Iggy Azalea and white rappers

SALIL CHAUDHRY

Over the past year, Iggy Azalea has been ripped to shreds. Hip hop and rap fans have made fun of her, laughed at her, and examined her. Memes have spread across the internet and we’ve even witnessed a Vine of her falling off stage. Why has all recent hate been centered on Iggy? It’s a question that can’t fully be answered, but it is a topic that should be discussed. Iggy Azalea is an Australian rapper and songwriter who rose to fame in early 2012. In 2006, she moved to America at the age of 16 and slowly worked her way to a major record deal. She rose from literally nothing, bouncing around from Houston to Atlanta and finally to L.A. She eventually made a breakthrough and the rest is history. You must give her credit. In 6 years, she rose from no name to big name.

People attack the color of her skin. Yes, she is a white rapper. But it is so incredibly wrong to judge a person’s musical ability based on their skin color. Eminem, The Beastie Boys, Mac Miller, Action Bronson, Hoodie Allen. Each and every one of these rappers, music talent aside, have made it big. No matter if you like them or not, they are successful big-name rappers in the industry. Nobody questions these rappers and their color. Yet Iggy is singled out from the rest and she is targeted.

Iggy is picked apart for the content in her songs. Over the past couple of months, I have heard numerous radio stations and websites criticize Iggy for not discussing black culture in her music. I do agree that hip hop and rap are symbolic in the black community. These genres have served as platforms for blacks to describe and depict their struggles within society. Beginning in the 90s, with the famous NWA, blacks have been able depict gang violence, drugs and racism vividly through rap and hip hop. Rappers such as Nas and Kendrick Lamar have exemplified this type of expression.  These genres are truly revolutionary and special, yet, when Iggy raps about something that doesn’t regard black culture, she is criticized. Numerous rappers have existed that rapped about non-street culture topics. Eminem has rapped about his personal struggles. Hoodie Allen has rapped about laid-back partying. But, when Iggy gets on the mic, the entire hip hop community goes haywire. Why? She is held to a double standard.Yes, she rants on Twitter. She is sometimes rude, and tends to ridicule strangers and critics alike. Many celebrities abuse social media, not just Iggy. I don’t condone this behavior, but Iggy shouldn’t be held under a microscope when celebrities like Amber Rose and Kanye do the same.

I want to establish that I don’t really enjoy Iggy’s music. Correction: I don’t like her music at all. Compared to the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Kanye or J. Cole, she is an amateur. But, I do think it’s unfair how an artist in today’s modern music industry is being held to a double standard, specifically because of her skin color and even gender. The big name rappers I have listed are all men. Iggy is pinned against a wall. She is a white female trying to make it in a genre dominated by black males. Yes, we all know Nicki Minaj has done well, but can you name another female rapper? So cut Iggy some slack. Her rise to fame has impressed me. There’s no need to be racist or sexist. Let Iggy express herself.  You don’t have to be a fan of her music. I am not one. But you need to realize that she is free to express herself musically as she wants and there is no reason to destroy her character because of it. Yes, she can’t freestyle compared to Logic, and she doesn’t have the best flow, but at least show her some respect, just as you did with Mac Miller, Hoodie Allen and most of all, Eminem.

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