It’s 2016 and the Iggy Azalea / Azealia Banks feud continues.
In a new interview published in Elle Canada, Iggy opened up about 2015 and shares her perspective on her strained relationship with the hip-hop community.
Okay, so let’s really look at 2015. You grew up loving hip hop and rap, and you now get to participate in this community—
“Kind of…it depends on who you talk to.”
Well, you get to express yourself through rap. But for the majority of 2015, your relationship with the hip-hop community was incredibly fraught—how do you feel about this?
“So many people think that I don’t care about rap music and the community, but I absolutely care about it, to the core of my being. That’s why the Q-Tip incident annoyed me so much: Why do you think I need a history lesson? Because surely if I did know anything about hip hop, I wouldn’t mix pop and rap together? Or I wouldn’t rap in an American accent if I truly understood? I just have a different perspective about rap music. I love learning about hip hop, I love reading about it and I actually love having debates with other people about it.”
Do you think there is any validity to the criticisms that have been levelled against you?
“Yes and no. Do you not like me because I rap with an American accent and I’m not American? Well, that’s valid on some level because that’s your opinion and I can’t change that. But I’m not trying to sound black—I just grew up in a country where on TV and in music and film, everyone was American or any Australian person in them put on an American accent. So I never saw it as strange at all. And I think it’s hard for Americans to understand this because, when you look at the entertainment industry, American culture is the dominating culture across the globe. A lot of people say ‘Imagine if someone rapped with a fake Australian accent.’ Well, okay, but you don’t turn on the TV and hear American people with fake Australian accents, so I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. I grew up watching Nicole Kidman speaking with an American accent in every movie. Even Keith Urban sings with an American country accent. And that’s just what you have to do to make it in this industry and be accepted. It’s what I heard and it’s what I saw, so how can you not understand that that would be influential for me?”
But you understand why some people in the hip-hop community might find it problematic?
“Of course. It’s black culture and black music, so it becomes a racial conversation—versus Keith Urban, who is making country music, which is considered white. It becomes a very muddy area. And it became especially difficult in 2015. The United States has such a fraught history with race, and I don’t think I realized how prevalent racism still is and how hurt people still are until I moved here and saw it for myself. As I was growing up in Australia, it was easy to think ‘Well, that was then and obviously it’s not like that now.’ It’s not something you can understand when you’re on the other side of the world. But many people think I still live in that bubble and that I don’t understand that the United States is set up in a way that doesn’t benefit minorities. I’ve lived here for 10 years now, and I don’t want it to be that way either. I’m marrying a black man, and my children will be half black—of course I care about these things. And I understand if you’re not comfortable that I rap with an American accent, and you are totally entitled to your own opinions, but you don’t have to listen to my music. I’m still going to keep making music.”
Are you looking for acceptance from the hip-hop community?
“Certain people who don’t like me think that I don’t love rap music, but I love rap music. I love it like it’s my fucking husband…. I think a lot of people in hip hop have a tough time finding something in common with me. At least white [and black] male rappers both have dicks and they’re American. But for me, I’m a white woman from Australia. I get it, but I think we have a lot more in common than they think.”
Iggy also referenced Azealia Banks in her explanation as to why she would like to erase most of 2015 from her memory.
If you could redo anything from 2015, would you?
“Umm, yeah…of course. If I could, I would Men in Black memory-erase 2015, I totally would—that would be amazing! Oh, God, there are so many things. I think the Azealia Banks thing is what really started it all. We don’t like each other on a personal level, and that has gone on for many years—before the Black Lives Matter incident happened. So when I dismissed her, people started to think that I dismissed the whole movement, but I wasn’t trying to dismiss Black Lives Matter—I was trying to dismiss her because it’s our personal shit. I don’t think the subject matter of her tweet was invalid; I just think it was emotionally charged and driven by something else, and the whole thing got so misconstrued. I just wish I had acknowledged the issue head-on because it made people think I don’t care about what’s going on socially and what’s happening in America, and I do care. Even though I still hate Azealia Banks, I wish I had said it in a way that didn’t make people think I was oblivious to the movement. And I wish I hadn’t gotten into a fight with Papa John’s!”
Azealia wasn’t feeling those comments and took to Twitter to speak her mind — and to release a new song called “Used to Being Alone” that samples the SAME song Iggy used for her song “My World.”
If we’re being completely fair, we’d have to say that Iggy’s interview didn’t come off as malicious or even ignorant. Maybe this time away from social media has done Iggy some good.
Get into Azealia Banks’ song below.