T.I. on Iggy Azalea: She can’t be racist because ‘she’s not American’

Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea was officially discovered by T.I. in 2012 when he signed her to Grand Hustle records. She’d already put out a few records of her own by then. T.I. said at the time that Iggy had “a killer instinct, star sh-t, superstar sh-t.” T.I. didn’t produce Iggy’s The New Classic, but he serves as her mentor and label boss.

Iggy has some vocal critics, and T.I. knows this. People have accused T.I. of ghostwriting for Iggy. He’s also heard all of the criticism over cultural appropriation and possible racism. T.I. wants people to stop trash-talking Iggy. I’ve cobbled together a few recent interviews. These first two excerpts are from Complex, and the other comes from a Detroit hip-hop radio interview. Whether or not you believe Iggy is racist, T.I.’s explanation of why she isn’t racist makes no sense at all:

Iggy isn’t a racist: “That p-sses me off. Simply because they don’t have any real substantial grounds. ‘I don’t like them.’ Why? ‘Just ’cause.’ What you mean just ’cause? Since when do you get the right to judge people? Who died and made you the emperor of Egypt? That kind of sh-t and then the things that they accuse her of, like the racist stuff. That’s not even her. That’s not even in her. Me knowing her, knowing where she comes from–for real, the whole racist thing, that’s American–we forget, she’s not American. So the whole Black, white, color divided thing, it isn’t a part of her DNA like it is here in America.”

Tell us more: “It’s just ignorant to me. In this day and age, to be a race of people who are demanding equality and speaking out on injustices and wanting to be treating fairly, to stand up and do the exact same thing in opposite to someone unwarranted for no reason, it’s hypocritical. I’ma ride with her. So, ya’ll go ahead. Anybody got a problem with it just know, it gon’ be one ’cause I’m coming.”

Does he ghostwrite for Iggy? “I ain’t no ghostwriter. Iggy got her own ideas and thoughts that she presents to the world her own way. I couldn’t write a lot of the sh-t she say, you know? I couldn’t put her thoughts into words as articulate as she does. She just has a different way of presenting herself and her art.”

[From Complex & Hot 107.5 Detroit]

T.I. doesn’t even address Iggy’s lyrics. He just flat-out says that she can’t be racist because she hails from Australia, which is ridiculous. Racism exists all over the place including, yes, down under. T.I. needs to sit down and try very hard to think of a more plausible reason to defend Iggy’s “runaway slave … master” lyrics. Iggy herself has apologized for that song, but I think we need to hear more from T.I. — if he can pull it together.

FYI: Iggy and Rita Ora pretended to kiss at the Made in America festival on Saturday. How shocking.

Iggy Azalea

T I

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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101 Responses to “T.I. on Iggy Azalea: She can’t be racist because ‘she’s not American’”

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  1. mazza says:

    This is the “too stupid to live” comment of the day.

    • lisa says:

      bless his heart

    • Brin says:

      Hands down, we have a winner.

    • maybeiamcrazy says:

      Ha! And it is really something because today had many contenders.

    • Nicolette says:

      Brilliant comment! No need to add anything to it.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Yeah, just….oh, honey. I feel embarrassed for him.

    • Anne says:

      Having read all these comments, what nobody has mentioned is what it says that T.I (who I know nothing about beyond what I just learned in this post) actually believes that America is a juggernaut of racism. I think, more than his ignorance of history or other countries, it speaks to how this guy, as a young black man growing up in the U.S. sees his own country. I think it’s really, really sad. Calling him out for not appreciating the racism of other countries, hardly mitigates the fact that he sees his OWN country as a bastion of discrimination and racism; maybe that is what should be taken from his interviews?

      • Tiffany :) says:

        That is a good point, but I would guess that the US’s history provides a lot of reasons as to why he would think that about his country. .

        Building on your point, I think it is not only telling that he sees the US as a hotbed for racism, but it is also telling that people aren’t surprised that he sees the US as a hotbed of racism.

      • andypandy says:

        @Anne
        Wow I never even looked at this way !
        At first glance I thought TI utterances were too ignorant to warrant a response but it is telling that young black men are exposed to so much racism that they see the USA as the juggernaut of Racism. I guess its easier for some posters to gloss over that fact and focus on his ignorance

        Anyhoo on the other hand This is my pet peeve with many(not all ) African Americans (think Whoopi ) they have a very myopic world view i.e America is the World and they are the only black or oppressed group in it

    • jaye says:

      Where do he and Whoopi get this bullrasm from? Why do they think that racism is an American construct? Are they that insulated from the rest of the world? I’m astounded by their ignorance.

      • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

        I know, right? Like America is the only nation that enslaved blacks.

