Iggy Azalea continues to make headlines for her new album, “In My Defense” and its in-your-face album art. However, she’s also making a different sort of headline these days. The rapper has been accused many times of cultural appropriation — specifically for adopting black culture as her own and utilizing it as a means to achieve fame and wealth.
Azalea, however, doesn’t feel the same way at all. When critics point out this darker side to her success, she tends to handwave it away. Now, Azalea is making claims that cultural appropriation is “subjective.”
Azalea’s ‘In My Defense’ shocks fans
Azalea’s newest album, ‘In My Defense,’ took her fans by surprise with its cover art. It received a variety of reactions, ranging from criticism to support. The album cover shows Azalea with a gory head injury, her blood splattered across a car behind her.
One Twitter user wrote, “[T]he STANCE, THE BLOOD, THE DRAMA, THE FACT THAT YOU’RE DOING THIS ON YOUR OWN…legends only…we have decided to stan FOREVER PERIODTTT.”
Another user wrote, “Please don’t hate me but I don’t like it, you look dead.”
Azalea fielded a question from a fan about what the cover art meant. They tweeted, “What was the concept for the album cover looks dope my perception of it was that this new era is the rebirth of iggy can’t wait for the album and visuals.”
Azalea tweeted back with, “It’s a statement about women not having the ability to defend themselves under public gaze, not rebirth.”
Azalea’s history with appropriation accusations
However groundbreaking or meaningful her new album art might be, Azalea is still facing some pretty serious backlash over what many critics are calling her appropriation of black culture. Critics point out that Azalea, who is white and from Australia, has been profiting off of black culture since she came to America to start her music career.
There have been specific incidents that have sent fans and critics into a frenzy. Azalea has made many questionable tweets in the past, many of which play on racist stereotypes for cheap laughs.
Critics have also pointed out that Azalea uses what they call a “blaccent” — an exaggerated drawl that’s not natural to her actual speaking voice, and certainly not native to Australia. Despite all of these accusations and statements of discomfort, Azalea seems to remain more or less unapologetic.
Azalea says she’s not sorry
Azalea revealed her true feelings about the concept of cultural appropriation in a recent interview with Cosmopolitan. She’s also expressed similar feelings in the past. In an interview with Complex in 2013, Azalea said of her “blaccent” that, “If you’re mad about it and you’re a black person, then start a rap career and give it a go too.”
Sounds like the response of someone who is not only totally unapologetic, but also doesn’t understand what they’re doing wrong. Azalea told Cosmo, “You could ask one person of the same race, ‘Does this affect you?’ and they will say yes,” she explains. “But another person will say no. They could be from the same place, same everything, but have different perspectives about it.”
She went on to add, “I’m still going to make the same type of music and still be ridiculous and larger than life. So I can’t be that f****** sorry about it.”
She’s clearly not sorry at all — in fact, she seems to feel entitled to behave however she wants to behave, regardless of how her choices might affect others.