Criticism has not curbed Iggy’s success, so why not let naysayers keep talking? According to T.I., who offered his protégé a key co-sign at a pivotal point in her career, her detractors don’t have “the right.” In his mind, he thinks there’s a hint of hypocrisy in black people scolding Iggy.
In an interview with ‘The Grio’, T.I. had this to say about Iggy’s critics:
She is a white rapper, but she’s also a phenomenally talented and gifted performer. I think that in this day and age… 2014, color, race, creed, gender… for us to use those stereotypical things to separate us or use it as an excuse to not like something… I think that makes you a wack person.
If there’s anything wack, it’s the reality that Iggy can embody black cultural mores and customs and maintain broader reach, but the likes of Nicki Minaj feel compelled to sing pop ballads about potions, starships, and super basses in order to capture that same audience. The same goes for other black acts. Sam Smith and Adele can be praised for their “soul,” but Jazmine Sullivan won’t get the same spins on those same pop radio stations.
T.I. addressed Iggy detractors again in a separate interview with Complex News:
Me knowing her, knowing where she comes from—for real, the whole racist thing, that’s American—we forget, she’s not American. So the whole Black, white, color divided thing, it isn’t a part of her DNA like it is here in America. It’s just ignorant to me. In this day and age, to be a race of people who are demanding equality and speaking out on injustices and wanting to be treated fairly, to stand up and do the exact same thing in opposite to someone unwarranted for no reason, it’s hypocritical. I’m a ride with her.
T.I. is perpetually petulant, so I’m not surprised that criticisms of Iggy Azalea “piss him off.” However, no artist is above criticism, particularly when they behave in such a manner that practically flags down critics. It remains to be seen whether or not Iggy will have lasting success or become the pop culture daughter of Vanilla Ice.
Either way, more than anything else, it has been her whiteness that has benefited Iggy Azalea the most and no matter how uncomfortable hearing that repeated makes her supporters feel, it is the truth. Besides, it could be worse: she could bear the burden of being a black female rapper trying to make it in 2014.