I need to know my place
December 30, 2014 4:45 PM   Subscribe

Just because there’s been more successful white rappers, you cannot disregard where this culture came from and our place in it as white people.
In the wake of Azealia Banks' controversial interview on Hot 97, in which she called out Iggy Azalea and the "smudging out of black music," Macklemore appeared on the same show, Ebro in the Morning on Monday and spoke thoughtfully and at length about white privilege and cultural appropriation in hip hop. posted by DirtyOldTown (96 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
What is Azalea Banks talking about in that last link with respect to TI? I got a bit lost about halfway through TI's tweets and never recovered. Q Tip was on point as usual though. (All the time)
posted by Hoopo at 4:58 PM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hoopo-- TI defends Iggy Azalea as a white woman rapping, saying that individuals like her and Eminem are outliers. According to TI, they aren't 'stealing' rap culture and are producing their own stuff, standing out from the trend of whites who appropriate Black anything.
posted by flying_trapeze at 5:09 PM on December 30, 2014


If you don't have the luxury of taking in the extended Azealis Banks and Macklemore interviews (which are both fascinating, for different reasons), the "Why does everyone hate Iggy Azalea?" clip breaks the Banks/Iggy/Q-Tip/TI portion of the debate down quickly and clearly. And the last two links are to longer text articles on the same.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:27 PM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Does Iggy get much airplay on stations that are predominantly rap/hip-hop stations? I only hear her on the major pop station here in Seattle, which is about as close to rap/hip-hop as I ever get in terms of radio -- which is to say, not much.

It makes me wonder about the perceived legitimacy and audience one gets in "crossing over" to pop from other genres, and how much all of that really matters.

FWIW: I generally like the stuff I've seen from Iggy, but that amounts only to singles...though if Anonymous goes through with its threat to release her "sex tape," I'll immediately buy whatever album(s?) she might have just as a protest against slut-shaming and bullying. Call her out for her ugly tweets and tone-deaf approach to race, sure, but retaliating with misogyny is just bullshit.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:30 PM on December 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


Azealia Banks' latest album I like a lot, and I wished was the more the focus of media attention then on her fight with IA. Although through this fight I learned that the AB's nickname for IB is "Igloo Australia," which is kind of awesome
posted by angrycat at 5:31 PM on December 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


I intentionally left out the Anonymous/sex tape threat angle, because it seemed a near lock we would all be all in total agreement that was bullshit. So it seemed like noise.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:39 PM on December 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'm not all that surprised that Macklemore spoke thoughtfully (and a couple dozen minutes in, I think he did), and always vaguely regret that he's a bit of a punchline. This song off the album before he got famous is specifically about his concerns that he's coopting & gentrifying hip-hop. People his/my age did grow up with rap as an integral part of our culture, so yeah it's complicated.

Igloo Australia, however, blech. Azalea is just an amazing person and great rapper, and she's spot on.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:40 PM on December 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


I learned that the AB's nickname for IB is "Igloo Australia," which is kind of awesome

Is it though or is it the kind of thing a kid does to another kid they're picking on in school?
posted by billiebee at 5:41 PM on December 30, 2014 [8 favorites]


More like WACKlemore, am I right?

No, seriously, he's O.K., I guess.
posted by infinitywaltz at 5:44 PM on December 30, 2014


This has been brewing all year. Not the Iggy thing, but the concern over white domination of hip-hop. It's been a discussion point ever since Macklemore swept the Grammys in January, while deeply talented people like Kendrick got sidelined. Macklemore, much as I detest him, seems to navigate this stuff with something at least pretending to be humility (and from that linked interview, he appears to be someone who struggles with this stuff a lot). You really can't say the same for Iggy.

This article from the Telegraph hits the nail on the head for me:

She accused Banks of playing the race card - and, by branding her a bigot, she actually wandered into reverse racism territory. Her response didn’t take into account Banks’ political points. Instead, it was shaped to make Banks look like the angry black woman - jealous, bitter and obsessive.

This retort comes from a blonde, Australian woman who raps in a voice imitating a black American. Watching one of her music videos is like watching a modern day version of the blackface minstrel show.

The American rapper’s drawl is incongruous with her Australian accent in interviews. She seems clueless as to why hip-hop is black dominated, but she’s absolutely sure that she deserves a place in it. She’s succeeding in a genre with no idea of its social and historical significance.


Go ahead and watch that video in the link above, if you're not too familiar with Iggy. I can't last more than a minute and a half without just being viscerally grossed out by the appropriation.
posted by naju at 5:46 PM on December 30, 2014 [25 favorites]


Yeah, that "Why does everybody hate Iggy Azalea?" video is pretty awesome. And I like that the guy doing it isn't shy about offering his candid opinion, either.

It's funny. I've always been a huge fan of Azealia Banks, and early on I felt some annoyance on her behalf that Iggy Azalea had just popped out of nowhere; it's hard enough for women in hip hop without the weird name confusion thing, and I couldn't see anything in Iggy's work that I really liked at all. But I realized I was being petty, and I tried to set that aside and just categorize Iggy as just another rapper who does stuff I'm not into. There is plenty of space in the world for such people, and if there's one more woman in hip hop, well, more power to her.

But as time goes on I get really bugged by Iggy's approach. It's like she's missing a few beats as far as how respect is supposed to work. Calling herself a "runaway slave master" in a song was a mistake – an egregious and offensive mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. But her reaction when people were pissed off was what bothered me. People always say that she "apologized" – that's what the "Is Hip Hop only for black people?" link above mentions – but it's worth actually reading her "apology." It's a pretty classic non-apology ("if you are offended, I am sorry") and the bulk of it is about how hip hop is racist for not accepting a white person ("It is unfair to say other races who also grew up listening to rap don’t get a place too.") The classy thing to do would have been to apologize and leave it there – just say it and shut up and move on, and try to make it clear that you feel like you made a mistake. But Iggy couldn't do that. She had to go an make it about herself, about how she's a victim because she is somehow being excluded from hip hop.

And in her tweets with Azealia Banks, she has gone over the line over and over again – calling her a bully, telling her she's got a shitty attitude, telling her she'll never succeed because she's not "likeable." Azealia Banks has been beefing, yeah, and the "Igloo Australia" thing is kind of punchy (and funny – let's be honest) but that's a far cry from declaring her unworthy of any success or admiration or saying that she's too bitter to succeed at anything. Or calling her a bigot, for heaven's sake. Sheesh.

