Iggy Azalea and the white-washing of Hip-Hop culture.
After hearing Banks’ interview re: her thoughts on T.I., Iggy, etc., I had some thoughts of my own…
The pioneers of genres like Rock’N’Roll & Blues were black. Men like Berry, King, and Domino created art that we’ve historically seen white artists steal and profit off of. (See: Elvis, the Beach Boys, etc.) This happened so intensely to the point where, now, when people think of rock music, they think of white people, white bands, forgetting PoC started the genre. And here you see it resurface— the white re-branding of an art form. And in the wake of the Igloo Australia vs. Banks beef (you should go watch Bank’s interview w/ 105.1 I believe, btw. It’s very important) we clearly see the same thing happening to Hip-Hop/Rap.
We saw Macklemore’s album win against Kendrick’s GKMC when many of us who truly listen to this music on both a technical and emotional level FELT the realness and authenticity in GKMC, not to mention it was one of the BEST concept albums we’ve seen in so goddamn long. But Macklemore won it. And why? Because the people judging the Grammys are not representative of the people consuming the art form they are judging. They don’t understand it, it makes them uncomfortable.
So then we have appropriators like Igloo and Macklemore profiting off of white America’s need to rob black people of their identity and culture… and people eat that shit up, because it’s now packaged with a skin color that makes consumers and those in power (white people) feel safe, and suddenly we’re sitting back and watching the same shit that happened to Rock and Blues happen to Rap. If we let them, white America will white wash Hip-Hop until we don’t have a place in the genre of music we CREATED to express our struggle.
Hip Hop Culture is all about resistance and counter culture… fighting the power… expressing your thoughts in a world meant to oppress your people. Someone tell me what Igloo knows about oppression? She can emulate her fake “ghetto girl” accent all she wants, but we see through her and into her blatant cultural theft for profit.
And no one is saying that white people don’t have a place in rap, but I equate it to being non-religious, or being of a different religion, and entering a mosque… you still have to take your shoes off. If you’re going to enter an art form, especially one like Rap that is so inherently ingrained in the struggles that one type of people have faced, you better take a fucking back seat and understand your place as an ally— as a secondary factor to this culture and this art form. We know who is a more talented artist, we see which one has creative vision, which one is a carbon copy… but the copy gets all the praise. Why? Hint: race.
And white people dare say white privilege doesn’t exist. Iggy Azalea’s whole career is an example of white privilege— her ability to become MORE successful than those who created the genre without any skill or talent…
I mean, I know Banks has said some problematic shit in the past, but she was SPOT fucking ON with her interview, and it needs to be taken seriously. I don’t want to have to one day educate my children on how Hip-Hop was originally a genre dominated by black people/culture, and why it no longer is.
We can’t let them erase us.