23 Dec Iggy Azalea vs. Hip-hop (Turn on Something Else)
What’s wrong with our generation– to save the breathe and ultimate interest of you reading our blog continuously, I will save the lecture about what’s wrong with music today. However, I will dive ass first into the bee-bopping story that is Iggy Azalea’s fight with the hip-hop industry.
The blonde Australian jumped to the top of the pop charts rapping in a jarring imitation of a rapper from the American South over a fake version of a DJ Mustard beat earlier this year, and it’s propelled her to superstardom. At once an intruder in hip-hop’s house and a student of its every dropped “g,” Iggy personified audacity, a bull switching into a china shop built on a fault line. Last week, when Ebro Darden conducted an interview with Azealia Banks on Hot 97, shit hit the fan in pop-star fashion.
As soon as Iggy landed a spot on the highly respected XXL Freshman List, Azealia Banks called Iggy out on Twitter, citing Iggy’s lyrics about being a “runaway slave master,” which had received blowback– I mean do I have to explain why there was blowback? Turns out this was only one of many “not-so-well-thought-out” tweets and opinions.
The Twitter beef tumbled hard, picking up traction across blog news platforms and other media outlets. The weird thing was that neither artist was particularly like within hip-hop; neither made music that had much of a popular profile in the U.S. Both created spindly hip-house and rapped with unconventional accents, which, despite the cosigns, only really found traction in the U.K. and on hip coastal dance floors. So, they both suck, so why are we talking about it?
Because hip-hop is my fucking life, and this exposure is a disgrace to those who came before us: J Dilla, The Beastie Boys, and many more.
After the Twitter beef, along came “Fancy”, the DJ Mustard track. It was like none of it ever happened as people latched on once again like suckling barnacles on a rusty ass ship. At Gawker, Rich Juzwiak argued Iggy was rap’s “best drag queen,” that to complement her conceptual focus on “work” and grinding, Iggy’s voice was always in a state of effort: “‘realness’ within drag contains within it an awareness of its own inattainability—realness is not so much about how convincing you are, it’s about how convincing you are within your limitations.” Bullshit bullshit bullshit.
From there, Azealia went back to Hot97 and voiced her opinion once again, and even Q-Tip, Solange Knowles, and Tyler, the Creator got involved. At this point, the word is a ton of blurry babble about who’s right and wrong, and just like every other issue in our country, we fail to see the bigger picture that is coming together for a resolution.
Hip-hop can keep going how it is. It can become this flashy drowned out genre in which it’s respective artists win Grammys they don’t deserve or landing XXL Freshman spots they shouldn’t come close to. It can all be that way, but I very well have my own opinion in saying, “FUCK THAT.”
There’s only one hip-hop in my eyes. A beat, a scratch, and lyrics. It was born out of poetry, not glamour. You think Pete Rock was shaking his ass on stage hoping the next big thing was a visit to his tumblr? Fuck no. And if we the people (as in, hip-hop heads) can’t realize just how dangerous a level our genre is getting to, then it will die at the hands of the controller: us. Turn off your Iggys, your Chief Keefs, your Young Thugs. Turn on Dilla, turn on Jurassic 5, turn on Logic, turn on Flying Lotus, turn on the man or woman who inspires you through the rhymes or productions they die over. That is the key to this revival,