Really, Iggy Azalea calling Azealia Banks a "bigot" for saying that her work is appropriating black culture is the tipping point for me, the point at which I see that Iggy is just another selfish white person who doesn't have the inclination to think for even a few moments about what they're saying about race. It's that disgusting trope again: the white person who responds to any race-oriented criticism at all by saying "well, I'm not a racist, and if you think I am then YOU'RE THE RACIST!" Bullshit. Please stop with this noise.

In conclusion: go buy "Broke With Expensive Taste." It is awesome.
posted by koeselitz at 5:51 PM on December 30, 2014 [49 favorites]


There is a big difference between respecting and honoring the traditions and style of a culture and wholesale theft and misappropriation of said culture. This is why people have a problem with Iggy.
posted by Divest_Abstraction at 6:00 PM on December 30, 2014


For me, the most frustrating part of this debate is not just that I have to be reminded that Iggy Azalea exists, it's the number of people that don't get it--that think criticizing Iggy for her imitation or her stubborn, privileged denials of the racial/political roots of hip-hop is the same as saying white people aren't allowed to rap. It's all over Q-TIP's wonderful (and frankly, loving) responses to Iggy, which even explicitly welcomes non-black hip-hop artists.

Any criticism of a white artist being clueless and suddenly it's YOU'RE SAYING WE CAN'T RAP? YOU'RE RACIST.

Which is exactly where Iggy seems to be operating from.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 6:05 PM on December 30, 2014 [15 favorites]


Does Iggy really have an out here though?
posted by oceanjesse at 6:14 PM on December 30, 2014


According to TI, they aren't 'stealing' rap culture and are producing their own stuff, standing out from the trend of whites who appropriate Black anything

I was more referring to the part where Azalea Banks says this:

"Why can't you just admit that you idolize/fetishize black american women and that is what influences you the most? It's easy...."

I don't really get how that applies to TI
posted by Hoopo at 6:22 PM on December 30, 2014


Igloo Australia is such a sick burn. It drives home the point of how much an outsider she is to hip-hop. Don't think me a hater, though. "Fancy" is easily on of the best ten hip-pop songs from 2014.
posted by Renoroc at 6:38 PM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


That's mostly because of Charli XCX on the chorus, though.
posted by infinitywaltz at 6:40 PM on December 30, 2014 [9 favorites]


Man, every time I want to be mad at Macklemore for, say, his blatant and unrepentant anti-Semitism, he does something like this, or marching in Mike Brown protests while refusing to talk to reporters because he "doesn't want to make this about him".

It's almost like people and their beliefs are complex and multi-faceted!
posted by Itaxpica at 6:43 PM on December 30, 2014 [12 favorites]


Wait, Macklemore is a blatant and unrepentant anti-Semite? How did this escape my notice?
posted by infinitywaltz at 6:46 PM on December 30, 2014


Oh, the fake nose and beard thing. I remember now.
posted by infinitywaltz at 6:47 PM on December 30, 2014


Also, no discussion of Iggy Azalea and racism should go without mentioning her absurdly racist Twitter history, which she hand-waved off by claiming that the tweets in question were "only meant for friends and family".

On preview: yeah, the fake nose and beard thing, along with the fact that he made bar mitzvah themed jokes while wearing the fake nose and beard and still denied that it was supposed to be a Jewish caricature.
posted by Itaxpica at 6:50 PM on December 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


This retort comes from a blonde, Australian woman who raps in a voice imitating a black American.

She's so incredibly phony she manages to make ICP look good. Their music may be shit but they're several orders of magnitude more authentic than she'll ever be. And no, I am NOT down with the clown
posted by MikeMc at 7:12 PM on December 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


I just want to reiterate what's been lost in the subsequent debate about Igloos ability or right to appropriate black culture at all is Banks initial point: if you are involved in hip hop you MUST speak out about the current situation on the streets, whenever you can. Be informed and take a stand. Like, if you're in a Celtic punk band from, er, Baltimore, and the English army kills someone in Belfast and hundreds of thousands march in the streets of Northern Ireland, you don't get to just play a show that night singing about fewkin unicorns and free birds baby. You have a responsibility to the culture whose pain built your medium to at least RT a fight the power YT link or something, damn.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:31 PM on December 30, 2014 [26 favorites]


so that's iggy azalea - *watches video, gives up before the 2 minute mark* - she's awful - guilty as charged

if someone's going to mess with this, they have to make it their own, and it's got to come from the heart and it's got to not be disrespectful - or god forbid, a carictature

she utterly fails
posted by pyramid termite at 7:44 PM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty psyched that "Iggy Azalea's inability to freestyle" may end up being the Last Meme Of 2014, just barely edging out Craving That Mineral. But tomorrow is long, and may find something at the eleventh hour. We shall see what excitement the future holds!
posted by Greg Nog at 7:52 PM on December 30, 2014 [27 favorites]


Oh, good. Like we didn't have this fight when the Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded the first jazz album (no, that was really a band, and they really recorded the first jazz record, and they were white), when Elvis showed up, and every five years like clockwork since the record companies decided that rap was black music. First rap song to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart... was "Rapture" by Blondie. Debby Harry raps, and name-drops Fab Five Freddy. It stayed there four weeks. This was 1980.

With Rap, it went from "Didn't even exist yet" to "Mainstream White Culture" in what? Seven years? Less? There's a lot of marketing money in promoting the myth that rap is Black American music, unlike international white music such as jazz and rock and roll and EDM.

As for Iggy - welcome to Sturgeon's Law. Maybe she can renovate homes on TV with Vanilla Ice in a few years.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:55 PM on December 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Mr. Star Stuff says over my shoulder, "Banks has Iggy dead to rights, but since we're talking about antisemitism anway, Banks herself may have something to answer for there. There are some screencaps circulating on Tumblr of what are purported to be Banks' deleted tweets saying that she 'cannot trust any and all Jews' and 'old crusty-ass Jewish dwarfs jealous of young black girls' sex life.' That doesn't take away from her point about Iggy's unapologetic racism, but assuming they're not fabricated, it's pretty shitty in its own right."
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 8:00 PM on December 30, 2014


First rap song to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart... was "Rapture" by Blondie.

