Iggy Azalea: ‘It felt like I wasn’t acknowledging that there is white privilege’


We’ve barely discussed Iggy Azalea in years. The last time we talked about her was when Quimby wrote about how Iggy’s photos were hacked and put online – I genuinely felt bad for Iggy in that particular instance, but in general, no, I don’t have much sympathy for Iggy coming to America from Australia and deciding she was going to do cultural blackface and adopt an American-rapper persona and all of that. I mean, it worked for a time… until it didn’t. And Iggy hasn’t been relevant for much in years. LOL – as I was looking through our archives, I came across this story which I had totally forgotten! Iggy thought it was racist when people called her BECKY oh my God. Okay, anyway, all of this to say that I am surprised to see Iggy on the cover of the September issue of Cosmopolitan because… why is she on the cover? I guess Beckys always get second chances. And third chances. And fourth chances. You can read her cover profile here. Some highlights:

On leaving the big-name record labels to become an independent artist: “I guess I’m sort of my own boss, well I am my own boss…I should say that with authority: I am my own boss.”

On making a comeback: “You get as many shots as you are able to persevere for in life, no matter what you do. You get as many chances as you’re willing to sit there and f–king really fight for it tooth and nail. And I’m not going to stop fighting for a second chance until somebody f–king gives me one, and then I’m not going to f–k it up.”

On her feelings that cultural appropriation is subjective: “You could ask one person of the same race, ‘’Does this affect you?’ and they will say yes. But another person will say no. They could be from the same place, same everything, but have different perspectives about it.”

On being unapologetic about who she is: “I’m still going to make the same type of music and still be ridiculous and larger than life. So I can’t be that f–king sorry about it.”

On describing her fans as free thinkers: “They have to be because if you thought what everybody else thought, you probably wouldn’t be a fan of mine.”

On being defensive of her views on privilege in the past: “I would hit back and say, ‘What about this stuff I had to go through?’ because I wanted to talk so much about my experiences of things I didn’t have, and I think it felt like I wasn’t acknowledging that there is white privilege and there is institutionalized racism. It seemed to a lot of people like I was living in this bubble or was unaware of all these things that people have to experience.”

On handling critics and backlash: “You want to be right so bad because you feel like you’re justified, your emotions are so real. It’s hard to say ‘Okay, I handled that in a bad way.’”

On looking back at her early 20s: “There’s a part of me that doesn’t necessarily dispute everything I’ve said. But I definitely feel like, Who the f–k is that person? It’s that time in your life when you think I’m a real grown-up and I know everything, and you can’t tell me s–t…The older I get, the less I f–king know about anything.”

[From Cosmo]

It strikes me that she’s sort of a serial self-saboteur and she’s only now realizing some of the absolute nonsense she spewed. I thought her answer about white privilege was remarkably honest, although I wish she had simply admitted that she failed to acknowledge her own privilege and the privilege around her, rather than couching it in “this is the criticism other people had of me.” I also think her answer on cultural appropriation is… not great. I was going to say some words about how she sounds like she’s on her way to understanding the larger concepts of cultural appropriation, privilege, and even white fragility, but maybe not.

What else? She says her management team “encouraged” her to go to a mental health retreat two years ago, which sounds like a vague reference to rehab but probably was not. I think she was really just screwing up her own life at a terrible level and her people were like “yikes, we need to get her out of public view for a while.” So is Iggy still canceled or what? I honestly don’t care enough to declare her “still canceled” or “comeback pending.”


Photos by Eric Ray Davidson for Cosmopolitan, sent from promotional Cosmopolitan email.

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37 Responses to “Iggy Azalea: ‘It felt like I wasn’t acknowledging that there is white privilege’”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    Question for the readers, are celebrities jumping on the white privilege wagon to make themselves relevant, using it to their advantage and not really trying to help the situation? I agree with kaiser on the assessment of her statements. And she needs to come to grips with the reality that her shelf life has expired.

