Two white rappers, Iggy Azalea and Macklemore, are now the Queen and King of Rap, according to a comment on Twitter by one of Azalea’s fans that has been circulating on the internet as of late. A few months ago, Forbes Magazine shared similar sentiments, saying hip hop is “run” by Azalea. Although the Australian rapper has been growing in popularity this year and is currently on billboard.com’s ‘Hot Rap Songs’ list twice, news of her being rap’s reigning queen may not sit well with some rap fans who have questioned Azalea’s authenticity and respect for the culture of hip hop.
Former Flipmode Squad rapper Rah Digga recently expressed her irritation with the “Black Widow” rapper who has been criticized several times for her use of a “fake” black Southern accent.
“Iggy Azalea…I can’t even get into her. It’s not even real to me,” she told Gossip Viv on a ThisIs50 interview. “Teach me Australian Hip-Hop culture. Don’t come to America and try to convince me that you’re Gangsta Boo…We’re not going to believe you if you’re trying to convince us that you’re out here trap shooting. There’s too many passes given.”
She went on to say that she doesn’t even consider Azalea’s music style to be hip hop, but views her music as “pop.”
Then there have been critics of Azaleas who have noticed that some of the language she displays on social media can be very disrespectful to the black community. In July, Chuck D, a hip hop pioneer, tweeted a photo that Azalea took with TI, B.O.B, and Drake that had the caption “Me and Ma N*ggas.” He believed the “Fancy” singer had captioned the photo herself, so in response, he wrote “A new straight path to slavery Here comes a endorsed sanctioned CORPlantation artists with A line straight out of 1853.”
Although, according to BET.com, the caption turned out to be fake, Azalea apparently sent out a tweet in the past that may explain why she feels she should be able to use the degrading word:
“So you’re allowed to say n*gga because you’re black. Yet I can’t say it? The word n*gga is different from n*gger. N*gga is used to describe someone who is arrogant. Idk why it’s such a problem when white people say it, when black people know d*mn well that a MAJORITY of people saying it aren’t even saying it to be racist because most racist don’t say n*gga.”
So Azalea is an Australian rapper who does pop music and does not respect black culture enough to understand why a white person saying ‘n*gga’ isn’t a good idea. Can someone who fits this description truly be a ‘Queen of Rap’?
Respected hip-hop and sports writer John “Hennry” Harris is livid with Azalea’s reaction to the use of the n-word. According to Harris, who is the founder of the hip-hop group “Tha U,” Iggy needs to take the time to educate herself on black culture before she starts using her power to dictate the discourse in highly sensitive debates.
Here’s what Harris had to say about Miss Iggy:
“What does Aussie Iggy Azalea know about racism anyway? She comes from Australia, a land that was almost completely populated by Aboriginal peoples until the British Empire imposed political and economic control of the continent .. sound familiar (Native Americans . ) Here in America, her blonde hair and white skin are revered in the media and she is only a benefactor as the music industry uses her (and artists like her) to whitewash hip-hop and take ownership of the culture that people of color has created. Why would she want to say Ni88a anyway? I don’t see her running to use cracker in her rhymes? Oh, I guess because her boyfriend Los Angeles Lakers’ Nick Young is black she deserves a pass? “Ni88a is used to describe someone who is ignorant” … that idiotic statement alone lets me know that you definitely should not use the word. She clearly does not understand it but if she uses it around the “right” person she will have a more legitimate reason not to use it.”
Another hip-hop artist, Yarima Karama, isn’t happy with Iggy’s words either. Yarima paid the real dues of the street, serving 20 years in prison before he was able to get a chance to begin his career in hip-hop. Shortly after his release, he went right to the studio and recorded “My Testament: Volume 1,” a telling reflection on his hard days on the streets and even harder days in prison. It was behind these racist walls that Karama says he found himself and began to truly develop his essence as a hip-hop artist.
Karama says that Iggy isn’t hip-hop, she’s actually pop. It’s hard to even compare Karama’s many struggles as a black man with the life experienced by a 20-something year old white girl named Iggy. Karama feels that Azalea is being used by other whites and white-owned companies who exploit hip-hop culture and degrade it for their own financial gain.
Here is what Karama had to say:
Again this a pure display of Iggy and other whites using words and our culture to make millions off of demoralizing and degrading language. Of course she feels justified using the word because other black rappers have endorsed her use of the word. I agree with Rah Digga, I don’t consider her to even be a hip hop artist. She’s pop all the way but white media will flip anything the way they want, especially when there’s a white artist involved.
A third hip-hop artist who has thrown his opinion around on the matter is Vigalantee, out of Kansas City. Vigalantee (aka Roger Suggs) founded a popular movement in his city called the “No Jangle” movement. He has been pushing for years to get hip-hop to return to its roots and to reject the ignorant, violent messages being promoted today. His hometown of Kansas City has seen more than it’s share of violence, addiction and incarceration, so he’s flat out sick of it.
He says that black people are the ones to blame when white artists like Iggy step into the game and take over. He says that when hip-hop made the conversion from meaningful music to overly-materialistic nonsense, this opened the door for other artists to enter the industry with empty messages.
Here’s what Vigalantee had to say:
Chickens have come home to roost. Our people dropped our integrity for the bling and fame. Hip hop used to be about a movement, now it has birthed the ‘wigger’ offspring and we are to blame.
What do you think? Is Iggy trying to get a ghetto pass that she hasn’t earned yet? If she can’t call black people n*ggaz, then why do black people use this word on each other? Has hip-hop lost its soul?