Thanks, just when I thought I had forgotten about that musical abortion.
posted by MikeMc at 8:02 PM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Azealia Banks has said lots and lots of stuff that's utterly awful. Her twitter is probably top 10 for vascillating between "holy shit, that's totally on point" and "what.... whatt.... ummmmm" (two off the top of my head: using trans slurs, and defending Cosby.)

No need to defend her there. I haven't heard about her antisemitism but I wouldn't be surprised.

But the topic is bigger than these two individual players. Azealea never was a perfect spokeswoman for anything, but she's speaking truth on this particular subject.
posted by naju at 8:03 PM on December 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


TI is Iggy's mentor. She's on his label, so she's one of his artists. Its in his best (financial) interest to support her everywhere.

Banks has made LOTS of nasty comments at TI, including some directed at his wife that really upset him.

People can say whatever the fuck they want regarding any of the artists here. What upsets me at more than a "your band sucks" level is the sociopolitical stuff that WHITE RAPPERS absolve themselves from, despite trying to ingratiate themselves in the afro-american community.

"Yeah, I'm bad...i twerk, i rap, I'm on the grind. Oh shit...but yeah, I have no comment regarding Ferguson, or police brutality against black people. That stuff does not jive with me. But hey, want me to show you how to dougie"


posted by hal_c_on at 8:03 PM on December 30, 2014 [4 favorites]


Greg Nog: I'm pretty psyched that "Iggy Azalea's inability to freestyle" may end up being the Last Meme Of 2014, just barely edging out Craving That Mineral.

This is a very strange future that we have built ourselves.
posted by Itaxpica at 8:36 PM on December 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Slap*Happy: "Like we didn't have this fight when the Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded the first jazz album (no, that was really a band, and they really recorded the first jazz record, and they were white), when Elvis showed up, and every five years like clockwork since the record companies decided that rap was black music."

"The first jazz album" was worthless trash, and you know damned well it was derivative fakery. Elvis was derivative, too, and mostly terrible. There has never been a really innovative white rapper. And you clearly don't know much about the provenance of American music.

Might help if you clearly stated a point, rather than obliquely mocking "this fight," whatever the hell you think "this fight" is - and even money is you're wrong about what "this fight" is, too.

Your direct implication has been that white people originated all good American music, and black people are just a label record companies throw on music to make it sell. Perhaps you'd like to rethink or restate whatever it was you were saying. Reading the damned links before commenting might help.
posted by koeselitz at 9:32 PM on December 30, 2014 [7 favorites]


Renoroc: "Don't think me a hater, though. 'Fancy' is easily on of the best ten hip-pop songs from 2014."

Oh, I remember that one. "First things first, I'm a racist..."
posted by koeselitz at 9:37 PM on December 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


TI is Iggy's mentor. She's on his label, so she's one of his artists. Its in his best (financial) interest to support her everywhere.

I've kind of been wondering why T.I. and others with a vested interest in her success haven't reined her in better, helped her get more educated about these issues behind the scenes, and/or at least given her a social media team and some well-crafted talking points to try to spin the current story more in her favor (even--hell, maybe especially--if those talking points don't match her actual thoughts/feelings/knowledge about the issues at hand).

I believe Iggy when she says she fell in love with hip-hop music in her teens and had pictures of Tupac plastering her bedroom wall, and that she ran away to America in large part because of her attraction to hip-hop and all it represented. But, best I can tell, her public persona and musical content aren't exactly about authenticity, you know? Not even to her own life story, a la Eminem. Meanwhile she can't seem to freestyle or to develop original beats/rhymes/lyrics or any other innovations... so it doesn't seem like hers is just some rare, raw natural talent, either. My suspicion is that Interscope, Grand Hustle, Def Jam, et al. have gauged (correctly) that she has enough stage presence, charisma, attractiveness, drive and legitimate desire to be a part of the hip-hop music scene to make her a solid bet when it comes to selling a big old pile of records. I don't think her proverbial crossover appeal to white/pop audiences was a small part of that assessment, either. She's where she is as a performer, not as an artist.

So I guess my question is: Is the reason that Her People haven't been doing a better job about this because they've calculated that, for now, the Banks feud and Iggy's overall "audacious"/tonedeaf stubborn persona (e.g., that her work is intended to "make people question and redefine old ideals") has more "there's-no-such-thing-as-bad-publicity" value than if she were coming across as more respectful, conscious, knowledgable, genuine, etc.? I'm not absolving her of her own role and responsibilities here at all, but there IS a lot of money at stake, and I find it hard to believe that someone, somewhere isn't doing some serious math that's the real driver of a lot of what we're seeing today -- and their fundamental goals are to maximize attention --> popularity --> sales. I have to think that Her People know their audience(s) pretty damn well, and it's hard for me to believe that how this is being handled now is purely accidental.

(I think Azealia Banks was dead-on to mention Miley Cyrus in this context, too. Miley's management and label and MTV/Viacom didn't let that VMA performance happen because they cared so much about her unique artistic vision (or twerking talent) or raising the level of national discourse or something.)
posted by argonauta at 9:45 PM on December 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


Abbie Cornish, too? About to tour with NAS?!?!? Oh, gee. Yeah, there must be a ton of $$ behind this, also.

"fe fi mo miggy," GregNog. Can't lie, laughed my ass off at a couple of these.
posted by droplet at 10:12 PM on December 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Man, Iggy is culturally insensitive and and Azalea has long history of beefing with everyone over nothing (not that her complaints are unwarranted in this instance). Instead of IA vs AB, here are some of your other options when it comes to female MC's.

Angel Haze - New York
Dej Loaf - Try Me (previously)
Tink ft Jeremih - Don't Tell Nobody
Tinashe ft Travi$ Scott - Vulnerable
Mixtape Nicki - Still I Rise (previously, 2, 3)
Cassie - Take Care of Me Baby
Sasha Go Hard - Bricks
Katie Got Bandz - Bring That Ass Here Boy

Most of these are from the last few years.

