Fresh off a No. 1 debut for Hopeless Fountain Kingdom in the US, Halsey is in the UK this week for Glastonbury. To preview her set, The Guardian has a new in-depth feature reported in Las Vegas last month ahead of the Billboard Music Awards. There’s some intense talk of her social anxiety and the time she spent dating a heroin addict when she was 17, and it ends with her prediction that eventually she’ll recede from the spotlight to become a pro songwriter because performing artists “have a sick masochism.” But right before that, there’s a couple tidbits of note regarding some of Halsey’s peers.
It transpires when Halsey is asked about why she worked with Quavo, the Migos rapper whose comments about homosexuality and clumsy apology seemed to position him in opposition to her own bisexuality. Isn’t it odd, reporter Peter Robinson wonders, to have Quavo on the same album that includes “Strangers,” Halsey’s lesbian duet with Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui? Her response is a somewhat confusing defense of Quavo, which somehow leads into her calling Iggy Azalea a “f–king moron” with “a complete disregard for black culture.” Here’s how it reads:
“I think he’s misunderstood,” she says. “Just because I choose to be a socially conscious artist, and I’m pretty good at it, that doesn’t mean every artist is going to be equipped to be politically correct. I don’t think he’s inherently homophobic, I think he’s in a tough place of trying to explain what he means. I agree his apology was bullshit but I can’t police everybody.” When I suggest that one place she surely can police everybody is within the walls of her own album, she pauses. “Yes, I can,” she adds, “and there’s a lot of people I wouldn’t put on my record. Iggy Azalea: absolutely not. She had a complete disregard for black culture. Fucking moron. I watched her career dissolve and it fascinated me.”
In other Azalea news, she and longtime rival Azealia Banks appear to be in peace talks, though with personalities that famously volatile, an Azalea/Azealia accord seems like it might be difficult to sustain.
This post was originally published on Stereogum.