Iggy Azalea responds to cultural appropriation claims and says she ‘still hates Azealia Banks’

Aussie rapper hits back at criticism and incidents from the past year

Iggy Azalea has defended herself against accusations of cultural appropriation and not caring about race issues in a new interview.

The Australian-born rapper recently spoke to Elle Canada, where she refers to previous comments made by A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, who gave Azalea a hip-hop history lesson via Twitter after accusing her of picking and choosing from black culture but ignoring larger issues.

“So many people think that I don’t care about rap music and the community, but I absolutely care about it, to the core of my being,” Azalea has now said in response. “That’s why the Q-Tip incident annoyed me so much: Why do you think I need a history lesson? Because surely if I did know anything about hip hop, I wouldn’t mix pop and rap together? Or I wouldn’t rap in an American accent if I truly understood? I just have a different perspective about rap music.”

She added: “The United States has such a fraught history with race, and I don’t think I realised how prevalent racism still is and how hurt people still are until I moved here and saw it for myself. It’s not something you can understand when you’re on the other side of the world. But many people think I still live in that bubble and that I don’t understand that the United States is set up in a way that doesn’t benefit minorities. I’ve lived here for 10 years now, and I don’t want it to be that way either. I’m marrying a black man and my children will be half black – of course I care about these things.”

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“I think it’s important for music to reflect what is going on socially and for there to be those kinds of voices within the industry,” Azalea continued. “But I want to be that person you can listen to for four minutes and not think about that stuff at all, and it’s important to have that too…. I’m not going to suddenly start rapping about political matters; it’s just not what I do. There are other great people who do that, like Kendrick Lamar and J Cole. I’m not here to offer that commentary, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care. I don’t think everyone has to be everything – like, does Katy Perry have to start making songs about politics? I think it’s good to still be able to have a little fun.”

Iggy Azalea also expressed regrets over incidents from the past year, including criticising Papa John’s after a pizza delivery driver shared her phone number. She doesn’t, however, feel regret over her beef with fellow rapper Azealia Banks.

Azalea said: “If I could, I would Men in Black memory-erase 2015, I totally would… I think the Azealia Banks thing is what really started it all. We don’t like each other on a personal level, and that has gone on for many years – before the Black Lives Matter incident happened. So when I dismissed her, people started to think that I dismissed the whole movement, but I wasn’t trying to dismiss Black Lives Matter – I was trying to dismiss her because it’s our personal shit. I don’t think the subject matter of her tweet was invalid; I just think it was emotionally charged and driven by something else, and the whole thing got so misconstrued. I just wish I had acknowledged the issue head-on because it made people think I don’t care about what’s going on socially and what’s happening in America, and I do care. Even though I still hate Azealia Banks, I wish I had said it in a way that didn’t make people think I was oblivious to the movement. And I wish I hadn’t gotten into a fight with Papa John’s!”

Iggy Azalea recently shared her new single ‘Azillion’. She is due to release second album ‘Digital Distortion’, the follow-up to her 2014 debut ‘The New Classic’, later this year.