      • Sacred And Profane says:

        I agree. I can confirm that racism is still rife here is Australia – towards our indigenous peoples, Asians, Middle Easterners, people from Italy, Greece, and even England, regardless of whether they are recent arrivals or first, second or third-generation Australians.
        To me, it’s embarrassing, infuriating and disheartening to know that such a model of multiculturalism still harbours this ignorance, which is condoned/encouraged (albeit veiled) by even our Prime Minister.

  2. Loopy says:

    0_O And he is talking about ignorance? He needs some history lessons ASAP

    • mimif says:

      Come on. Everybody knows that there were lots of emperors in Egypt and stuff. And no one has ever accused any Australian of being racist, ever. #TIfactz

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        LOL…yet I still find him attractive. He and I don’t need to talk. In fact, I would prefer it if he’d just STFU and do me.

      • Dani2 says:

        @TOK first Eminem and now this guy? Aim higher, sis :P

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Why? He’s hot. Never said I wanted to marry the guy.

      • Dani2 says:

        @TOK I was kidding lol, I just meant that I so don’t see what’s attractive about either of them. When I think of hot rappers, I think of A$AP Rocky or Common, but different strokes for different folks I guess :)

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Why are you mentioning my husband Common? Now THAT’S a man I would marry.

        I’ll leave A$AP for you though. Beating up paparazzi and slapping a female fan? Dude has some serious anger issues.

      • Dani2 says:

        @TOK Hahaha he is so ridiculously hot, so get in line girl ;)

        And whut? Pretend I never listed A$AP as a crush, that’s disgusting and completely unjustifiable.

    • Bedhead says:

      Common is GORGEOUS.

      • I Choose Me says:

        No lies here. The man is fine!

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        I saw him at the House of Blues on my birthday last year and for the first time in my life, I was tempted to throw my panties onstage.

        He came out break-dancing and put on the most AMAZING show.
        His voice and that smile. SIGH.

      • Ag says:

        he is indeed.

      • jaye says:

        I just want to watch him do stuff. I would be entranced by him brushing his teeth or clipping his toenails. He’d be doing those things naked because…you know…peer pressure.

  3. Happyhat says:

    You heard it here first – racism only exists in America! How do you feel about that, Americans; you racist people you!!!

    Not like here in England – no racism here. We went all over the world helping silly savages wear trousers because it was the Christian to do! They needed our help! The racial classification of ‘savages’ as being beneath caucasian man in the ‘Great Chain of Being’ during the Enlightenment was just for larks you know. And in fact, I have a sneaking suspicion those scientists involved may have been…American…

    • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

      It’s the strangest thing, isn’t it? People there will acknowledge that it isn’t exactly a skip through the posies for black people in any location, but should any other country be mentioned, that part is forgotten.

  4. swack says:

    So what does not being American do with being a racist or not? There are racists all over the world. Someone needs to get an education.

    • uninspired username says:

      There are a lot of people who genuinely think that racism is only an American thing. It’s sad.

  5. lunchcoma says:

    Based on the Australians I’ve met, it seems like they’re no more or less likely to be racist than people from any other country.

    In any case, Iggy has been living in the US for 8 years, so she’s not a newcomer to specifically American aspects of race relations either.

  6. blue marie says:

    Makes me want to pat him on the head and say “oh honey, no”

  7. ichsi says:

    He is aware that racism is a huge problem in Australia, right?

  8. Bej says:

    I’m sure the Aboriginal people of Australia would love to hear how we supposedly live in a utopia where there’s no black or white! Those last 200+ years were just a misunderstanding.

    • Sunny says:

      Just a silly instance of miscommunication. Australia has a great history of races getting along!

      He really seems to know nothing about the world outside America. It is pretty embarrassing. Just wow. And as a person of colour, who lives in Canada, I would like to assure T.I. you can find racists anywhere.

      • Renee says:

        Sunny,

        Haven’t you heard???? There’s NO racism in Canada either. Just ask Whoopi Goldberg.

        Signed,

        A fellow unscathed by racism since it doesn’t exist in Canada Canadian.

      • G. says:

        If I remember correctly, Iggy has made some incredibly ignorant and disgusting comments about aboriginal people, so she’s not even safe from that.

        Also, she performs vocal blackface. So even if she’s not making gross racist comments to T.I., she’s still engaging in some wack behavior and clearly has some issues. I get why T.I. Wants to defend her, since he signed her, but she’s going to have to change some things if she wants the controversy to stop. Or to learn from what people are saying and not get defensive. Or both.

      • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

        Damn straight it exists in Canada, people just like to pretend that it doesn’t and for those people that makes it true enough.

    • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

      Seriously! If he wants to see what racism is, perhaps he should put Saint Iggy in a room with an Aboriginal person.

  9. maybeiamcrazy says:

    As a South African, all I can do is laugh. Please T.I, shut up!