I know the thread is about cultural appropriation as opposed to female mcs who bang, but with the discussion of the beef above and both of them being objectionable in some way... options are good.

droplet: Not only opening for Nas, but Nas's Illmatic tour. Yikes.
posted by yeahwhatever at 10:19 PM on December 30, 2014 [24 favorites]


(Not a big deal, but seems worth noting - it's Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks - different spellings.)
posted by koeselitz at 10:32 PM on December 30, 2014


My bad. I get excited about hophop, especially on the blue. Thanks.
posted by yeahwhatever at 10:35 PM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


Go ahead and watch that video yt in the link above,

Wow.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:35 PM on December 30, 2014


(As in "wow, embarrassing, kind of all around".)
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:36 PM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hey everybody, let's watch products fight!

Yeah. Honestly, after Ms. Banks' "faggot" commentary, I'm surprised she seems to feel she still has any right to comment about bigotry with a straight face. But then I step back and remind myself I'm just another faggot/commodity to be exploited by the music industry she and others are part and parcel of.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:42 PM on December 30, 2014


So Koeselitz... not a big fan of the early aughts backpacker shit, I presume? I would call Aesop, Eyedea, Sage, and Slug, among others, innovative rappers.

Not to call your point invalid, just... NONE?
posted by elr at 11:03 PM on December 30, 2014 [5 favorites]


Like, if you're in a Celtic punk band from, er, Baltimore, and the English army kills someone in Belfast and hundreds of thousands march in the streets of Northern Ireland, you don't get to just play a show that night singing about fewkin unicorns and free birds baby.
Actually, if you're from Baltimore, you should probably keep your mouth shut about Northern Ireland. Seriously: I have spent a lot of time in the Republic and a fair amount in the North, and my big takeaway is that nobody wants to hear my righteous proclamations on Northern Ireland.

This has nothing to do with Iggy Azalea, though, who comes across like an entitled, clueless dolt. I'm sad to say that I kinda like "Fancy," though, in the sense that I perk up when it comes on the radio at the gym.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:43 PM on December 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


elr: “So Koeselitz... not a big fan of the early aughts backpacker shit, I presume? I would call Aesop, Eyedea, Sage, and Slug, among others, innovative rappers.”

Eh... I mean, maybe? I am not saying I don't like them – I spin Sage's Personal Journals every once in a while, I like it a ton, it reminds me of some good times – but "innovative," I'm not sure. As far as I can tell, that milieu was mostly about taking existing styles (jazz-inflected hip hop, confessional rap, consciousness rap, etc) and refining and repurposing them. Sometimes that was to great effect, yeah. Part of that deference to their roots came from the fact that they were all reflecting on a medium that came out of African-American Culture; that's where they came from, and they intentionally did not gravitate away from or attempt to obscure or modify those roots. Which is the reason their music is good, frankly. They came to it with respect.

African-American Culture is a thing that a lot of people share in, but we have to remember its roots and what it signifies: the black experience in America. It isn't supposed to be divorced from that; it's a music of a culture and a people.

So when somebody comes along like Slap*Happy did and apparently dismisses the notion that African-American Culture is actually A Thing at all, suggesting that all these things were mostly white to begin with anyway (Debbie Harry? Seriously?) it's kind of egregious. I'm pretty sure all the rappers you named as backpackers would agree.
posted by koeselitz at 11:59 PM on December 30, 2014 [5 favorites]



African-American Culture is a thing that a lot of people share in, but we have to remember its roots and what it signifies


Mmmm.... No, we don't. We rarely do, regardless, and enjoy the results all the same. Sometimes the best art comes without thinking through the cultural plate of beans, or even disregarding it purposefully.
posted by 2N2222 at 1:26 AM on December 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


Actually, if you're from Baltimore, you should probably keep your mouth shut about Northern Ireland.

DON'T YOU TELL ME WHAT TO DO
posted by josher71 at 2:50 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


There's a lot of marketing money in promoting the myth that rap is Black American music, unlike international white music such as jazz and rock and roll and EDM.

jazz, rock and EDM white music? - in spite of significant contributions from many different people, black and white, no, not really

---

Elvis was derivative, too, and mostly terrible. There has never been a really innovative white rapper.

koeselitz, no - elvis' sun records were something new and not terrible - once he got to rca, things started sliding downhill pretty fast

and bob dylan wasn't a white rapper? - true, he got it from woody guthrie, but he did something with it, too

come to think of it, eminem was pretty innovative
posted by pyramid termite at 3:21 AM on December 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


There isn't any onus on artists respecting the roots of the music they have chosen to play. I might not like it, but it doesn't change the fact that there is always someone appropriating something, with or without respecting the origins.

In the case of Iggy Azalea this seems more like wilful ignorance than accidental appropriation, an artist who has gone out of her way to sound like a black American while being a white Australian and then reacted with petulant insults when it is pointed out that she appears to be ignorant.
posted by asok at 3:57 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


jazz, rock and EDM white music?

Hmm, I thought the sarcasm would be more obvious. Jazz, Rock and EDM were all pioneered by African Americans, and now promoted and marketed almost exclusively as music made by white artists for white audiences in the United States. Jazz has been tenacious and consistent in resisting this, rock and EDM far less so.

There has never been a really innovative white rapper.

Rap has a 35 year global body of work in a plurality of languages and ethnicity. I'm going to go ahead and file this under "nonsense."

So when somebody comes along like Slap*Happy did and apparently dismisses the notion that African-American Culture is actually A Thing at all

This, too.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:46 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


There's a lot of marketing money in promoting the myth that rap is Black American music, unlike international white music such as jazz and rock and roll and EDM

I don't know how blind someone would have to be to read this is as actually meaning that jazz and rock are white. The point is that it is widely recognized that jazz and rock and electronic music (read up on Detroit house, people) are the product of Black American culture but now transcend race and region, however hip-hop has done the same but for marketing reasons this cannot be acknowleged.
posted by Octaviuz at 4:54 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oops, the author beat me on preview (curse my tendency to reread before posting).
posted by Octaviuz at 4:54 AM on December 31, 2014


African-American Culture is a thing that a lot of people share in, but we have to remember its roots and what it signifies: the black experience in America. It isn't supposed to be divorced from that; it's a music of a culture and a people.

