By now we are used to #nomakeup Alicia Keys so her bare faced Time Out New York cover came as no surprise.

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The R&B songstress posed in pigtails wrapped with red thread and wore a plaid shirt, buttons undone and a chunky gold necklace just about holding the look together.

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Inside she posed in black culottes paired with an animal print top and a denim jacket as she shared a few tidbits about her upcoming musical offering.

Here are some of the highlights:

On not being silenced

“It’s an imperative time to be loud. We’re not going to be silenced. All of us are battling wars: sexism, ageism, racism. We’re fighting the war of borders. We’re fighting a war as women. As a black woman raising black sons, I’m seeing so much systemic racism exploding in our faces. These days you have to be afraid to be killed just because you’re black! It’s devastating.” She breathes. “Outrageous statements are made out of fear and hate. The intolerance is not acceptable. It’s ancient and patriarchal. The way to propel our country forward is not by building walls. Anyone that thinks that is out of their mind.”

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On “Illusion of Bliss”

“It’s about addiction. Some of us are addicted to attention, some of us are addicted to drugs, some of us are addicted to sex, some of us are addicted to drama… I’ve always been in the front seat of my creative process, without question. Now I’m blossoming. The ‘Illusion of Bliss’ song is nuts. It sends me out the window every time I sing it. Which isn’t that often. Yet.”

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On #nomakeup

“I promise you I had no idea that it would be such a touchstone. I was just sharing this revelation: I realized I’d been covering up in so many ways. What if I don’t want to put on makeup, heels, get all dressed up? We’re trying to break out of our inherited stereotypes and misinformation. It’s screwing us all up. I’m trying to work on loving myself the best that I can.”

Read the full interview here.

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