  10. Domestic_diva says:

    Emperor of EGYPT? Oh okay

    • GreenBunny says:

      Hahah yeah, once I saw that statement, I was done. I knew his argument was just going to go downhill from there.

    • Happyhat says:

      I’m using this though – it’s like an alternate version of “Who made you Judge Judy and executioner?”

      There’s some kind of ‘Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt’ joke you can also make out of this, but I’m at a loss…

    • Sea Dragon says:

      Yup. That’s what he said. He must have been referring to Emperor Caligula because he
      was one of the most fair-minded, unbiased humanitarian leaders the world has ever seen.

    • PennyLane says:

      Sigh.

      T.I. is from Georgia, where educational standards lag far behind the rest of the country. When I moved here to Atlanta a decade ago, I remember being shocked at the low quality of a high school education here – basically a high school diploma in Georgia is equivalent to a 10th grade education in Massachusetts public schools. Harsh but true. And T.I didn’t even graduate from high school…. (side rant: this is why we need Common Core!).

      Say what you will about Beyonce, at least she went back and got her G.E.D. when her daughter was born.

      • Domestic_diva says:

        Penny I’m from Georgia, so that thought process is so offensive I’m barely able to respond, I got into every university I applied , and served as military intelligence in the Air Force with my supposed “low quality education”. There are ignorant people everywhere…..those comments don’t indicate an entire states level of ignorance. he is one person that happens to be stupid.

    • Pepsi Presents...Coke says:

      He was just taking orders from the princeps of Cambodia.

  11. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Somebody needs a dictionary.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      And who made YOU the emperor of Canada to judge him like that? … I don’t think a dictionary is thinking big enough here.

    • FLORC says:

      I read his statements on another site and they really made me question my reading comprehension. It made abosolutely no sense. I’m guessing (and hoping) he wasn’t sober during this interview and that’s why he said what he did.

  12. Loopy says:

    How about for him to at least know about apartheid???

  13. FingerBinger says:

    There are people that believe racism is some kind of American invention. I guess T.I. never heard of apartheid in South Africa or the case of Stephen Lawrence in the U.K.

    • KellieBell says:

      People who think only Americans are racist, are under-educated and ignorant. They probably didn’t get past the 8th grade.

      Anyway, the American bashing thing isn’t so hip or cool anymore. Its just getting old.

  14. klaas says:

    Rasism exist eveywhere, it’s just that rasism in US have different roots than rasism in some random European country. But it’s still rasism.

    • SpookySpooks says:

      Racism in America has been institutionalised through history, whereas in some random Euroepan country like mine, where we have very few people of other races it wasn’t. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
      Also, people in my country for an example, aren’t aware that some things are racist – like blackface. Before coming to this site I didn’t know what it was or that it’s offensive.

      • PennyLane says:

        Hmmm…..colonialism wasn’t institutionalized racism? Really?

      • SpookySpooks says:

        Of course colonialism was institutionalized racism, but those deeds were done by Western European countries. I’m not from Western Europe.
        In my country, throughout our history we’ve been tryng to prevent virtually every force that went trough Europe from molesting us ( and they all did), we were too busy to go and bully people from other continets.

      • maybeiamcrazy says:

        The thing is world does not consist of Europe and Usa. I am from a country where if I hang out with T.I in a cafe as a white girl people would look at us wondering why we are communicating at all. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my country and I miss it because I don’t live there anymore but facts are facts. USA does not have it worst when it comes to racism. And the European country I live in right now makes the whole local community vote for an immigrant to become a citizen. As you can guess Muslims, Jews and Africans are mostly rejected. I have never been to USA for a long period of time so I don’t know much about daily llife racism but USA is not the only country with instutionalized racism.

  15. Sea Dragon says:

    According to his reasoning, Hitler couldn’t have been racist because he was German. What an idiot.

  16. Talie says:

    Truthfully, I encounter more racism traveling outside of America.

    • FingerBinger says:

      I have a friend that said he’d never experienced overt racism until he was outside of the U.S.

    • Tiffany27 says:

      Talie may I ask what countries you have been to? I absolutely loved Amsterdam, but I’ve heard some not so nice things about 3 other countries in particular.

    • Tiffany27 says:

      I’m sorry Talie. :(
      I enjoyed Amsterdam, but I’ve always heard Paris was not so nice to POC.

  17. Ag says:

    he sounds like an ignorant fool.

    as an aside – “the emperor of Egypt”? lol, idiot.

  18. LAK says:

    Emperor of Egypt?!

    • Observer says:

      LOL I laughed out loud for real…my god what an idiot, tells you everything you need to know about him.

  19. joy says:

    Me thinks he believes she’s not racist because they have probably done the do. I don’t think she’s “racist” per se. I don’t like her weird vocal affectation, and as a Southerner it sort of feels like she’s just making fun of us. I think the word racist gets tossed out there for any culturally insensitive misstep people make. However, I also feel like next year none of us will remember her do this whole conversation is for nothing.

