Some of rap history’s biggest sellers, from Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross to Nelly, Pitbull, and Flo Rida have all had their rap (and street) credibility questioned at one point in their careers. None listed, however, were rebuked with the intensity of criticism like that aimed at Iggy Azalea.
From barely a buzz to a bulls-eye, she went from obscurity to enemy #1 in just a year.
Besides the unique position of being a white female emcee from Australia who rapped with a southern U.S. accent, not much else surrounded the newcomer’s name initially. In fact, this time last year she seemed poised to take rank with the many other unsung female rappers trying to find a place in the male-dominated game.
Despite backing from one of the genre’s frontrunners (T.I.) and a number of well-prepared videos to boot, success would not knock on the rapstress’s door until the unveiling of the pop-cloaked number ‘Fancy’ and its ‘Clueless’-themed music video. In conjunction with a timely “assistant role” on rising pop starlet Ariana Grande‘s hit ‘Problem,’ Iggy, seemingly out of nowhere, was thrust to the top of mainstream music consciousness.
Undoubtedly a dream come true for any female rapper, especially a Caucasian one traipsing a path so many before her had failed (see: Sarai, Kreayshawn), that dream would prove itself a nightmare as all but the very genre she pursued would openly embrace her.
Has “winning” caused Iggy to lose hip hop’s respect?
From ‘Playboy’ magazine labeling her the “modern day Vanilla Ice” to longtime nemesis Azealia Banks slamming her on the regular, Azalea has found foes in some of hip hop’s heaviest hitters (see: Eminem, J. Cole, Snoop Dogg, & Nicki Minaj). Scrutinizing everything from her image to her performance style, no aspect of her being has been greeted without reconnaissance since she found commercial success with a bevy of hits and critical success from academies granting her mention on their award tallies.
What is the root of this distaste for one of the year’s biggest artists?
Her content, while not the greatest, is no less
trash devoid of artistic value than most of her competitors’ – especially amongst fellow “pop-rappers” Pitbull and Flo Rida who rely on a similar formula for hits. While her image and credibility are no more contrived than most of her praised competitors, her sonic approach (be it authentic or not) steps on no less toes than the Elvis Presleys, Justin Timberlakes, Robin Thickes, Fergies, Sam Smiths, and, dare we say it, Eminems of music history.
Don’t get us wrong; we’re not saying that Iggy is completely underserving of some of the criticisms pitched her way. But, we’re just curious of three things:
- Why is she any more deserving of hate than some of her white counterparts who have also allegedly “misappropriated Black culture”?
- Why aren’t acts of color who’ve dared to venture into non-Urban musical territory not as condemned for “inauthenticity”?
- Lastly, why did most wait until she was successful to launch these incessant attacks?
Let us tell it, she’s the same
disingenuous Iggy she’s always been. Yep, long before she dared to utter the words, “First thing’s first…I’m the realest.”