Is Sexism To Blame For The Downfall Of Iggy Azalea?

June 2, 2015  |  

According to Billboard magazine, Iggy Azalea’s Great Escape Tour, which was set to kick off in the fall, has been cancelled.

While no official explanation for why her first tour was cancelled was given, as a press release sent to the magazine notes, a concert tour will be planned around her new album. Her sophomore effort is set to be released in 2016.

But this is the second time Azalea has pumped the breaks on her tour, which was supposed to kick off early this year. And as many in the industry are speculating, this latest cancellation could be a sign that Azalea, who some tried to christen as The Queen of Rap, has officially been dethroned.

It has been a fall from grace that many have been predicting for several months now. This includes Ramon Ramirez, evening editor for The Daily Dot, who a couple of months back, penned a piece titled “How the Internet Killed Iggy Azalea.” If you hadn’t guessed from the title, the piece is about how he blames the Internet for her fall from beloved “Fancy” rapper to an artist constantly on the defense on social media. In the piece, he writes:

“And from the Salon crowd to dart-tossing randos like ESPN’s Robert Flores to Snoop Dogg and hacker cliques, the prevailing sentiment is that Azalea is a contrived lab experiment who teaches southern slang to suburban children in middle school by way of being a white person from foreign soil.”

I too was one of the Internet folks who thought her sound, as well as her looks, a bit contrived. And I have even contributed a couple of think pieces to the cause. However, I fell back from criticizing the “no wonder from down under” for her lack of talent and abilities. It wasn’t a change of heart. I still think she is awful and a fraud. However, after a while, the criticism that came from others seemed a little disjointed and uneven. And yes, even a little sexist.

I started to feel this way around the time Snoop Dogg decided to go in on the poor girl on Instagram.  Again, I am not a fan, but I didn’t believe that she deserved to be cyberbullied. Folks were coming out of the woodworks, accusing Azalea and her lack of lyrical abilities of killing hip-hop. However, the same could be said for a lot of other hip-hop artists on the scene today. And yet, I have not seen one petition created denouncing Young Thug and any of his gibberish.

Nor do I recall many folks being concerned about cultural appropriation and the future of rap when Eminem came on the scene with all of his I-hate-my-mom-so-much-I-should-just-kill-everybody-and-myself white boy angst. There were no boycotts and public denouncements after it was discovered that Eminem once made a racist song that also called Black women specifically “bitches.” And yet, a few questionable tweets on Azalea’s part had folks ready to lead NAACP marches on her a**.

Likewise, Riff Raff, Paul Wall, Mac Miller, Yelawolf and a few other white boy rappers also mimic the style and aesthetic of cultures not of their own. Yet they all seem to get a hood pass, which very few of us were willing to give to Azalea or her fake cakes. Matter of fact, with white people making up a large chunk of hip-hop consumers (those who buy albums and attend concerts), it is hard to see how any concerns Black folks may legitimately have about cultural appropriation would even be a factor. So again, why the Azalea hate?

As much as I thought Azalea sucked, it was pretty obvious that much of the public pushback she was receiving wasn’t just about how bad of an artist she was. But rather, much of this discontent traveled in the same misogynist thinking, which has limited the roles women, particularly lady emcees, have been able to play in the more than 25-year period the genre has been around. In short, rap is a man’s game. And I’m sure that many of those who hate Azalea and do not think she belongs also aren’t too keen on Nicki Minaj or any other female rapper for that matter.

Again, it is true that Azalea’s rhymes and entire persona are wack. You will get no dispute from me there. However, there aren’t many emcees out here, regardless of gender, killing the game right now. So what is taking down Azalea’s career? Sexism, her misappropriation of black girls, or a combination of both?

 

 

 

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