  20. Tiffany27 says:

    He might as well as have said, “She’s not racist she has 2 black friends!”

  21. beatrix says:

    What. An. Idiot.

  22. Csweb says:

    I can’t believe I’m sort of defending this but I think T.I was trying to bring up the point about how a lot of the conversation about racism in America is, shockingly, coded in American specific things. That being said, the racist stuff that Iggy Azalea has said is NOT around the American problems, and is pretty universally racist. What an idiot.

    Not to mention that Australia is KNOWN for being racist. Not only about the whole Aboriginal thing (which they seem to consider a separate kind of racist problem?) , but they also had riots about the whole race thing back in 2005, and where I come from we’re warned that if we go and study in Australia you might encounter racism especially if you’re not in one of the big cities. Being from Australia is such a laughable excuse for ‘she can’t be racist’.

  23. Nuzzybear says:

    Nelson Mandela would be so relieved there wasn’t racism in non-America South Africa – when he gets done spinning in his grave.

    • maybeiamcrazy says:

      As a white South African if somebody implies I am racist just because of my roots, I’ll just remind them I am not American. A South African cannot be racist.

  24. Tdub30 says:

    While I appreciate all of the well thought out and logical statements regarding racism being an American thing (but not) lets just call this duck what it is….he’s an IDIOT

  25. Darkladi says:

    To T.I.

    Shhhhh….

    Love,

    All of us

  26. ElleV says:

    Aussie here, now living in Canada. Each have their issues re: indigenous people/immigrants, admittedly. But having lived in both countries for equal amounts of time, in both big cities and small, working class towns, I can say without doubt what I miss least about Australia is the subtle blend of racism/xenophobia/sexism/classism I couldn’t see until I moved. I love Australia, I love Iggy, and I think some of these undercurrents are changing and have changed massively in the past decade, but I’d argue there are equally profound divides as in the US, they just play out differently.

  27. nikzilla says:

    While I don’t agree that you “can’t be racist because you’re not American”, I will say that my German immigrant mother used to say the same thing. I think racism in other countries is just different than here in the US. They may not be “racist” towards blacks but they have their own prejudices against other groups of people.

    • lunchcoma says:

      Even if the forms of racism in Australia are different than those in the US, Iggy doesn’t have much of an excuse. She’s 24 years old and has been living and working in the US since she was 16. I think that 8 years is a reasonable amount of time to pick up at least the broad strokes of the social issues in a new country, particularly when you’re not dealing with any sort of language barrier.

  28. Reece says:

    Educate yourself man. Please just do…Educate yourself.

  29. Sozual says:

    T.I. is the biggest idiot! People in Australia are some of the MOST racist people out there.

  30. Danskins says:

    Surprised at his comments because T.I. is usually a smart and witty rapper.

    Guess he’s not allowed to have an “off” day like everyone else.

  31. WTF says:

    Okay, so I would be mad except what is the point? TI isn’t smart. Nobody ever said he was smart. He shouldn’t talk. He should just rap and produce beats and make sweet sweet love to me. And anyway, if he were here with me where he should be then I could fix all of this by sitting on his face whenever he decided to “educate”.
    #problemsolved

  32. familr says:

    In Australia, ‘White’ = English, Scottish , Irish, Welsh

    Ethnic/’Other’ = Italian, Russian, German Polish, Chinese, ‘Asian’, ‘Continental European’ , Arab, Jewish, Pacific Islander.

  33. allons-y alonso says:

    Wow! He has obviously never met a bogan! I think that calling all Australians racist is harsh. I love my country, but I will say that I won’t miss the sometimes passive aggressive remarks about the tone of my skin or the fact that I speak a second language out in public when I leave it in 2 weeks. I was born in Australia. That makes me Aussie. I hate it when people ask me ‘where i’m from’ and me telling them I’m from Sydney isn’t an adequate answer. That is the kind of ignorant stigma I despise. Like with everybody, I think there is a racist streak in some and a very kind and generous streak in others.

  34. Jayna says:

    Maybe singers and people in today’s music industry just shouldn’t give interviews anymore. I’m beginning to think that’s the answer. Then they could avoid some of their stupid remarks that ending up in print. LOL

  35. NewGirl says:

    I’m laughing as I type…. I cannot believe this interview..wow just…wow

  36. Jenni12 says:

    Oh, TI…. so pretty, but so dumb.

  37. Lauraq says:

    While I do enjoy some of Iggy’s music, I think it’s hilarious that some people are so far up her behind about what a great songwriter she is…but Black Widow was Katy Perry. Like, I’ve heard people wax poetic about how Black Widow was so cleverly written because OMG Iggy is a GENIUS…But she didn’t write it…