Iggy Azalea vs. Azalea Banks: My Thoughts

30 Dec

By now everyone has heard that Iggy Azalea made some insensitive remarks towards Azelia Banks. Both are in the hip hop world mainly dominated by men. They have a feud going back to a few years and of course it has to do with race. AB says that IA is making fun of black culture and hip hop. AB compares it to blackface hip hop and a minstrel show. Then she posted a picture of a man in blackface saying “IggyAzalea this is you.” Ouch.

The actual interview

AB was taking part of an interview and went after IA saying that IA did not care enough about black issues. You can see the interview here:

This is what I took from this controversial interview. As soon as IA is mentioned AB makes the whole issue about race. Yes, everyone in the studio can agree that IA is not top notch hip hop. And yes, maybe IA may have taken ideas from Niki Minaj and possible Azalea Banks herself.  I don’t know enough English language hip hop to know how accurate this is. I also don’t know Niki Minaj’s music because all I see her overly sexualized body all over the teevee and youtube. This is supposed to be real hip hop???? Hmmmm.  Somewhere along the line AB gets emotional because mainstream media choses to focus on Bill Cosby instead of Eric Garner and Micheal Brown. Then she calls rapper TI a “shoe shining ‘coon” and criticizes his wife. WOW!!! The host EBro advises AB to stop blasting on social media and put the emotion into her music just like a true artist and musician.

My Thoughts on the Interview:

Has anybody actually watched the interview? Its so easy to jump to conclusions and make comments about IA and AB. Which side are you on? And if you defend one or the other are you racist? Are you anti-hip hop or anti capitalism? Gasp!

AB is highly immature, irrational, and yes an angry black woman who is playing the race card way too soon. Hip hop is NOT just a black musical genre. Hip Hop is worldwide and should not be confused as ONLY a black genre. You are only making it worse by saying very racist comments towards a black man AND make comments about his wife. We’re talking hip hop and you bring in race. Why don’t you focus on the fact that its really capitalism and the need to “water down” any genre to make it accessible to mainstream America?  Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and Maroon 5 music IS CREATED TO BE PALATABLE for mainstream America and make money. The music industry is just that: a business industry designed to SELL albums and make money. That’s the whole point.

And back to the racial component: a black man can’t sing country? A Mexican can’t sell millions of albums in the US? A white man can’t do hip hop and be successful? Oh wait thats been done already: Florida Georgia Line, Los Tigres del Norte and Eminem. We’re in 2014 and music should be uniting us not separating us by some immature people. One race does not OWN a style of music. If your music does not make it to mainstream America, don’t be offended. You may just not fit the traditional plastic mold that mainstream music industry is looking for. Take it as a blessing. Embrace that you are different and throw a huge middle finger by producing amazing hip hop. Are you in the industry for the money? Then sell out and make yourself palatable to mainstream America. Are you not in it for the money? Then focus on your music.

AB, move on and embrace your culture like the millions of Latinos, Asians and minorities in the US. Like Gustavo Arellano says, take a part of your own reconquista by having pride and spreading our own good culture.

Now Iggy Azalea’s response to Azalea Banks:

Special msg for banks: There are many black artists succeeding in all genres. The reason you haven’t is because of your piss poor attitude. Your inability to be responsible for your own mistakes, bullying others, the inability to be humble or have self control. It’s YOU! you created your own unfortunate situation by being a bigot and don’t have the mental capacity to realize yet. Probably never will.  Now! rant, Make it racial! make it political! Make it whatever but I guarantee it won’t make you likable & THATS why ur crying on the radio. Enjoy continuing to bang your head against that metaphoric brick wall & Savor this attention. I’m the only way you get ANY.  You’re poisonous and I feel genuinely sorry for you because it’s obvious at this point you are a MISERABLE, angry human being. Regards!

Ay Mensa! You had such a good opportunity to make yourself like the more reasonable of the two. But based on my experience in working with 24 year olds… your immaturity took the best of you. Iggy you got it right up until you said “metaphoric brick wall” because yes there is a brick wall, but I and probably the rest of the world understand it as a racial brick wall. Iggy, you sound like you truly have no regard to black America and that you are not just attacking AB, but African Americans in general. What you really wanted to say is that AB does have talent, but is not mainstream America likable talent. Its the same thing with Latinos: we had to water down and overly cheese out our music in late 90’s to get attention from mainstream America. We have always been talented and creating music worth Grammy’s, but we never had a mainstream America likable person who was a seasoned performer, sang well, danced well, and had a team of music producers ready to sell him out. Our answer: Ricky Martin. Boom. Mind blown. Yes, race had played a role in the past. But we had not produced (yes, PRODUCED) and created a machine so powerful as Ricky Martin backed by Emilio Estefan who is a part of the music industry. In this case Iggy IS the sellout and the nicely produced artist so deal with it. Just don’t write stupid tweets.

I’m not going to get into the fact that Iggy Azalea made racist tweets before she was famous. I’m not even going to get into the fact that one of her songs has a reference to a slave master. Thats a whole different story. I’m simply putting in my two cents share out of a controversy that seems to be putting Iggy on blast for being a white Australian rapping in a black Southern US accent.

Iggy is racist and insensitive for not sounding Australian??? People, language is the most free flowing aspect of culture. If you hang out with someone long enough, you will start to sound like them. There’s all kinds of academic proof of this. If you listen to a certain singer for a long time, your voice will change to sound like them. Again, tons of academic proof of this. So if Iggy is listening to black male southern rappers, don’t you think she’s going to sound like them? What the heck does a rapper with an Australian accent even sound like? Would she hit it big time if she sounded Australian? Nope. So therefore she sold out by making sure her rapping style fit in what mainstream America would find acceptable. Duh. People are incredibly ignorant for saying she is racist and doing blackface for sounding like her influences. Iggy Pop sounded like Howlin’ Wolf in some of his recordings. Does that make him racist? Ana Tijoux sounds like the rappers from Harlem. Is she racist? Mick Jagger also sounds like a Howlin Wolf blend. Racist? Nope. So I am offended that if you google “Iggy Azalea” that the word “racist” with many people calling her out on her accent.

Forbes magazine, the Grammy’s, all acknowledge Iggy Azalea for her work in hip hop. That’s where mainstream America has gotten it all wrong. She is not the best and I can tell you that without being a fan of hip hop.

I haven’t heard much of either of these artists in this post, but I can tell you a few things:

#1 the music industry is here to make money. If you want to be famous do what they tell you and get famous. If not then stay true to your roots, keep on being original and become a source of empowerment for your followers.

#2 Music is worldwide and transcends any kind of linguistic, economic, social and political barriers.

#3 Hip hop is everywhere and not owned by anyone

#4 If you don’t like a certain kind of music then don’t listen to it.

#5 Think before you tweet or post anything on social media

#6 Don’t cry and sound overly emotional and immature on a radio show that can then be posted on youtube. Never cry in public.

#7 Just because you sing in a genre of another race, it doesn’t mean you have to sing and act like them or take their social issues.

#8 Have you ever considered that Iggy doesn’t want to get political to avoid any controversy? She’s got to protect her mainstream America likability factor.

#9 Ana Tijoux is my absolute hip hop standard and how to sing, rap, and speak in a public interview WITHOUT selling out. Her music went from being great to being named as one of the best female MC in the world all while staying true to herself.

#10 Peace I’m out.

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