It’s been a rough year for Iggy Azalea and things just aren’t looking up. During an interview, T. I. stated that he has cut business ties with his protégé. Meanwhile Iggy used her twitterfingers to set the record straight. She clarified that she’s still doing business with him. It was an awkward moment for our favorite culture vulture from down under. While many are rejoicing over Iggy’s fall from grace, I’m left waiting for the next Iggy to appear.
Iggy isn’t the first artist accused of cultural appropriation, and she certainly will not be the last. Why after a year did she flop while Katy Perry goes on tour with Big-Butt mummies? A lot of people did not like Iggy but as long as fans could understand what she was rapping, they liked her music.
People kept calling out Iggy for the fraud that she was. Once, her image became too nasty for the public, then sponsors started cutting ties with her because she wasn’t making money or even music. Like Kreayshawn, Iggy disappeared into oblivion, leaving only one fancy hit behind.
Iggy’s fall from public grace needs to happen to more artists who blatantly use cultural appropriation to mask their weak skillsets. The fixation on creating hit singles, pop stars, and catchy anthems are resulting in a dangerous misunderstanding of individual cultures. Music, which once had meaning and the power to induce societal change, is reduced to numbers on a chart.
We all know that money is nice. It helps you pays bills, buy food, and gives you the chance to Treat yo self. But even in 2015, the mantra stays the same—“Mo Money Mo problems”. Blindly making music for money means that artists are surrendering the chance to make a difference. We are left to deal with the Iggy rappers. Yes, like a rash they disappear over time, but they still reappear and are annoying to deal with.
As a kid, people were always trying to take my Black card away. I was tempted to get a Black index card laminated to prove that I was Black. I planned to store it in my wallet, and whip it out whenever someone had something slick to say. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized how ridiculous the idea of a Black card was. Thinking Denzel Washington wasn’t cute didn’t remove my Blackness…it just made my mom think I didn’t have taste in men.
When reflecting on the summer, I think that 2015 was the summer of Blackness. Every week there was headline of either blatant racism or cultural appropriation. The Rachel Dolezals were popping up everywhere like we were playing a game of Whack-a-culture vulture. After finishing the game of Whack-a-culture vulture, you had to pick away the Miley Cyruses and Katy Perrys like they were unwanted zits.
Then, you thought that you won the battle once you were done dealing with the culture vultures, but you didn’t. For every activist fighting for Black rights, then were a dozen others denying that racism still exist. There were a handful of Black rappers, actors, and celebrities who needed to relearn asap about the rocky relationship of being Black in America.
After the backlash that many celebrities, magazines, rappers, and singers received for their tone-deafness about culture, you would think that people would’ve changed their ways. However, the song remained the same and you were left wondering what was missing from the culture vultures and the new Blacks. A lot of them are missing or ignoring one key factor that comes with any identity. What’s missing is their social consciousness that’s attached to being Black.
Dashikis are the new It-item! Well that’s what Elle Canada has told us. Perhaps now that Afros are cool and dashikis are the new It-item, I can go find all those kids who made fun of my Afro and Nigerian ancestry and tell them that I’m cool now. Hold up, while I try to find their numbers on my old BlackBerry.
I like many other women of color have rocked our culture since day one. Seriously, there are photos of me in a diaper and a gele aka Nigerian headtie aka the perfect way to sweat out your mother’s press. People keep trying it with cultural appropriation. The madness won’t stop, and it’s till the point you want to scream no at the top of your lungs.
People will continue saying they love headdresses, dashikis, and bindis because they are cute and fun. Many of them won’t take the time to learn about the cultural significance. The moment that you try to call someone out then you’re the angry woman who doesn’t believe in cultural exchange and should go back to where she came from. I know—it’s ludicrous and not in the Ludacris type of way.
Before you start smashing your television and you annex yourself to a personal island with a population of one fabulous queen, remember that you are powerful. You cannot focus on the culture vultures that will sap you dry while making you the butt of their jokes. Know thyself and love thyself. Don’t pay attention to the people who want to make you a trendy thing.