Iggy Azalea Isn’t The Only Sellout In Hip Hop

Iggy Azalea Isn’t The Only Sellout In Hip Hop

Iggy Azalea

Over the past few weeks much has been said about white musicians such as Iggy Azalea remaining largely silent on the issues facing Black people.

Azealia Banks spoke out strongly on “Igloo Australia”, saying last week via Twitter:



2013 Governors Ball Music Festival - Day 2Azealia took some flack from bloggers and ‘journalists’ for her approach, but was her point not spot on?

It absolutely was.

From Elvis to Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke to Eminem and Macklemore to Iggy Azalea: white people have consistently profited off the genius and creativity of Black people.  Truth be told, without Black culture America would have NO pop culture at all.  And there is no need to go into detail here.  This is a fact.  More broadly speaking, you can look at Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber for other examples of white entertainers thirsty for Black culture.  And it doesn’t stop there.

I don’t blame them.  Everybody wants to be Black.  If I wasn’t Black, I’d want to be Black, too.  Do you know how incredible you have to be to make it through slavery and not only survive, but thrive?  And then to do it with the utmost confidence and swagger, to the point where the people who hate you also admire and envy you?  C’mon now.  But I digress.

Back to Iggy Azalea.

While other white musicians have used sounds and styles of singing that originated in Black culture and tried to make it their own, Iggy has completely highjacked it.  She doesn’t use her native accent or style or anything.  Her music is a watered-down southern rap style – that doesn’t even sound that great, to be honest.  But she’s white, so white people fall in love with it.

Iggy Azalea and TI 5Why are we so upset and annoyed with Iggy when Black musicians sell out?  Look at the music, the lyrics, and the presentation of today’s most popular/mainstream Hip Hop music.  They’ve done exactly what Iggy did: turn their backs on what’s authentic to them in order to increase profits.  Would Iggy Azalea be popular had she taken a ‘whiter’ approach?  Yes, because most people find her attractive and when it comes to the music industry, talent is secondary.  But a white woman in a predominantly Black man’s game?  You can’t deny it’s a brilliant ploy.  No wonder T.I. jumped on the opportunity.  And since he’s largely responsible for Iggy’s career, why aren’t we upset with him for pimping out Black culture?  Because he gave us a New National Anthem?  Stop it.

I’m not a fan of Iggy Azalea AT ALL.  I don’t like the sound of her play-play southern rap style voice or the fact that she continues the trend of white people who steal Black art, but ignore Black people and the issues affecting us.  And this is NOT a piece in defense of her, but a call to be real.

Iggy Azalea and TI 4The problem isn’t just her.  Take notice of your favorite artists who have said or done little to nothing of real importance during these times as people are enraged following decisions in Ferguson, MO and Staten Island, NY to not indict the officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.  While their fans are out in the streets, dying and protesting, all too often they remain silent.  The truth is that their endorsements and the need to appease their white fans is more important to them than the plight of their people.  The people whose struggles they used to live, whose experience they continue to profit from, the people who support and (in many cases) look up to them.

Much respect to J. Cole and others that have stood up for the unseen and/or spoken up for those with no voice.  That’s what Hip Hop is really about.

Don’t be mad at Iggy when your favorite rappers are doing the same thing.  Because if you don’t, you’re just like “Igloo Australia” and the rest of them: a sellout and a fraud.




Miya W.

Living, working, and writing anonymously in the Chi.

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