I agree that it's all that, but it's simultaneously also an organised set of vibrations in air, rather than a dissertation. That's part of the magic and paradoxically why it's so powerful. Pop radio stations play Iggy next to black pop-rap artists who are not idiotic racists like her, and it's a fact that the artists are in dialogue at that moment whether anyone likes it or not, and there can be no such thing as 'wrong' music or the wrong way to listen to it.

I agree that Iggy is pretty annoying but the best response to her might be just to make better music than her, and get paid for your stuff - which lots of rap artists running their own record labels etc seem to do these days, unlike when the Rolling Stones or Led Zep ripped off blues artists.
posted by colie at 5:18 AM on December 31, 2014


The bigger question for me is, why would anyone want to hear what Iggy Azalea or Miley Cyrus thinks about Ferguson? It's absurd.
posted by fungible at 5:29 AM on December 31, 2014


You guys think this is bad? You should listen to some Japanese rap....
posted by donkeymon at 6:52 AM on December 31, 2014


Sometimes the best art comes without thinking through the cultural plate of beans . . .

Maybe to the audience, but the best art most certainly comes from whatever cultural/political context that produced the genre and the artist, from Gilgamesh on up.
posted by Think_Long at 7:12 AM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's so much that anyone really wants to her what Iggy or Miley thinks about Ferguson, et al. It's that since they are making music that draws so heavily on black culture, their apparent disinterest in issues their peers in that spectrum find critical is jarring.

As an analogy, let's say Iggy Azalea was living exclusively in the US. No one would expect her to become an expert on American culture and politics. But, she should have some understanding of where she is and the people around her. If there was another 9/11 style attack on the US next week and Azalea, while living here, only made one tweet that day, and it was, "Taco Tuesday is the best!!!! Going to the Bell, bitches!" you would wonder what the fuck was wrong with her.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:16 AM on December 31, 2014 [14 favorites]


Think_Long: Maybe to the audience, but the best art most certainly comes from whatever cultural/political context that produced the genre and the artist, from Gilgamesh on up.

It comes from context, sure, but not from "respecting the boundaries" or roots or whatever. If fact, art that is considered "great" often comes from breaking boundaries, re-contextualizing, synthesizing and flat-out ignoring the conventions. Especially conventions about who is "allowed" to say or do something. Sometimes the context is valuable in that the work strains against it. 2N2222's point stands.
posted by spaltavian at 7:21 AM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


First rap song to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart... was "Rapture" by Blondie. Debby Harry raps, and name-drops Fab Five Freddy. It stayed there four weeks. This was 1980.

Many people who bring this up in my life seem to think Blondie invented rap music and showed those uppity negroes what's up with that corny ass performance.

With Rap, it went from "Didn't even exist yet" to "Mainstream White Culture" in what? Seven years?

Fuck no. I was 13 when west-coast stuff started blowing up (1993) and rap had already been around for over a decade. White people weren't seriously listening to much of it in a mainstream sense. Cute little exceptions were things like Run DMC / Aerosmith and Chubby Checker and the Fat Boys (made for MTV lols). Puff Daddy in my opinion really brought rap into the Top-40 era where I suddenly saw white girls in the suburbs mouthing rap lyrics.

There's a lot of marketing money in promoting the myth that rap is Black American music, unlike international white music such as jazz and rock and roll and EDM.

Another thing I find is that people who throw the "myth" around a lot tend to have strongly misinformed opinions.
posted by aydeejones at 7:33 AM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


African-American Culture is a thing that a lot of people share in, but we have to remember its roots and what it signifies

....

Mmmm.... No, we don't. We rarely do, regardless, and enjoy the results all the same. Sometimes the best art comes without thinking through the cultural plate of beans, or even disregarding it purposefully.

How nice for you. Hip hop grew up in an oppressive culture and its progenitors are still around to defend it, so they're going to go ahead and try to keep the roots around, and you can dance your ass off or whatever, but those of us who give a shit about where all of this great music keeps coming from will insist that yea, we do have to remember its roots and what it signifies.
posted by aydeejones at 7:37 AM on December 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


(And I know Slap wasn't saying Blondie invented rap and he was being ironic about rock and whatever, but I could pick up on why others were miffed about the reference to blondie, and throw the word "myth" in there, some really dry irony, and you've got the makings of a doin's-a-transpirin')

And yes I think Ms. Banks was basically choosing this moment to pick a fight but it had been on her mind a long time and here was the time. I'm guessing most don't care what Iggy has to say about Ferguson and she probably would've been chuckled at here and there for even mentioning a serious "black issue" from her bubble. Banks might've just replied with "why aren't you there protesting" or keep moving the goalposts if Iggy had anything to say about it.

Banks is a classic "tone argument" case study because she said some real shit and it was about more than the specific person being discussed, but she was emotional enough in the process to get quickly written off.

I watched her interview and she went through all sorts of contortions in front of my white, always observing people speak for weaknesses smug ass -- ruthless and surgically exacting in her takedowns, sloppy and childish when hit with harder follow-up questions from the "music is supposed to be fun!" position, emotional and sympathetic even. Making fun of TI's wife for being "illiterate on TV" but more offended to the point of tears that she's paraded on TV and roundly ridiculed and Banks just knows (as do many or most) that it's a shuck-and-jive look-at-the-uneducated-rich-new-money black woman farce...and sure we have the same thing on all reality TV, "new money" celebrities showing off their "trashy old ways," but it especially hurts when your entire culture is considered "new money" or worthless but the elite.

