She’s from Australia, however when she raps she carries the dialect of someone who was raised in the south, Iggy Azalea has definitely made an impression upon many in the recent years. She has won many awards, had a few chart-topping hits including “Fancy” so it seems as if she is on the right path to success. The impression she has made on many hasn’t been all positive, especially for those in the Hip-Hop community and true Hip-Hop fans such as myself. Her whole brand comes off as a gimmick, inauthentic and another way to exploit an art built based on the struggles of African-Americans for the almighty dollar. Being me, I have no choice but to wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. Let’s take a look:
1. “First thing first I’m da realist.” Really Iggy? Oh honey the lies you tell. You are DA realist, yet you speak with a traditional Aussie accent yet you sound like Da Brat when you rap. Something isn’t quite correlating here. The only reason you are famous, is because you took what looked and sounded cool and exploited it for profit. Another case of appropriation of black culture only for its benefits. Yet, when oppression and racial issues surface against the African-American community, it has nothing to do with you? So it is cool to rape a whole culture for your benefit, but when the ish hits the fan you not it in like Bennett. Oh. Okay.
2. Then there are tweets like this:
And lyrics like this:
“Tire marks, tire marks, finish line with the fire marks
When it really starts I’m a runaway slave… master
Shitting on the past gotta spit it like a pastor” DRUGS Iggy Azalea
My biggest problem with Iggy Azalea is that she approaches her career with a sense of entitlement so egregious and audacious to say the least. How can someone, who chose an artist of hip-hop as a career, be so clueless to the very culture that nurtured its beginnings? Her disrespectful approach and words to the African-American race period is just another example of white-privilege. Music is not just music, it is one of the most powerful and soulful forms of expression that exists. To call it such lets me know she isn’t an authentic creative at heart, no matter how many stories she tells about “falling in love with rap.” How can you fall in love with something you know nothing about or respect? Because if you did, things like this wouldn’t even cross your mind let alone come out of your mouth.
No matter where I go, how successful I become, or how high up the ladder I climb there will be a space in my heart for music and hip-hop. Hip-Hop resonates with me because it describes me to an extent (all bitches and hoes aside). Hip-hop takes me back to the little girl riding in the back seat of her step-dad’s persimmon colored Cutlass Supreme with gold daytons, peanut butter top, 15 inch subwoofers connected to the amp to bring out that bass in the back. Hip-hop is the voice of my brothers, my cousins, and so many other who had to fight to come out of the oppressive ghetto environments created long before they existed by a country who saw them less than equal. Hip-Hop was born from the Civil Right’s movement and poverty in the streets of NYC, and proved to be a powerful voice for those who were tired of being silenced. I’m not claiming that Hip-Hop is all positive; when corporate America witnessed its reach and influence, it transformed into a tool that further suppressed. However, there are branches that still exist from its roots of creative expression for OUR people.
It’s already insulting to be force fed elementary lyrics that lack substance from our air waves and visual media platforms, however artists like Iggy is just another slap in the face. If Iggy was a true student of the game, respecting the blood the culture was built upon instead of acting like an entitled, disrespectful, spoiled brat, maybe her presence wouldn’t be such an issue. We have Eminem, and as taboo as he may be, Em is a true student of Hip-Hop, always paying homage and respect to those who have paved the way. Plus, lyrically speaking Em is a TRUE emcee. “Iggy just killed those bars on fancy….” Said no one EVER. Em has out-rapped greats and giants, created his own lane without gimmicks, and earned his spot in Hip-Hop; race really isn’t an issue. It becomes an issue when it is used as a method of privilege to disrespect the very people who paved the way for you to even be in the spot you are in (IGGY).
MC’s get taken to school with this music, Cause I use it as a vehicle to bust a rhyme. Now I lead a new school full of students. Me? I’m a product of Rakim, Lakim Shabazz, 2Pac N.W.A, Cube, hey, Doc, Ren, Yella, Eazy, thank you, they got Slim. Inspired enough to one day grow up, blow up and be in a position to meet Run DMC and induct them into the motherfuckin’ Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame – Rap God by Eminem
I am glad I’m not the only one who takes this stance, as Q-Tip recently took Iggy straight to Hip-Hop 101 in a series of tweets that carefully explained why some may be offended by her nonchalant “oh I’m getting money” attitude towards Hip-Hop. True Hip-Hop artists and fans are simply fed up; not only with Iggy but the complete disrespect of a classic form of art close to the hearts of African-Americans. It is my hope that we don’t let up. In light of recent events with our people being slayed on the streets with no recourse, and how much the culture has been misrepresented and watered down, I pray we stay vocal. I also hope Iggy some day gets a clue and learns to respect the hand that is feeding her; wishful thinking I know. Until then, she has got to GO.