a hip-hop dude? Check out five reasons the two dashing divas should bury the hatchet and rip through a verse of "Kumbaya."
1. Merge Philanthropic Efforts
Like Trick Daddy, they love the kids. As a co-founder and Global Ambassador of Keep a Child Alive, Alicia Keys has made it her mission to provide life-saving AIDS medicine and surrounding care to children and families in Africa and India. With a son of her own, Mashonda plans to build an arts-based school for children in Harlem, the neighborhood she was raised in. Together, the two can combine philanthropic efforts to create a children's music therapy foundation, aptly named "Feel the Beatz."
2. Create an Album
If the worlds of R. Kelly and Jay-Z can collide on one album, there's hope for Mashonda and Alicia Keys. The songstresses can call upon Swizzy, the man that separates them, to meld their voices over booming beats. To vent their frustrations, a rendition of Brandy and Monica's 'The Boy Is Mine' sounds like a match made for the two. Possible album titles: 'Best of Both Sides,' 'Our Life' and 'Mixed Emotions.'
3. Represent for The Big Apple
Despite being born in Massachusetts, Mashonda spent her childhood in Harlem, which proves repping the city that raised her is no far-fetched idea. While Alicia, a fellow New Yorker and Hells Kitchen native, is a step ahead of her, singing the hook on the anthem, 'Empire State of Mind,' there's always room for a remix featuring the 'January Joy' creator. After all, she's a more fitting counterpart than Lil Mama.
4. Start a Songwriting Team
Beef divides them but a common song title, 'Girlfriend,' snaps their creative processes together. On their respective records, Mashonda displays stern lyrics to a gal pal ("I trusted you, down to the end... I caught you with my man") while Alicia's well up with relationship insecurities ("I think I'm jealous of your girlfriend, although she's just a girl that is your friend"). Could penning tracks as a duo be in their future? We think so, as long as pointy pencils are kept from all studio sessions.
5. Share a Teacher/Student Bond
These R&Beauties can do more than just dodge each other at industry events; they can pass the proverbial torch by swapping fashion and music knowledge. Known to have a luxury swimwear line in the works, Mashonda could school Alicia on the basics of fabric design, and in return, the expert piano player can give the fashionista lessons on the ivory keys. Sharing is caring.