Iggy had it coming just in general and she can weather it however she wants...I completely ignored her until her SNL performance after seeing her name pop up more and more. I ignore SNL usually but my satellite service was out, so I subjected myself to new SNL and Iggy and you know what, it did feel kind of "black-facey" to me simply knowing she didn't grow up immersed in this shit and has to be affecting it, putting it on, but Iggy just thinks the clothes and affectations are cool and sexy rather than something to maliciously mock, so it's hard for people who like her music to swallow criticism of her. I saw her "freestyle" session on the same radio show Ms. Banks was on (different episode) and was cringing for her so hard. She started singing what was obviously an unreleased song about being a "new bitch" and I don't really care that it wasn't a free style, it was just some cringe-worthy shit that I could take at face value if the girl signing it actually grew up "in the hood" and was stealing black d00ds from other chicks with her sheer badassery.
posted by aydeejones at 8:00 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've always liked Sway. I just kind of wish he wouldn't let her on his show. Not because she's white, but because she's terrible. Her blackvoice routine is tiresome and gross. Also, the Grammy's have been a tone-deaf popularity contest for as long as I can remember.
posted by GrapeApiary at 8:12 AM on December 31, 2014


ArbitraryAndCapricious: "I'm sad to say that I kinda like "Fancy," though,"

Don't worry, there's lots more Charli XCX to listen to that doesn't have Iggy on it making things uncomfortable.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:15 AM on December 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


Just embarrassing. As a white New Yorker who grew up loving hip-hop for what it meant to this city and what it meant as a mode of expression and storytelling and identity for the people who invented and innovated and gave that gift to the world, all I can say is shame on these wack wigger wanna-be's who seem to have no idea of the roots and think it's all about bling-bling and twerking asses in someone's face. Sick to the nth degree.
posted by ReeMonster at 8:21 AM on December 31, 2014


no idea of the roots and think it's all about bling-bling and twerking asses in someone's face

But in the most direct sense (that which enters your ears) music isn't 'about' anything.
posted by colie at 8:29 AM on December 31, 2014


. . . Q.E.D. . . ?
posted by Think_Long at 8:36 AM on December 31, 2014


But in the most direct sense (that which enters your ears) music isn't 'about' anything.

Duh. With two degrees from Juilliard, I should hope I know that music in and of itself is not necessarily "about" anything... Except when it is of course! ::eye roll::

But if ignorant talentless hacks like Iggy had something worthwhile to add to the hip-hop "game" instead of just imitating what they think it's supposed to be, they might be more accepted. I don't care if you're white or black, a shitty pop star/rapper is a shitty pop star/rapper. And don't get it twisted, I think Nicky Minaj is a talentless hack as well. I just think it's especially offensive when someone tries so hard to sound and act like something they aren't.
posted by ReeMonster at 8:38 AM on December 31, 2014


ReeMonster, you said that Iggy (or Minaj) have 'no idea of the roots' and my opinion is that this doesn't matter to an assessment of the quality/inspiration/power or otherwise of their music. The Beatles played American R and B because of the effect it had on their audience, none of whom knew anything about the roots of it.

it's especially offensive when someone tries so hard to sound and act like something they aren't.


As you're a musician I would be really interested to hear what is aurally wrong with Iggy/Minaj rather than their lack of authenticity?
posted by colie at 8:51 AM on December 31, 2014


ReeMonster, you said that Iggy (or Minaj) have 'no idea of the roots'

No, I said "who seem to have no idea".. i.e. they might know who inspired them, they might have been fans of rap and hip-hop growing up, maybe they own every hip-hop record known to man and have done scholarly studies of rap lyrics from decades past, but based on their "workin' on my shiiiiet!" "you a stupid ho!" type of pop-hop songs, that doesn't SEEM to be the case.

As for the Beatles, it was my understanding they were primarily inspired by British rock and roll, and were also big fans of Chuck Berry, American rockabilly, Little Richard, Elvis and many more. They knew what inspired them and those influences appeared in their music; they did plenty of covers in their infancy and copped plenty of riffs, vocal stylings, harmonies etc. from them. I'm not seeing how that compares very well to the topic at hand.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:05 AM on December 31, 2014


No, we don't. We rarely do, regardless, and enjoy the results all the same. Sometimes the best art comes without thinking through the cultural plate of beans, or even disregarding it purposefully.

and

Especially conventions about who is "allowed" to say or do something. Sometimes the context is valuable in that the work strains against it

are you guys talking in general or in this specific case and conversation? because that's some pretty strong support of cultural appropriation, the specific instance which let's not forget is described in this thread as a blackface mothafuckin minstrel show. still ok with what you said or want to put some caveats in there?

talking about art in general as reinvention and everyone steals from everyone and lalala is great and i'm not remotely informed enough to have that philosophical conversation. but the music industry in the US which takes what was (yes, originally) black music and converts it into dollars for white people, well i'm not going to expect IA to be able to see what it is for a long time but here's macklemore talking about how he benefits from that erasing/ignoring of, and hypocrisy towards, black americans (like Banks) who are just trying to do the same thing:

around 00:12:20
macklemore: why am i safe? why can i cuss on a record, have a parental advisory sticker on the cover of my album, yet parents are still like "you're the only rap i let my kids listen to". why can i wear a hoodie and not be labeled a thug? why can i sag my pants and not be a gangbanger? why am i on ellen's couch, why am i on good morning america? if i was black, what would my drug addiction look like?

peter: the nasty past of macklemore

m: it would be twisted into something else, versus like you know "get back on your feet"--

p: --right "there's a warm story, he got himself back"--

m: --exactly. to me the music industry, the privilege that exists in the music industry is just the greater symptom of the privilege that exists in america. there's no difference... people see me, they resonate with me, america is predominately white--

p: there's relatability--

m: --there's relatability. it took a long time for me to get to a point where i was noticed at all, i was an underground rapper for over a decade...

...once we finally got that viral video, it hit. and people were like "aw we love this." and all of a sudden i'm put in this box, the "anti-bling rapper." or "the "same love" guy who's all for equality, like this is the first time we've heard any rapper talk about equality, wowww he's a hero." i got put in that hero box. and i think that when that happens it's because of privilege... white privilege is what i'm talking about.
if you want to ignore that and enjoy your music, go ahead, but don't say you're not doing anything by ignoring that conversation-- definitely don't ever say people are overthinking their beans by having that conversation around you. i enjoy my top40s radio fairly guilt free, and, while i just found out about IA and see now that omg THAT SONG I LIKE IS A WHITE WOMAN WITH A GROSS DAMN NEAR BLACKFACE VIDEO AND HER GROSS TWEETS AND COMPLETE DENIAL AND AND AND-- i'ma still listen to it probably. so that's ok in my mind and at least as excusable as every other not-necessarily-great choice i make in life.

but you can't have an honest conversation about who makes it into the public eye, who is successful, who is rewarded, who is ignored, who has skills, who still gets called a fucking thug-- this is what cultural appropriation looks like. this is why Banks is fucking sobbing in parts of that interview. it hurts like the dickens to have someone be able to say "fuck you, got mine. well, actually, it was yours at first. but who can even keep track anymore? i'm just trying to listen to/make music!" and to know you can't do a damn thing about it.
posted by twist my arm at 9:22 AM on December 31, 2014 [6 favorites]


ReeMonster: All I meant was that musical styles are by their nature free to mutate and roam around totally independently of their roots and of the intentions of their disseminators, particularly since recording technology replaced oral traditions.

