Just recently journalist Peter Bailey interviewed Raekwon on his BornDay (Happy Belated to the God). The interview consisted of an array of topics but there was one subject that stood out in particular, IGGY AZALEA. As if the woman hasn’t gotten enough attention during the previous year…here we go again. In the interview, Raekwon speaks on Iggy’s talent and how he believes that the hate is based on her Australian origin, her skin color and her looks. He even goes as to far as to say that “she is talented…..in her form”.
Personally, I feel as though that “in her form” clarification is his way of saying that what she does is seperate from what Rae and others are doing….but wait…aren’t they all rappers??!! No matter how anyone feels about Iggy, one must admit that she is good at what she does. In my opinion, what she does best is acting. She is playing a role and she is working that role with Oscar worthy intensity. When Rae said that people don’t like her because she is from Austalia, I don’t believe he was 100% on point. Her being from Australia can be and plus in many ways. For one, it automatically broadens her market and adds a certain uniqueness to her overall appeal.
The problem for many people is that she does not tap into that uniqueness as much as she should. If one was to have never seen her they would think that she was a Black women from Down South not Down Under and that is where the issue lies. Her image is sexy and very much in season, but it relies heavily on mimicking the stereotypes that Black female artists have to deal with each and every day. I call it mimicking because if one were to check out one of her interviews it would obvious that she is probably an intelligent and cool lady.
The fact that her actual personality isn’t conveyed in her music is what listeners can’t get with. I for one don’t care if she raps in an Australian accent (though it might be kinda sexy) just as long as she tells me HER story through her lyrics. I’m not going to claim that I have ciphered all of her material, but from what I heard there are only a hand full of songs that I feel she is giving me the REAL her. Raekwon called her talented, but I am really curious as to what he believes her talent is. She doesn’t sing (which is more valuable than being able to freestyle nowadays). She is not known for her dance moves and it hasn’t been fully confirmed if she writes all of her own material. With those negatives in mind, I would love to get more clarification from The Chef as to what she undeniably brings to the table, musically. Talent is born naturally and skill is learned. Due to her blatant emulation of what one would call “ratchet” Black woman behavior, the latter seems more fitting.
I can see where Raekwon is coming from in terms of his “Hip Hop Is International” viewpoint. I just don’t believe that the viewpoints of Iggy’s naysayers should be dismissed as jealousy and racism. Authenticity is the big word in this situation. Sure, there are a bunch of inauthentic Black rappers out there, but that isn’t the point because they get their just criticism as well. Iggy had the opportunity to bring listeners into her world and give American Hip Hop a real culture lesson. The fact that she chose the conformist way out is the biggest disappointment.
If you are in search of a dope female emcee from Australia, be sure to go and check out @EmpressMC …. Sydney Stand Up!!!