MC Lyte Defends Iggy Azalea: 'Hip Hop is Universal, No Color Lines'
Iggy Azalea has been called many things. Being described as an “actor” is a new one.
MC Lyte has offered her own analysis on the Australia-raised artist and her curious rapping style which has been derided by others as a “blaccent,” lacking in originality and, inevitably, dragged the newcomer into a noisy debate on cultural appropriation.
In an interview with New York radio station Hot 97, Lyte came to Iggy’s defense. “Iggy’s style is different,” the veteran rapper said. “You know, people want to get on her because of wherever she’s from. Wherever she’s from really doesn’t matter. She has a love of the craft, of the art. And the reason why I can say it and mean it is because one of the first tours I ever did was in Denmark, Copenhagen and everybody in the audience looked just like her.” She added, “hip hop is universal, no color lines.”
Watch the clip below (the Iggy discussion starts at 9.30).
Iggy is one of the most polarizing characters in the business right now. It seems no-one is fence-sitting on this topic. The likes of Lupe Fiasco, Questlove and will.i.am have spoken out “for” Iggy, while Azealia Banks, K Michelle, and Q-Tip are in the “against” camp. A once-prolific tweeter, Iggy decided to step away from social media earlier this year due to the constant deluge of negativity.
Later in the Hot 97 interview, MC Lyte offered her take on how Iggy’s Mullumbimby accent could morph into an Atlanta twang. Sure she’s faking it. But it’s all an act, apparently, not dissimilar to the work of Hollywood hero.
“Every time we see an English actor, they’re putting it on to act like an American. We don’t get on Idris when he has to act like a homeboy from Baltimore to make his job work. It’s a job, you know. But with Iggy, I think she catches a lot of heat because she’s so damn confident, you know. It’s a catch 22. You wanna be humble but if you’re too humble, they’ll tear you up. So she’s caught between a rock and a hard place.”
This won’t be the last time Iggy’s acting talents will be scrutinized. She has a cameo in the Furious 7 blockbuster, and more movie roles will surely come her way.
Iggy got back behind the wheel of her Twitter account recently to big-up her collaboration with Britney Spears. The pair will perform the song “Pretty Girls” for the first time at the May 17 Billboard Music Awards.
MC Lyte's first studio album in 12 years, Legend, dropped as a limited edition vinyl release on April 18. In recognition of her illustrious career, she received the I Am Hip Hop Award at the BET Hip Hop Awards 2013.