The indignities and insults to the hip hop genre continue unabated by the mainstream establishment.
We remember the severe affront to rap’s sensibilities when the Recording Academy mystifyingly awarded a Grammy for best rap album to Macklemore over Kendrick Lamar’s critically and commercially-acclaimed good kid, m.A.A.d city. Even Macklemore knew it was a joke and posted his sentiments on social media claiming that Lamar was “robbed.”
Now we have Forbes magazine telling us that rapper Iggy Azalea is reigning ruler of hip hop music.
The article, which was titled “Hip Hop Is Run By A White, Blonde, Australian Woman” before they wisely changed it “Hip-Hop’s Unlikely New Star” (the mag doesn’t explain the reason for the title change), and is penned by contributor Hugh McIntrye.
The author sloppily bases his theory of Azalea’s reign over all of rap on the success of her debut, The New Classic. The album pushed out less than 55,000 units in week one. Nevertheless that total was the highest charting debut from a female rapper since Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday four years ago.
By comparison, Minaj sold 325,000 copies in seven days, or more than six times what Iggy Azalea was able to do. And this is what Forbes calls a takeover?
The Forbes author tries mightily, albeit futilely, to justify Iggy’s rap queen moniker this way:
Making a name for yourself as a woman and hip hop is laudable enough, forget the fact that she is a white, blonde, Australian woman. In a genre dominated almost exclusively by African-American men she sticks out like a statuesque thumb. In fact, women are so few and far between in the field that the Grammys had to discard their separate category, which many genres had up for years. For a few years there was a Best Female Rap Solo Performance and one for men, but it was discontinued after only two trophies were given out (both to Missy Elliott). After that, both rap and rock only gave out one trophy, and almost always to a man.
Also, Forbes attempts to declare that Azalea has dethroned Minaj as the preeminent female rapper as if the two are actually in competition and that Minaj is on the steady musical decline. Check it out what the author writes:
“The Young Money Barbie has somehow already been defeated: For the past several years, Nicki Minaj has been the prominent woman in hip hop, but it seems there has been a change. Not only has Minaj been oddly quiet for months, she has said she will no longer be releasing radio-ready pop/hip hop blends, instead going back to her pure rap roots, leaving a void to be filled by none other than Iggy.”
It is obvious that hip hop’s worldwide influence over the current generation is tiresome and troublesome to the ruling class and they are taking bold, albeit dubious, steps to hijack the powerful genre from its original creators.
But if they are going to do that, they can at least produce a better product than Azalea, who is no doubt talented, but doesn’t deserve the title of the Queen of Hip Hop. Not even close.