Things I Dislike: Iggy Azalea
There has been much debate over the legitimacy of Iggy Azalea over the past two years, and I’ve had plenty of time to sit and think about her legitimacy and respectability as an artist. I admit that I enjoy a good portion of her music, but also do admit that it is not very good. I am a person who is a sucker for a good beat and catchy lyrics. If I can strut around my house (or the sidewalk) lip-syncing ferociously to something, then I’m instantly sold. However, the ability of a song to make me do that does not cloud my judgment, and my ability to see through it as a terrible commercialized capitalistic product.
Explicit, but I actually love this song. Video is a mess – but I love this song.
Our good old friend from down under, Amethyst Amelia Kelly (Iggy Azalea) is a sad, yet highly successful product of the capitalist consumer-driven market. Although she may claim that she grew up listening to hip-hop and was influenced by it in her youth (which I do not doubt) I do not entirely believe that this is the entire story. I do believe that she has a great admiration and respect for rapping and hip-hop, as a product, but she is clearly unaware of the historical significance of hip hop as a culture. In my opinion, she just wanted to be famous, which I can respect. The hip-upmarket just happened to be a successful business venture for her. If she truly aspired to be a rapper, and dint care about the fame, she would not have allowed for her thankfully short lived singing career to have occurred.
She is a foreigner, and although American influence undoubtedly permeates other cultures across the globe, the intricacies and deeper knowledge of how our society functions is not entirely known. It is improper and offensive for Azalea to have made it this far being marketed as a legitimate contributor to hip-hop culture, when she has no knowledge of the political and historical roots of the culture she has “adopted”. I do not believe that she intended in any way to be disrespectful to the culture, she is just highly uneducated, which is not entirely her fault. I think that a lot of her hip hop knowledge should have been taught to her by her mentor T.I. He should not have allowed for her to be continuously marketed as a legitimate rapper, when she has no education of it’s background, and she writes none of her own rhymes (he writes most of them for her). I attribute a lot of the blame to T.I for leaving her so unprepared for the world of scrutiny that she was bound to endure after her first big break.
I think most people would have a lot more respect for Azalea if she would stop trying to be marketed as a rapper, and a legitimate contributor to hip hop. If she were to be marketed as a generic commercialized pop artist with an “urban” influence, then people would still be put off by her, but they would not be bashing her as much for being fraudulent.