Just two days after his controversial performance alongside Nicki Minaj in minstrel show-style blackface at the MTV Video Music Awards, Black Eyed Peas rapper and producer will.i.am has contributed a song to popular children’s TV show Sesame Street. Called “What I Am,” the song is a teaser for the time-honored show’s 41st season premiere this September 27.

With some looking at the song as a response to the backlash he received for his controversial VMAs, will.i.am took to Twitter to defend his himself. The rapper says that his choice in outfit was not racially motivated, and that the African American community faces more dire problems than his choice of costume.

1st. just because I where all black including head mask as expression and emphasize my outfit, it shouldn’t be looked at as racial…less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Are you guys serious? my outfit set “black people back 100 yrs” choose your twits wisely. no education sets people back, no jobs, bad healthless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®