Iggy Azalea should really know much better by now. Ever due to the fact the white Australian-born rapper sauntered into the globe of hip-hop on Louboutin heels with her breakout one “Work” in 2013, she has regularly confronted warmth for appropriating Black tradition.
But it is now been a decade due to the fact Azalea 1st entered the market, and she’s well-aware of the controversy she appears to routinely spark. So, why in the music online video for her catchy, clubby new observe “I Am The Stripclub,” would Azalea come to a decision to press the boundaries even even further?
The 31-calendar year-outdated, born Amethyst Amelia Kelly, is observed in the first part of the video with jet-black straight hair and her pores and skin significantly several shades darker than her generally honest complexion. To major it off, she’s surrounded by Black queer guys dressed in leather-based as she raps about receiving ratchet and twerking.
The music online video was originally praised by her devoted enthusiasts, but when clothing business Boohoo posted stills from the video clip, the replies immediately turned a mess, with people contacting out Azalea for “blackfishing”—a phrase utilised to describe a non-POC trying to appear of Black or Arab ancestry.
Even when the counterargument was floated that it was only the dim lighting generating Azalea look darker, folks weren’t having it. “It’s cosmetic blackfishing in each which way,” one particular firmly declared.
“‘It’s just the lighting’ they say, as if it were being an accident and not anything that is meticulously modified on-established at a just about shot-by-shot foundation,” a further quipped. “She is hardcore blackfishing and trolling with the look and the music,” summed up one lady.
Many others pointed out how problematic it was that Azalea made a decision to swap up her glimpse although rapping about strippers and encompassing herself with Black guys, as opposed to her other music movies where she sporting activities her signature extended blonde hair, declaring she’s “Fancy.”
Some explained they initial mistook Azalea for Cardi B or Toni Braxton, but the issue was clear: Azalea looked much less like a white woman, and extremely considerably like a female of colour.
Azalea is not the to start with non-Black girl to be accused of blackfishing, and it’s uncertain she’ll be the previous. Notorious “race-faker” Rachel Dolezal assisted colloquialize the bogus term “transracial” when she stated she recognized as Black. Members of the Kardashian-Jenner relatives, Ariana Grande, and Rita Ora have all been accused of more than-tanning or wearing hairstyles that are usually affiliated with Black or Hispanic gals. It is also develop into an unfortunate pattern between some influencers whose enthusiasts are stunned to learn they are truly white.
There is a total other discussion to be had with non-POC gals cosmetically enhancing their attributes to have fuller lips and going through potentially daily life-threatening surgeries to attain greater, rounder behinds—traits typically affiliated with Black women of all ages.
But Azalea really should be hyperaware of portraying herself in this method, notably when her track document is so spotty on the matter.
Just one of the chief grievances versus Azalea is that she swaps her drawly Australian accent for a “blaccent” when she raps. Teen rapper Bhad Bhabie, authentic identify Danielle Bregoli, has also been accused of working with a blaccent.
“1 of the chief grievances from Azalea is that she has swapped her drawly Australian accent for a “blaccent” when she raps.”
Azalea admitted it was a conscious conclusion on her section to “sound” Black, stating it would “feel weird” if she rapped in her native Australian accent. “I could not speak in an American accent—I could, but it would audio quite fake—but I can rap in 1 with no trouble,” she explained to Elaborate in 2013.
She also waved off criticism that she was purposefully trying to emulate this inherently Black sound, saying, “If you are mad about it and you are a Black human being then start off a rap profession and give it a go, too… Or maybe if you are Black, start singing like a nation singer and be a white particular person. I do not know. Why is it these kinds of a huge offer?”
There’s been a host of other controversies bordering Azalea, such as when she produced a “metaphoric take” on Kendrick Lamar’s song “Look Out for Detox,” and referred to herself as a “runaway slave master” in her tune “D.R.U.G.S.”
It took a heap of backlash and a number of months for Azalea to apologize, indicating she felt the lyric experienced been “used to unfairly slander my character and paint me as a racist particular person,” she explained in a assertion in 2012, calling the alternative “tacky” and “careless.”
“Sometimes we get so caught up in our artwork and developing or making an attempt to drive boundaries, we never end to consider how others may possibly be damage by it,” she added. “In this predicament,
I am guilty of performing that and I regret not imagining factors as a result of much more.”
But even with the a lot of spats she’s gotten in with fellow members of the hip-hop local community, which include Azealia Banks who accused her of cherry-choosing selected areas of Black lifestyle though being silent on social justice challenges affecting Black men and women, Azalea has refused to take the thought that she is responsible of cultural appropriation.
She informed Cosmopolitan in 2019—promoting her inadequately acquired album In My Protection—that she isn’t sorry at all, and in truth will continue undertaking what she’s been carrying out all alongside.
“I’m still likely to make the exact sort of tunes and nevertheless be absurd and bigger than lifetime,” she explained. “So I just cannot be that fucking sorry about it.”