Will.i.am Will.i.am

Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am defended himself to critics Monday, the day after he performed at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards' pre-show in blackface.

"Just because I where 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."

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In an otherwise controversy-free night (sorry, Chelsea Handler), the rapper and producer's choice of attire caused outcry online after he performed "Check It Out" with Nicki Minaj. Some fans called him a racist and one person tweeted that he "sent us back 1,000 years" with his head-to-toe black ensemble.

Blackface, which is when white performers use dark theatrical make-up in order to portray African-Americans, was popular in the nineteenth century as a means to act out American racist stereotypes.

"Are you guys serious? My outfit set 'black people back 100 yrs'? choose your twits wisely. no education sets people back, no jobs, bad health," he added.

Do you think will.i.am's choice of dress was in poor taste?