By brittany, Jul 27 2014 11:09PM
Questlove of Roots fame, recently did an interview with TIME magazine discussing the everchanging face of hip-hop and “IT” girl of the moment Iggy Azalea. For those that don’t know, Iggy’s latest song, “Fancy” is one of the hottest songs of the summer and recently set a record for the longest number of weeks at number one for a female rapper. What makes this record even more astonishing is the fact that not only is Iggy a female rapper winning in a male dominated genre, but that she is white and originally hails from Australia. Of course this new found fame has brought Iggy her share of critics, and a supposed beef with fellow rapper, Nicki Minaj, who recently sent subtle shots of shade toward the Australian raptress, has yet again brought attention to hip-hop and its changing culture. What was once considered a “black” thing is now seeing the emergence of more and more white stars. With men like Eminem and Macklemore openings doors for the men, Iggy is the first white woman to make it big in hip-hop. While some praise the diversifying of the genre, others are upset with what they perceive as the unfair advantage often given to these white artists. In his TIME interview, Questlove was asked if he was pro or anti-Iggy, and while he didn’t come out and say one way or the other, he did say that black people needed to come to grips with the fact that hip-hop is spreading its wings.
TIME:Are you pro- or anti-Iggy Azalea? Questlove: Here’s the thing: the song is effective and catchy as hell, and it works. Just the over-enunciation of “hold you down”? [Laughs] It makes me chuckle because all I can see is my assistant holding a brush in the mirror and singing it. I’m caught in between. And I defend it. I see false Instagram posts like, “She said the N-word! She said the N-word!” I’ll call people out — “Yo, don’t troll.” I know you’re ready to give your 42-page dissertation on theGrio about why this is culture vulture-ism. You know, we as black people have to come to grips that hip-hop is a contagious culture. If you love something, you gotta set it free. I will say that “Fancy,” above any song that I’ve ever heard or dealt with, is a game-changer in that fact that we’re truly going to have to come to grips with the fact that hip-hop has spread its wings. And to tell the truth, I was saying this last year, I don’t think it’s any mistake that four or five of my favorite singers are from Australia. Like between Hiatus Kaiyote, there’s a bunch I can name for you right now, but I don’t think it’s a mistake that a lot of of my favorite artists are coming from Down Under. A lot of them more soulful than what we’re dealing with now. When you think soul music and Aretha Franklin and the Baptist-born singer, that’s sort of an idea in the past. As black people, we’re really not in the church as we used to be, and that’s reflected in the songs now. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m torn between the opinions on the Internet, but I’mma let Iggy be Iggy. It’s not even politically correct dribble. The song is effective. I’m in the middle of the approximation of the enunciation, I’ll say. Part of me hopes she grows out of that and says it with her regular dialect — I think that would be cooler. But, yeah, “Fancy” is the song of the summer.
So what do you think? Do black people need to accept the fact that hip-hop is loved worldwide so there is bound to be superstars of other races? Or should be fight to keep the music, including its stars, within our culture?