    • WingKingdom says:

      This exactly- her shelf life has expired. There isn’t going to be a comeback with the same type of music, and she seems not to get that. If I was her manager, we’d be looking at some alternative careers. And taking some college classes so she can see better where she fits in the world and why.

    • StarGreek says:

      Yep, agree Seraphina.

      Plus, in an article where she acknowledges white privilege she has an attitude to second chances that can only be developed through white privilege.

      For PoCs and immigrants a first chance might be all what you get, even if you persevere for a million years.

      • Seraphina says:

        @StarGreek, yes to the first impression comment (I agree with all you wrote). I’ve noticed people try under the radar to figure out where my roots are originally from. It’s gone from: you look like you aren’t from here or I don’t look American, to now it’s: you have an accent where are you from??? And I have no accent, born and bred in US. I do have darker Mediterranean skin and very dark features.

  2. TheBees says:

    This whole article sounds like a non- apology for her previous non-apology, but ok ! I have never been a fan and that’s not changing any time soon.

    • ByTheSea says:

      Total non-apology. The bish learned nothing from the backlash. Saying “people think I’m a serial killer” is not the same as saying “I feel remorseful for all the people I killed.” She still doesn’t acknowledge her privilege or the fact that people–rightfully–called her out on her “cultural blackface” (thanks, Kaiser–that’s an excellent term).

    • Kitten says:

      Wait, so you can’t hear the apology in “People act like I didn’t know that institutionalized racism and white privilege exists”?

      She will never change.

  3. grabbyhands says:

    I think it felt like I wasn’t acknowledging that there is white privilege –

    Oh honey. That’s just because you didn’t and still don’t. You still sound like a defensive, tone deaf assh*ole about it.

  4. Sarah says:

    Even if we put aside her insistence on appropriating black culture for her own gain, Iggy is simply not talented. That’s her main problem. So, until she learns how to actually rap, I would suggest she stays where she has been hiding for the past two years.

    • ByTheSea says:

      To be honest, though, I don’t think Cardi B can rap, either. Nicki Minaj is pedantic. Not everyone can be Missy Elliott or Salt n Pepa. But her 15 minutes are definitely up. I’ll get mad if she gets another chance when so many talented artists don’t.

      • HK9 says:

        On the scale of talentless bad rappers, Iggy will always be at the bottom. I’m still wondering how she even got on the cover of that magazine.

      • Sarah says:

        I don’t think Cardi is a very good rapper either but she has catchier songs than Iggy and her personality seems to click with the public, or at least part of it. Iggy doesn’t have that. She seems widly unpleasant.

  5. Arizona says:

    Fancy was a bop, and that’s it. she’s not talented. she’s not a good rapper. and she’s an embarrassment. we don’t need a comeback from her.

  6. stepup says:

    “I guess Beckys always get second chances. And third chances. And fourth chances.”

    This right here. This sums it up.

    Unacknowledged double standards are one of the more infuriating symptoms of institutionalized racism / implicit bias.

    For starters, most people are completely blind to the double standards they hold, so trying to point it out is damn near impossible. Nobody wants to believe that about themselves.

    Secondly, because of the double standards, Black people must live life on a perfection tightrope — without a safety net, while the peanut gallery, in a million different ways, every day, is shouting: you’re inferior! and unreasonable! and wrong! and arrogant! and uppity! and difficult! and ugly! and…on and on the wheel turns. When you do fall, which is inevitable, it’s life shattering.

    White people can’t comprehend the weight of this, because they’ve never had to deal with that constant level of stress. (Before someone jumps in about the stresses White people face (and throw up a “class” argument)…yes, I know. Everyone experiences stress in their lives. Some people’s constant stress is brought on by chronic illness, circumstances, etc….all I am saying is that White people have never, and can never, experience the stress of casual racism, and as a result, tend to trivialize it and struggle to build a (genuine) compassion for it. To give you an example, I once knew a well-meaning woman who compared racial stress to the stress she was feeling about a barely-negative comment her mother-in-law once made about her dress.)

