Iggy Azalea Says The Criticism She Faces Is '100,000 Percent' Because She’s A Woman
The Debrief: But we think there’s more to it…
Iggy Azalea has spoken on the record for the first time since accusations of her racism reached fever pitch last December.
When asked if she thinks it’s weird to be a white female Australian rapper, she responded: ‘Well, I never thought it was strange. If you go back to the Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley and Eminem — they’ve all basically done black music. I felt this wasn’t that far from what we’ve seen in music history over and over again.’
She was then asked by Vanity Fair: ‘Do you think the criticism aimed at you was misogynistic?’ and she responded: ‘Well, they don’t say that stuff about Macklemore. So, yes, I think it has 100,000 per cent to do with the fact that I have a vagina.’
Let’s think about that. First off, unlike most of those guys, we live in a digital age where people are encouraged to spew out every thought and feeling, and on a few occasions, Iggy’s tweeted some racially offensive things.
Secondly, Azealia Banks (who’s not that perfect, she thinks accusations against Bill Cosby are a conspiracy) very rightly pointed out that if white musicians are going to have a go at doing a genre of music that black people started, they ought to acknowledge that black people started it.
Instead, the only mention of race Iggy has made in her lyrics is rapping that she’s a ‘runaway slave master’. Provocation is key to hip hop, but if she borrows a ‘blaccent’ to rap stuff like this, there needs to be a pretty good explanation behind it.
But, apart from those two (pretty major) sticking points, in defence of that sexism argument, a tape emerged in 2003 of Eminem rapping racist lyrics about black women, and the outcry was minimal.
Maybe it’s because the internet wasn’t so meticulous at logging everything back then, or maybe it’s because the combination of racism and sexism meant it was OK to be racist to black women. Perhaps it’s because the song, recorded in 1988, was never released. Or it could be because he’s Eminem. A hugely successful white rapper, but also a male white rapper. Who, incidentally, threatened to rape Iggy Azalea in his song Shady Cxvpher.
Not all of the criticism Iggy has faced has been stirred up by the tabloid press, but if the criticism is that Iggy’s going to influence people in the wrong way, we’ve also got to look at the media that presents her to fans – and foes. Meaningful conversation can’t happen when the tabloid/blog press hypes up feuds between women, converting discussions of race between Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks into catfights.
And the threats from Anonymous to leak a sextape of Iggy unless she apologised to Azealia? Well, we don’t think anyone would threaten to leak a sex tape of Macklemore in order to shame him.
Though Iggy, unfortunately, has some making up to do to prove that she’s not as bigoted as some years-old tweets might show, what she had to say about that apparent sex tape was entirely on-point: ‘I do not have a sex tape; I would remember if I had a sex tape. But if I did have a sex tape it would be completely fucking fine and my own business.’
So, um. Go Iggy! But don’t go, Iggy. Sort it out, Iggy.
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