By William J. Jackson
I haven’t had a lot to say about Iggy Azalea because I’m not skilled in communicating on the topic of cultural appropriation.
I do, however, see plenty of folks who are getting that message out and shared around quite well.
What I will focus on is the parallel with public discussions on partisan politics from within the culture of hip hop.
The first thing that folks need to know is that Iggy is not a part of hip hop.
Now that might seem like an easy thing to say, but let me make sure you know what I mean.
When I say she is not a part of hip hop. I mean, she didn’t have to earn her name. She didn’t have to earn credibility. She’s never had to compete in unorganized guerrilla style emcee battles. She didn’t even have to go through the organized battle system. She came from outside of the culture and went straight to the corporate land.
She isn’t even one of the homies that kicked it around T.I.’s neighborhood and got put on in good faith. She truly does represent pure capitalism with zero integrity.
She doesn’t respect the culture because she isn’t in it for the culture.
She’s a worker doing a job.
What makes this as clear as possible is the fact that she refuses to battle.
She will go on twitter.
She will talk trash in an interview.
She will let the centrists and others who are outside of the culture speak for her.
So what is the next logical move???
Step to her defenders.
What the Emcees/Rappers need to do is flex on Nas. Flex on Will-I-Am. Flex on T.I. Flex on Lupe and any other rapper who knows better for not making her battle and earn her name.
And go hard.
Don’t let up.
If you think you’re going to far then haven’t gone far enough.
You step to the centrists.
Just as producers of independent political media have learned that they need to argue against David Gregory, David Brooks, Luke Russert and Chuck Todd.
You argue against them because they are the big voices saying that Sarah Palin is exactly like Alan Grayson.
They say that Steve King is exactly like Bernie Sanders.
They say that Michelle Bachmann is exactly like Elizabeth Warren.
They push the idea that “both sides do it”.
We know better. We know that both sides didn’t want to shut the government down.
We know that both sides aren’t trying to make it so less people vote.
We know that both sides don’t exhibit the same ethnic and gender diversity.
Put that next to the situation with Iggy.
You have to argue against Wendy Williams, Lil’ Bow Wow, Toure’ and anybody else in the mainstream that say’s Iggy’s dope.
As long as Iggy is going to sit on the top floor of her building and refuse to actually engage in the culture that she’s exploiting then I say take out the foundation that holds her up.
Because we know better.
We know that Iggy can’t stand on the stage and freestyle battle against Banks.
We know that Iggy didn’t come up purely off of rhyme skills and at times outshine her male counterparts like The Lady Of Rage.
We know that Iggy won’t use her platform to argue progressive gender politics like Queen Latifa, or Salt n’ Pepa.
So, I say STOP.
Stop tweeting at Iggy.
Stop trying to call her out.
Go after the folks who disingenuously hold her up next to actual hip hoppers in the hideous light of false equivalency.
She’s not one of us and it’s time to go after the folks who have the platform and use it to lie and say she is.