Iggy Azalea has spoken out on attitudes towards race and music, saying that in America there is “privilege that comes with the colour of your skin”.
The Australian-born rapper has previously responded to accusations of cultural appropriation, following 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.
Now in a new interview with GQ, has said that she doesn’t want to “trivialise” the discussion, but also does not want anything to detract from what she’s achieved in rising from her “poor” working class background.
“I understand that in America there is institutionalised racism and there is privilege that comes with the colour of your skin,” said Azalea. “I worked really hard. A lot of my childhood is overlooked. People assume they know my life because Australia is a nice beautiful country. It’s tough because I want you to acknowledge my work and to understand that this wasn’t easy, but I also don’t want to detract from or trivialise any people of colours’ position because that’s legitimate.”
She added: “I don’t wanna say that everyone’s feelings about racial privilege are invalid ‘cause I was poor. But how do we have a conversation where I’m not discrediting either scenario?”
Speaking to Billboard, Azalea details how she recently teamed up with Demi Lovato‘s management team, who – along with “my friends that I work with” – asked her to attend a meeting in Arizona before suggesting that she spend two weeks working with mental health professionals to address anger and mental health issues.
Azalea says the mental health professionals spent time analysing her turbulent childhood, while her camp have described the stay as a “mental retreat” that included “intensive therapy”.
“I thought I was coming in to speak about something else,” Azalea said. “Then they were like, ‘We think you need to go away to this place.’”
Azalea is set to release her second album ‘Surviving The Summer’ later this year. It will be the follow-up to 2014 debut ‘The New Classic’. Azalea’s previously planned ‘Digital Distortion’ was long delayed and eventually scrapped.