Will.i.am Defends "Blackface" At VMAs, Lady Gaga, Eminem Win Awards

(AllHipHop News) At the 2010 VMAs, rapper Will.i.am wore a costume that for some evoked stereotypical images of African American people in "blackface."

The Black Eyed Peas front man defended his fashion sense.

"1st. just because I where (sic) all black including head mask as expression and emphasize my outfit, it shouldn't be looked at as racial," he tweeted. "Let go of the past. there are far more important things 2 bark about. (Jobs, health, education) not a black man wearing all black everything."

Television host Toure took exception to Will.i.am's move.

"Will.i.am in blackface. Really? If @MTVJ was real she'd talk about Will.i.am in blackface pissing off lots of Black people," he said.

Some took to comedy as commentary, as did Lil' Duval.

"I think will i am took a dip in the oil spill for that performance," Duval joked.

Will.i.am joined rapper Nicki Minaj for a VMAs pre-show performance.Rapper Eminem opened the show, which was hosted by Chelsea Handler and also included performances by Taylor Swift, Usher, On-Born, Stratford, Drake with Mary J. Blige and Swizz Beatz, Justin Bieber and others. Taylor Swift performed a new song, where she seemed to accept Kanye West's apology for interrupting her acceptance speech during last year's VMA's. "Who you are is not who you've been. You're still an innocent. Thirty-two and still growing up now. Who you are is not what you did," Swift sang. And Kanye West redeemed himself from last year's fiasco with a tech-heavy performance of a new song "Runaway," which featured a verse by new G.O.O.D. Music artist Pusha-T. Lady Gaga dominated the evening with six awards, while Eminem won two for Best Hip-Hop Video and Best Male Video, while Justin Bieber snagged the Best New Artist Award. Other winners included Jay-Z and Alicia Keys' song "Empire State of Mind" for Best Cinematography, 30 Seconds to Mars and Florence & The Machine. The 2010 MTV VMA's were held at the Nokia theater.