It's not a profound observation but I enjoy hearing the views of musicians on what makes a song work and why it becomes part of this kind of dialogue with other musicians. The answers don't always have to rely on the personal characteristics or politics of the singer/rapper. The people who work in the highly competitive world of studios/pop production have to engage with this idea every day.
posted by colie at 9:25 AM on December 31, 2014


Total tangent to thread topic:

It's not a profound observation but I enjoy hearing the views of musicians on what makes a song work and why it becomes part of this kind of dialogue with other musicians.

Answers to your questions fill the conversations and thoughts of most people who create musical art, and fall about equally into categories loosely labelled 'here are some objective, compositional reasons why a good pop song (or whatever) works,' and 'we have no idea why some things really resonate and others don't...we can figure some reasons out in hindsight, but those often don't apply going forward.'

That's why, despite the ongoing efforts of the multi-billion dollar businesses built around it, creative work can not rely on formulas for long, and artists often have no idea whether or not their work will be liked at all. The best you can do is make shit you like and put it out there. Which is a very personal thing, which is why the whole subject of this thread comes up: creative work is very personal to those who love it and those who make it, especially when it is part of or has its origins in a larger sense of identity, or struggle, or etc. When an artist simply imitates those hard-won sources of creative work, it can be offensive. And boring, honestly.

I guess this sort of ended up being on topic after all. Huh.

posted by LooseFilter at 10:38 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


Offensive can sometimes be good. Boring is always bad. But, offensive, boring, AND bad? That's Igloo for ya.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:56 AM on December 31, 2014


the problem with Iggy isn't her whiteness, it's that she's a vocal minstrel show. Folk like Action Bronson or Despot, who both hail from Queens and rap in the same manner as they talk, don't seem to get many accusations of cultural appropriation. But Iggy raps in a faux-black patois that would be insanely offensive if a white person did it on the street (does she?)
posted by Bookhouse at 11:01 AM on December 31, 2014 [8 favorites]


are you guys talking in general or in this specific case and conversation? because that's some pretty strong support of cultural appropriation, the specific instance which let's not forget is described in this thread as a blackface mothafuckin minstrel show. still ok with what you said or want to put some caveats in there?

I am talking in reference to the comment I quoted. The problem with this specific case would be that it's a "blackface mothafuckin minstrel show": the mocking, denigrating and debasing of the culture of an oppressed minority and the participants in said culture. The problem would not be, in my view, that it's cultural appropriation, a concept of which I am dubious but not dismissive.

This is the same conversation from the meditation FPP a while back, where some claimed that Westerners using mediation techniques were cultural appropriators unless as part of total Buddhist spiritual practice. I see a distinction between a non-Buddhist using Buddhist mediation techniques sincerely in an effort to achieve mental health benefits and say, someone wearing monk robes for a costume because they think they look goofy, or doing fake rhythmic chanting as a joke. I don't think the first case is cultural appropriation, or if it is, entirely innocuous and not harmful. In the second case, the question of cultural appropriation seems irrelevant when it's unambiguously disrespectful.

Similarly, I see a difference between someone wanted to make music in a genre outside their life experience (even if executed awkwardly) and someone who is reducing rap to some mocking take on "thug life" of whatever. If Azalea is doing the former, that's the problem in my eyes; not that she isn't properly contextualizing her work or properly sourced.
posted by spaltavian at 11:02 AM on December 31, 2014


'here are some objective, compositional reasons why a good pop song works,' and 'we have no idea why some things really resonate and others don't

What it is that makes a good pop song, or a revered rap connoisseur classic, is a very fast moving target. In addition, pop/rap is an art form (unlike say painting) that includes speech and language as part of its effects, so things get more complicated. Even before we put in the putative personality of the artist (which got thrown out of literary criticism decades ago).

But there are attempts to understand the way these things work, and we can help make it happen on here , people (have started drinking for new year now).
posted by colie at 11:02 AM on December 31, 2014


Just noticed an error in the last sentence of my previous post. It should read:

If Azalea is doing the latter, that's the problem in my eyes; not that she isn't properly contextualizing her work or properly sourced.
posted by spaltavian at 11:34 AM on December 31, 2014


shame on these wack wigger wanna-be's

That's really not a word that is okay to use. I can see what you are trying to convey, but the easily spotted root word is one of the shittiest racial slurs in the english language. Isn't there some better way to say what you mean there?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:34 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


I feel really out of touch now because while I discovered Angel Haze and Iggy at the same time via pandora or Spotify or something. However, I had no idea iggy was white and Australian. I feel gross for liking Fancy now.

Angel Haze is like really good tho.
posted by sio42 at 11:46 AM on December 31, 2014


That's really not a word that is okay to use. I can see what you are trying to convey, but the easily spotted root word is one of the shittiest racial slurs in the english language. Isn't there some better way to say what you mean there?

In my experience it's a word that's been used by POC (blacks) I know as a descriptor of a white person who is acting stereotypically black or doing a really uncool job of appropriating speech and dress that derives from most urban black culture. Like around here which is rural white farmville, the most guys who wear their pants down to their knees and act all 'gansta'.

Not defending the word persay, I don't use it only that it's use is seems to be a complex and cultural turning around the meaning of the root word in a way that's commenting on white cultural appropriation. When I've heard my friends use it, it was in a sarcastic humor sort of way and was always pretty durn funny because the people called that are like these weird cartoon caractures.

Now that I think about it, the whole old timey mistral show comparison fit with my experience of his use. Those people would be called it.

I dunno, I guess it depends on context and who is using it. Even though I was shocked the first time I came across it after I understood more of what it was about I couldn't get fussed about it.
posted by Jalliah at 1:18 PM on December 31, 2014


There has never been a really innovative white rapper.

