It seems the controversy surrounding Iggy Azalea and her rap flow isn’t going to go away any time soon. The media won’t shut up about it and apparently, neither will Iggy. Are we all over it yet? I guess not, judging by the amount of times every hip hop magazine has recycled the same story over and over again. Granted, it hasn’t been that long since Eve and Jill Scott called Iggy out on using a ‘blaccent’. They also called Azalea ‘unoriginal’, which is a pretty ridiculous assessment in this day and age.
When Iggy first came on the scene in 2011, I was excited. Here we had another female rapper with a dope flow (aka blaccent) and she’s cute with her icy blonde hair and amazing body. I’ll admit, the fact that she’s a white girl, who could rap like a hood kid from Atlanta made me smile and root for her even more.
That was until I heard her speak.
The first time I heard Iggy Azalea speak was when she was on The Breakfast Club with Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy. You know that face you make when you taste something that looked delicious but it actually tasted like a salty foot? Yeah, that was my face when I heard her voice. I was really taken aback.
Then Iggy dropped her first album titled ‘The New Classic’ featuring the hit single ‘Fancy’ which had been dubbed song of the summer.
Everyone was bumping ‘Fancy’. Don’t lie! You too were rapping along with “first thing’s first I’m the realest”. I couldn’t believe that the chick who said “taking all the liquor straight never chase that” sounded the way she did. I knew from the get-go that she was Australian, but still everything about her threw me off. Even the way she was dressed. I guess I was expecting a little more hood than she was giving me.
Her voice and her style simply didn’t match that of the Iggy Azalea who starred in the ‘Werk’ video.
You have to remember during this time Nicki was still wearing her wigs and crazy colorful get-ups. And she wasn’t getting chummy with Roberto Cavalli or Balmain. So, it was strange to see a hip-hop artist dressed the way Iggy was dressed.
Later on, I found out Iggy was modeling as a side hustle while trying to get people to listen to her music. That might explain the fashion forward ensemble she was wearing to the interview. She had always dressed so provocatively hood in her videos that it was strange to see her in such a couture ensemble.
Iggy wasn’t/isn’t your typical hip hop artist. But what’s really typical when we’re discussing the very limited arena known as successful female hip-hop artists? Hip Hop is a man’s world, after all.
Fast-forward to today, where every artist and pseudo-celeb on twitter has something to contribute to the Iggy Azalea debate. Everyone and their mama is calling the girl out for rapping all hood when she actually speaks and carries herself in a way that’s opposite that.
Sure Jay Z is dressing in suit and tie now, but he still looks like the one you shouldn’t mess with. Then you got Lil Wayne dressing like a Cali surf kid and he’s like, what, 40? Actually he’s 32, but tattoos age the skin Mr. Carter.
So, why can’t Iggy use a “blaccent” and still dress like a model? According to Iggy, it’s because she’s a female. She recently went on a twitter rant to address the haters. Here’s what she had to say:
I think Iggy is missing the point here. She, as a widely popular white female rapper, has so much power here. She could shut it down and squash all the doubt by pouring all her energy into her music, but instead she’s tweeting. She could work on perfecting her freestyle skills so that next time she doesn’t sound like a sixth grader reading a poem he wrote in Language Arts class, but instead she’s tweeting.
As a rapper, and especially a white female rapper, you’re going to have to prove yourself in this industry. You can’t just walk in here on some fame you acquired from ‘Fancy’ and think that the same people who herald Nicki, Foxy or Lil Kim are going to give you the time of day. Not after those women and more worked so hard to gain the respect they’ve earned. It takes work, it takes rhymes.
You’re a gimmick for now, until you prove yourself otherwise.
(This article originally appeared on The Feed on February 4, 2015)