Iggy Azalea is a huge star, and she has been for a couple of years now. The small town, strawberry bond Australian chick with the thick booty who raps in a fake Southern Black accent charted simultaneously at the number one and number two spots with her first two hits on the Billboard Hot 100 back in May. The only artists in the history of the chart who can make the same claim are The Beatles and Ashanti. So people seem to like her music, a lot.
Nonetheless, many are questioning whether the girl who grew up in a tiny and quiet farming community in the land down under who raps “I kill pride/I hurt feelings/click clack bang bang/ We in da murda business” is for real.
There’s also a “Piggy Azalea” page that’s dedicated solely to taking the Aussie down a notch. For sure, the fact that Azalea’s a white female rapper means she, like other white female rappers, has the odds stacked against her. Nonetheless, the “haters” out there would contend that it has nothing to do with her race or gender. Instead, they would say it’s the fact that she’s trying so hard to be something she’s not—and what’s with the fake voice?
Exactly! That’s what I’d love to hear, you see? Because Hip Hop embraces authenticity, and it allows -when you’re authentic- (for) you to bring people into your world… I pretty much already know the lifestyle of sisters here in America, and I don’t need a white girl from Australia to come in here and pretend like she knows it, and try to tell me some shit.
Tell me about your life in Australia! That’s what I don’t know about. You know what I mean? I don’t know about the hardships of a white girl who loves hip hop, who is in a place that she might feel is stifling to her. I don’t know that. Bring me into that world. And do it authentically, in your real fucking voice! You know what I mean?
Hip hop and rap is all about “keeping it real”. Everybody knows that it’s a style of music and culture that was originated in the inner city by African Americans. Anybody who has different ancestry has had to work a little harder, and be a little bit better than the norm, in order to be respected.
Nonetheless, today anybody can rock the mic if they’ve got skills. Eminem broke through because he could rap his ass off. It didn’t matter that he was a white dude. However, can they same be said about Iggy Azalea?
From Mullumbimby to Miami
Born Amethyst Amelia Kelly, Iggy Azalea left her home town of Mullumbimby when she was 16 and travelled to Miami with the specific goal of breaking into the music industry as a Southern style rapper. According to her own personal lore, she paid for the trip with money she had saved helping her mother clean hotel rooms in Australia.
She lived in Miami and other cities in the Southern states such as Houston, TX and Atlanta, GA over the following few years, and she made contacts with key players in the rap game. These included Houston rapper Jefe Wine, with whom Azalea is now embroiled in legal battles involving stolen songs and a sex tape.
It was definitely in Atlanta, however, that Iggy Azalea made her most important contact. She hooked up with rapper T.I who executive produced her EP “Glory” which included her breakout single “Murda Business” on which T.I also spat a verse. This was the first of many Iggy Azalea songs that would become massive hits.
Still, Iggy Azalea’s meteoric rise to success has been counterbalanced by super fierce criticism every step of the way.
So we’ve already seen that old school rappers like Rah Digga and Lord Jamar have been quick to call out Iggy Azalea as fake.
Rappers being at odds with each other is as old as hip hop. Whether it’s 2Pac versus Biggie, 50 cent versus Ja Rule, LL Kool J against Canibus, or Lil Kim scrapping with Foxy Brown, rappers trading barbs in the press and in their lyrics is par for the course.
Iggy Azalea is nothing different, and here are a couple notable instances where other up-and-coming female rappers have taken aim at whom the media would have everyone believe is the reigning rap queen.
The Harlem born and raised witch hop rapper with the speedy delivery never misses a chance to lash out at Iggy Azalea. For instance, there was the time ‘Azealia’ took to the internet to ask ‘Azalea’ “Where the fuck did you get that name from, bitch?”.
Azealia Banks also took it upon herself to confront Iggy Azalea regarding certain lyrics. Specifically, on the track “Drugs”, the milky white statuesque blond raps “Tire marks, tire marks, finish line with the fire marks/When it really starts I’m a runaway slave-master”.
When Iggy Azalea made the 2012 XXL Magazine freshman list of best new rappers much to the chagrin of Azealia Banks, the latter—who is Black—was quick to confront the former (and XXL) and tweeted “how can you endorse a white woman who calls herself a runaway slave master?”
It’s certainly a valid question, and Iggy Azalea in fact apologized for her use of the questionable lyrics. Nonetheless, it’s wise to keep in mind that Azealia Banks has beefs with everyone.
Snow Tha Product
Sometimes, when rappers dis their foes they opt to do it on wax with their lyrics, instead of through the press or online. Additionally, the better rappers are able to do it subliminally; listeners have to clock the lyrics carefully, and read between the lines a little bit to decipher the message.
San Jose rapper Snow Tha Product is a fierce and sharp lyricist. Whereas many new female rappers are quick to take their shots at Iggy Azalea online and in the press, in interviews Snow is wise to not take the bait. When DJVlad asked her straight up what she thinks of the reigning queen of popular rap music, she simply shrugs off the question and says “she’s cool”. In the same interview, she even mentions that she “remixed” Azalea’s hit “Murda Business”.
So that’s what she says, but what she rhymes is a different story. With a beat sampled from Azalea’s hit “Murda Business“, Snow Tha Product spits lyrics that are definitely aimed at someone. The choice of sampled music is curious to say the least.
It doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to come to the conclusion that the verse is indeed about Iggy Azalea, even though she doesn’t come right out and say it.