Let me begin by saying I am not here for Iggy Azalea or any other culture vultures. White people have a long, storied history of ridiculing Black people and our art. Then one or two or 10 of them will copy said art and suddenly it’s “new” and “edgy”. And profitable. A white artist making Black art gains fame, money, and other markers of success faster and in more abundance than the Black originators could imagine. And often with less talent.
Despite receiving very valid critiques from Black legends of the genre she’s chosen to mimic, Iggy refuses to have a MODICUM of respect for their legacy or experience. She WILL NOT listen to what is being said or consider whether it has worth. She dismisses it out of hand and makes herself a victim, or pretends that she is just “being herself”.
She is not being herself. Her self is Australian. Her self has an Australian accent. Yet when she raps she copies the voice of a southern Black woman. Really? You’re being yourself when you mimic our voice and phrases? When talking about a life that you have NEVER lived? That’s being yourself?
You are profiting from attributes natural to many Black women. Black women are held in the lowest regard for speaking, looking, and acting the way they do. You are a gimmick. You gleefully pick and choose the parts of our being and our hip hop culture that YOU enjoy and use those for your own gain. You don’t care about any of the issues that effect us, or about the way your caricature affects us. And in a few years, when you tire of putting on this act of Blackness, you will throw it aside and continue reaping all the benefits of your whiteness. Black women can chance the way we speak, look, and behave but we can not change the Blackness that is the root of our oppression.
Recently this woman had the unmitigated gall to disregard the thoughtful criticisms of our Ladies Eve and Jill Scott. Bish what? With all the ways you are stealing from us, you have the nerve to reduce our innovators to merely “haters” who are “jealous”? No one is stereotyping you! You are stereotyping US! When ANYONE dares to criticize you, you have Black men everywhere, especially TI, coming to your defense. At the same time they defend you and your right to do what you do, they denigrate Black women without hesitation and to resounding applause. We’re stereotyping you! Tuh! By asking that when you “perform” you do it with your own voice. Girl, Bye!
Miley Cyrus tried on Blackness for a while as a way to separate herself from her child star image. Thankfully, she has moved on. I’ll be relieved when Iggy does the same.