Rapper, maybe (I have my doubts, but nobody's popping right into my head, either) (Upon further reflection, I think a case could be made for Aesop Rock, Slug, at least one Beastie Boy and a player to be named later (it might not be a case that would persuade every hip-hop head in the world, but you could at least make a good-faith argument)).

Rap musician? I respectfully disagree. El-P, DJ Swamp, Shadow, RJD2, Mr. Dibbs--trust me when I say I could easily go on. And rap producer? That's the easiest one yet.
posted by box at 2:04 PM on December 31, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm just of the opinion that if there's a really horrible racial slur none of us would say, probably we shouldn't use portmanteaus built from it either.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:57 PM on December 31, 2014 [7 favorites]


Iggy Azalea Tops Google's 2014 Trending Music Artists List.
She became the only artist since the Beatles in 1964 to achieve the feat of having her first two Hot 100 hits rank at number one and two simultaneously on the chart, according to Billboard. Closing the year, Azalea was ranked number one on Billboard’s Top New Artists year-end chart and is a Grammy contender for Record of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Rap Album."
Holy crap, wtf.
posted by argonauta at 3:18 PM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


the problem with Iggy isn't her whiteness, it's that she's a vocal minstrel show.

Yep. There was point where J Lo almost made the same mistake but apparently she listened when Black people told her to cut it out. One hopes Iggy will eventually come to the same realization but it seems there's too much money to made on this year's version of a female, hip-hop Elvis.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:51 PM on December 31, 2014


Please stop bringing Elvis into this. He's not a good parallel to Iggy, just as the early rock n' rollers aren't a good parallel for white rappers. It's a lazy comparison fed by wrongheaded myths accepted as fact and ignorance of the complexities of American folk music in general. I've really tried to keep my mouth shut when people yanked on that thread here, because I didn't want to derail, but suffice to say, the genesis of rock n' roll is a topic that has literally fueled reams of debate and is at the very last, whatever side you come down on, too complicated to sum up in a couple of snotty asides in this conversation.

If anyone is just hellbent on debating Elvis and early rock n' roll or doesn't understand my perturbation at this, go ahead and MeMail me.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:03 PM on December 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


colie: I agree that Iggy is pretty annoying but the best response to her might be just to make better music than her, and get paid for your stuff -
The best response to racial insensitivity is never, ever just to ignore it and just hope to out-earn those people.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:34 PM on December 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


You guys think this is bad? You should listen to some Japanese rap....

the Teriyaki Boys weren't half bad. They had DJ Premier, Just Blaze, Kanye West, Daft Punk, and Dan The Automator doing production. Ryo-z is a cool guy, too. I met him before I knew who he was because I used to hang out at this local izakaya his old high school friends ran/hung out at. Rip Slyme was not my thing but Teriyaki Boys is alright and I heard a decent amount of good japanese hip hop while I lived there
posted by Hoopo at 10:54 PM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


DirtyOldTown: arallel to Iggy, just as the early rock n' rollers aren't a good parallel for white rappers. It's a lazy comparison fed by wrongheaded myths accepted as fact and ignorance of the complexities of American folk music in general.
Also, Elvis had about 10 megaIggyAzaleas in talent.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:48 PM on December 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


Thanks, hoopo, I was going to mention that. There is some pretty good Japanese rap out there, just like there's some excellent rap in China, France, and a ton of other countries, languages, and cultures. There is, of course, crap too.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:04 AM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


She took her stage name from the name of her childhood dog, Iggy, and the street she grew up on, Azalea Street

o_O I don't know what the formula is supposed to be for coming up with popstar names, but this method is supposed to be for something elses....
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:33 AM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


"She became the only artist since the Beatles in 1964 to achieve the feat of having her first two Hot 100 hits rank at number one and two simultaneously on the chart, according to Billboard. Closing the year, Azalea was ranked number one on Billboard’s Top New Artists year-end chart and is a Grammy contender for Record of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Rap Album.
Holy crap, wtf."

*This*, along with her previous offensive comments, adopted blaccent and negligible bonafides, is what people are annoyed by - it's not just about her being white, as much as she'd like people to think it is. Eminem & the Beastie Boys were just as white, and there wasn't this kind of backlash when they made it big. Paul Wall is a white man from the South who raps in the style that's common to that region, and people are fine with it - rap stations play his music, his fans are fans of other "Dirty South" acts, etc. She's Vanilla Ice all over again, and a lot of unwarranted accolades will be bestowed on her before it's over, because her image sells records to people who would *never* consider listening to Trina for reasons.
posted by Selena777 at 4:02 PM on January 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


It could be worse - Iggy Azalea could be rapping like a lot of other Australian hip hop artists in an exaggerated Australian strine about being unemployed, living on the Central Coast, driving a V8 and drinking VB. Oh and partying every night.

Yeah, it is kind of that bad down here. Australian hip hop is mostly generally regrettable.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 10:07 PM on January 1, 2015


Isn't Iggy pretty much pop music? Yeah, pop music is an all-devouring monster and will incorporate anything, so pop music sounds a bit more hip hop and a bit more electronic these days. I don't know, hard to hear her as a rapper so much as a pop star.
posted by GoblinHoney at 10:43 PM on January 1, 2015


And don't get it twisted, I think Nicky Minaj is a talentless hack as well.

"talentless hack" seems a little unfair even if her music isn't your cup of tea
posted by Gymnopedist at 12:05 PM on January 2, 2015


Yeah, I don't really fuck with her pop stuff, but Minaj is a very good emcee who, by all indications, is aware of and appreciates the roots of hip-hop.
posted by box at 12:13 PM on January 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


> but it's worth actually reading her "apology."

I guess that "apology" predated a lot of the discussion about appropriation but the final line of IG's letter to the world is REALLY gross:

As one of my lovely azaleans said last week: we are the prototype and far beyond the stereotype.

wtf?
posted by torticat at 12:30 PM on January 2, 2015


In sort-of-related news, Iggy Azalea just announced on Twitter that she has TMJ disorder (that is, trouble with the joint of her jaw.) Doesn't sound like it's super-serious, but it's a thing I guess. More here.
posted by koeselitz at 2:15 PM on January 2, 2015


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