Australian female rapper, Iggy Azalea is on the receiving end of a rather jaded backlash that appears one-sided at best. One could say that Iggy is suffering from frenzied uncalled-for resentment — in Macklemore and Ryan Lewis style.
The Urban daily sounded off, clapped back and unleashed a salvo against the haters in defense of the Fancy femcee. It was said she, like many before her, followed the superstar format to success. And for that, she should be applauded. On the level? I can’t think of one reason to disagree
A writer from Urban took a bold step in balancing the toxic talk against the rapper with some come to Jesus support for Azalea’s place in the music game. The writer spoke candidly against the rapidly-moving anti-Iggy Azalea machine and attempted to remind haters on both sides of the fence that what the Aussie-born rapper is doing is no different than any other entertainer: selling albums, telling a story through music and stacking their chips.
Here are some excerpts from the writer’s point of view:
‘I been waiting on this topic for a long time. I wanted to find all the right words and to make sure I did it right. Plus I wanted to see how far the hate and slander would go and to see how real it was. Every once in a while an artist comes along and people decide on what “passes” to give them. White rappers get passes and International rappers get passes and female rappers get passes.”
“Recently, there has been nothing but slander, disrespect and discrediting to Iggy and her career. People want to see her fall, people want her in beef and she is either getting too much or too little credit depending on who you are talking to. Why? Because she followed the Rap Superstar Format that’s why…”
Azalea, 24, who hails from New South Wales, began her journey to rap and hip hop stardom eight years ago. The curvy diva from the southern hemisphere spent that time working on mixtapes and adapting to urban sets. Along came her single, Pu$$y, that went viral on YouTube and gave her a level of street cred.
Iggy’s Ignorant Art mixtape tore up the scene in 2011. Two years ago she hooked up with rapper T.I. and signed on to his Grand Hustle record label. That same year, Iggy Azalea began modeling, and soon made a name for herself as the New Face of Levis Jeans. Fast-forward to 2014, Iggy released a string of singles, including Fancy. It was this single that solidified her spot in the rap game.
Not surprisingly, a contingent of non-Iggy fans didn’t embrace her style and flow. Despite her music climbing Billboard charts and slaying keepsakes that reigned for a time, many were not feeling it. Soon thereafter, music critics began fanning flames against Iggy Azalea’s music, which didn’t make matters better for the rising star.
What came next was not unheard of, but still unfair and unjustified all the same: the verbal pimp-slaps were targeted against Azalea, not only as an artist, but a person. In short, the sentiment was that IA was unworthy to be in the same company of the likes of Nicki Minaj. Perhaps, a hip hop “hold up, wait a minute” is in order?
Heck, even Madd Mary took a pot-shot at Iggy recently. Last week, The Inquisitr reported that the California MC dissed Azalea, and claimed that she exploits African American culture for fame and fortune. Is it exploiting or embracing? Marinate on that for a moment.
Some possible reasons mentioned behind the spewed-up hate towards Iggy Azalea are the race card, jealousy and double-standards. Perhaps, all of them have a basis in this discussion, but the latter-two are likely culprits.
Appearance: Idol judge J.Lo and Voice coach Adam Levine often tell aspiring artists that a “look” is essential to fans when trying to make a mark. Oftentimes, artists have the voice and talent, but lack stage appeal. Arguably, Iggy doesn’t lose points here; the Aussie hitmaker is a good look. Heck, the girl is a model and can rock a pair of jeans (you’re welcome Nick Young).
Talent: Some artists are criticized for not writing their own lyrics or music and use ghostwriters instead. Allegedly, this is part of the rumored beef Iggy A. and Nicki M. have that’s still alive and well on the Internet, long after the BET Awards last month. T.I. came to his protege’s defense and called her talent “art,” while denying being a writer of lyrics for Azalea, according to the Christian Post.
Membership-only genre: It’s no secret that Iggy Azalea is white, not a chocolate diva like the YMCMB Anaconda singer. Urban seems to think this is part of the huff and puff, primarily from those who think hip hop artists belong to a fraternity/sorority composed of people of color. What’s more, as the Daily mentioned, there is an unwritten rule that anyone not fitting that bill must be vetted first or given a symbolic nod, aka “pass.”
Granted, Iggy has not quite matched Minaj’s status in the rap game, but she doesn’t appear to be slowing down and heading towards the one-hit-wonder crematorium. Because she dons a different color paint job or doesn’t hail from a U.S. urban set shouldn’t bar her from spitting in the rap and hip hop genres.
Dr. Dre protege Eminem got the “pass,” Vanilla Ice received enormous radio play back in the day (but was “too cold, too cold”) and Mackelmore is fighting the same battle as Iggy. He and Ryan Lewis nearly swept the rap category at the 2014 Grammy Awards. The Best New Artist trophy was expected, but three others, according to critics, music fans and even entertainers, suggested they were “stolen.” Imagine that?
Most notably, Young Money crooner Drake was the most vocal about the Grammy selections, and Mackelmore’s text apology to Kendrick Lamar was dismissed as “wack as f**k” as Rolling Stone wrote.
Since when does anyone need to be vetted or pre-approved to offer music creativity to any genre? If there is such a governing body, which I assure you there isn’t — who is the boss knighting the candidates? Who’s handing out the fast-passes?
One only has to consider the universal reach of music. Its existence is based on a voice that is shared, received and embraced by many, who often don’t look alike, live alongside one another or even share the same cultural beliefs.
If music genres were based solely on homogeneity, Aerosmith and RUN-DMC wouldn’t have ccollaborated on Walk This Way, Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland and the Experience wouldn’t be part of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Hootie and the Blowfish would just be Hootie or Blowfish, and Ricky Martin wouldn’t be Livin’ la Vida Loca — at least not in the United States.
With Remy Ma, Eve, Rah Digga, Queen Latifa, Foxy Brown, Lil Kim, MC Lyte and Mystic (shout out to the Bay Area!) not tearing up the charts like they did in their heyday, there’s plenty room to share the limelight with the First Lady of Young Money. And if she happens to be Aussie-bred, so be it.
Is the disrespect towards Iggy Azalea unfair or does it go with the territory?