Iggy Azalea Talks Mental Health, Cultural Appropriation For Cosmopolitan Magazine
Iggy Azalea is Cosmopolitan‘s latest cover girl. Inside she opens up about her mental health, becoming an independent artist, and also chimes in on cultural appropriation… because, we so desperately need her thoughts on that, of course.
According to Iggy — the same woman who has used the phrase “runaway slave master”and more in her lyrics — cultural appropriation is “subjective.”
Here’s the full excerpt written by Jen Ortiz over at Cosmopolitan:
Today, it’s a fact that if you say “Iggy Azalea” three times in a mirror, a think piece will appear behind you waxing philosophical on the definition of “cultural appropriation” and authenticity. And not without reason. She is, after all, a white woman profiting off black culture. She raps with a “blaccent,” which, in her case, is an exaggerated Southern drawl that can’t be found in Australia. When asked about the issues surrounding “speaking black” in a 2013 interview with Complex, Iggy responded, “If you’re mad about it and you’re a black person, then start a rap career and give it a go too.” A few months before that, Iggy faced backlash from fans who’d uncovered some old racist tweets she claimed were jokes. And before that, she had to write an apology for using the phrase “runaway slave-master” in a lyric.
If you’ve been reading this waiting to get to the part where Iggy apologizes for all the above—sorry, she’s not sorry. (The most sing-along-able lyric off one of her new songs is “I started to say sorry / But fuck that shit,” so yeah.) But listen, she does get it now. Sort of. She thinks cultural appropriation is subjective, even though she knows that sounds like a fucked-up thing to say. “You could ask one person of the same race, ‘Does this affect you?’ and they will say yes,” she explains. “But another person will say no. They could be from the same place, same everything, but have different perspectives about it.”
Then again, can you really say sorry and then keep doing the same shit? (Her question.) “I’m still going to make the same type of music and still be ridiculous and larger than life,” she says. “So I can’t be that fucking sorry about it.” The way she sees it, the reason some people hate her is the same reason a lot of other people love her, so what’s she supposed to do? In fact, she describes her fans as “free thinkers.” As she puts it, “They have to be because if you thought what everybody else thought, you probably wouldn’t be a fan of mine.”
Iggy used to feel really defensive about this stuff. “I would hit back and say, ‘What about this that I had to go through?’ because I wanted to talk so much about my experiences of things I didn’t have, and I think it felt like I wasn’t acknowledging that there is white privilege and there is institutionalized racism,” she says. “It seemed to a lot of people like I was living in this bubble or unaware of all these things that people have to experience.”
The charitable interpretation is that Iggy understands that the criticism stems from America’s relationship with race and that that history is fucked up. And hey, if that’s how you feel or what you believe, she’s not taking away the fact that it’s real for you. The less charitable one is that she doesn’t care. Either way, she’s going to stop rage-tweeting about it.
Welp, what more can we really expect?