Iggy Azalea is often the topic of many debates when it comes to cultural appropriation by White artists in pop culture and the purity of hip-hop. The Australian rapper, who rhymes with a southern accent, has faced criticism from artists like Azealia Banks, who accused the “Fancy” femcee of capitalizing off the Black culture but remaining silent when Black men like Eric Garner and Michael Brown were being slaughtered in the streets.
Veteran lyricist Q-Tip schooled Azalea on the history of hip-hop, in a Twitter lesson that had us like preach. And Snoop Dogg slammed the Grand Hustle signee, on Instagram, in a series of memes that mocked her appearance. (T.I. eventually came to her rescue which garnered backlash itself.)
While Iggy’s haters seem to outweigh her supporters, there are some people out there who’ve cut her some slack. Will.i.am came to her defense and most recently, Kendrick Lamar told Billboard Magazine, “She’s doing her thing. Let her.”
MC Lyte, who became the first solo female rapper to release a critically acclaimed album Lyte as a Rock, in 1988, also defended Iggy during our interview when she was promoting her song “Dear John” featuring Common.
“What I think about her is that she is a fan of hip-hop. I’ve heard her on a few interviews and I know who she is in terms of having traveled abroad since I was 17, 18 years old. And there are people of all colors that love hip-hop,” she said. “When she says that she is a lover of this culture, I believe her. Everyone has something to contribute. You either like it or you don’t but you can’t just say, ‘You can’t be here.'”
The pioneer also praised Nicki Minaj‘s business savvy, saying, “I think Nicki is a great business woman and I think she came at the right time. Even guys from camps who had female emcees in their camps abandoned their female emcee to have Nicki on their tracks.”
Can we expect an MC Lyte/ Nicki Minaj collaboration int he future? Maybe. “Would I ever do a track with Nicki? I don’t know. We’d have to agree upon our subject matter,” Lyte said before laughing.
Check out what Lyte had to say with her collaboration with Common below: