Huffpost Black Voices

Questlove: Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy' Is A Game-Changer

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QUESTLOVE
Musician Questlove from the band The Roots poses for a portrait. | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Questlove says black people have to come to terms with the changing game of hip-hop, and that includes Iggy Azalea.

In an interview with Time published Wednesday, The Roots drummer and general arbiter of hip-hop, discussed the art of cover songs, VH1's new show "SoundClash" (of which he is executive producer), and the controversy over white female rapper Iggy Azalea's reign in hip-hop world.

Speaking to the news outlet on whether he is pro-Iggy or anti-Iggy, Questlove said:

You know, we as black people have to come to grips that hip-hop is a contagious culture. If you love something, you gotta set it free. I will say that “Fancy,” above any song that I’ve ever heard or dealt with, is a game-changer in that fact that we’re truly going to have to come to grips with the fact that hip-hop has spread its wings.

[...]

I’m not going to lie to you, I’m torn between the opinions on the Internet, but I’mma let Iggy be Iggy. It’s not even politically correct dribble. The song is effective. I’m in the middle of the approximation of the enunciation, I’ll say. Part of me hopes she grows out of that and says it with her regular dialect — I think that would be cooler. But, yeah, “Fancy” is the song of the summer.

Azalea has been the subject of much debate for her highly criticized "appropriation of blackness" and controversial comments about race.

In a piece for Salon, Brittney Cooper, an assistant professor of women’s and gender studies and Africana studies at Rutgers University, explained that her particular issue with Azalea is the artist's lack of cultural awareness.

"I resent Iggy Azalea for her co-optation and appropriation of sonic Southern Blackness, particularly the sonic Blackness of Southern Black women," she wrote in a piece published July 15. "Everytime she raps the line 'tell me how you luv dat,' in her song 'Fancy,' I want to scream 'I don’t love dat!' I hate it. The line is offensive because this Australian born-and-raised white girl almost convincingly mimics the sonic register of a downhome Atlanta girl [all sic]," she wrote.