    • Sarah says:

      What an outstanding comment.

    • Washington says:

      Well said. You see it here all the time with, as an example, apparently woke white commenters deciding what appropriation is and then lecturing black commenters when they disagree.

    • LeaTheFrench says:

      I think you need to be hit with it in the face.

      A few years ago I sat on a recruitment committee. A few very good candidates had made it to the short list, but one was clearly standing out, both in terms of background and personality. The Head of the recruitment committee said – and these were his exact words – “We’re not going to take her because she’s Arab. The members won’t like it.” Just like that.

      This stayed with me for a long time.

      • ME says:

        I remember working a low level job at this one office. I was too educated and qualified for the job but it’s all I could get. I was happy to be there. My supervisor was leaving her job and they were looking to replace her. I knew her job and actually performed her job while she was on vacation. I thought for sure I’d be a candidate. Before I knew it they had already hired a woman for the job. They didn’t even give anyone a chance to apply for it. This woman knew NOTHING. She didn’t even know how to navigate the internet. She was a friend of the CEO. I had to teach her the job. How low I felt you have no idea. The difference between us that mattered the most was she was White and I am not. Some people just don’t understand how unfair things can be.

    • horseandhound says:

      I don’t think it’s helpful for people to count their and other people’s problems or privileges. everybody has had it tough in some areas of life and easier in some other areas. how are you going to measure (and how would that serve us) privilege of being rich vs. the privilege of being intelligent or the disadvantage of being poor vs. the disadvantage of being ill. I mean, somebody goes through this difficulty, somebody through that difficulty and everybody’s battle is hard for them. I have compassion for all people who struggle in some way.

      • livealot says:

        and there it is. Girl whet? #makeitmakesense .

      • stepup says:

        We can always count on you, horseandhound, to demonstrate what white fragility looks like.

        Also. Here’s the difference between regular stresses and racial stress: perpetrators. If someone has stress related to an illness or a divorce, whatever the case, most people aren’t causing that stress, only the direct parties involved or genetics or something uncontrolable are the root of that type of stress. However, many White people (through denialism, white fragility, etc…) CAUSE the racial stress they claim not to want to see or talk about. That’s like punching someone in the face, then claiming innocence. (Moi!? I didn’t punch you. Let’s just not talk about it.)

      • horseandhound says:

        @stepup,well yeah. I still can’t understand why people want to insist on dividing people with that white vs. black rhetoric. I know that there is some small percentage of people who are racist, but the majority of people just aren’t. and I really don’t appreciate the whole idea that black people and white people are enemies and that the white people are out there to get the black people. do you people really think it’s possible that one whole race are the bad guys and the other races are the good guys? that’s so simplistic. I think that collectivism is regressive and only creating more conflict between people instead of bringing them together. the us vs. them thing has never ever worked.

      • stepup says:

        I don’t know what to say to you, horseandhound. The way you look at the issue is sophmoric. Your words demonstrate that you have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to this topic.

        I notice you’re parroting alt-light vocabulary, though.

        For starters, you don’t understand what racism is. You still seem to think it amounts to individual, conscience acts of violence and ostracization. That is wrong. It’s a social system in which every individual in the United States, Canada, and other “western” countries (I’m sure it’s other places, too; I’m just referencing what I know through experience) participates in daily. It operates in the shadows and is barely visible to people who don’t have to deal with it.

        And that’s the problem with people who espouse opinions like yours: You refuse to listen to the people who ARE affected by it, much less believe them. That’s racial arrogance. That’s implicit bias. Your approach allows racism to flourish.

        Nearly every sociologist, psychologist, researcher, etc…who studies racial cultural and social dynamics finds evidence of implicit bias everywhere. Through peer-reviewed studies, they have amassed undeniable evidence that institutionalized racism, buoyed by implicit bias, is a guiding social force. Yet, you think you know better. Bottom line: You’re wrong and refuse to acknowledge it. Instead, you throw around statements that have been disproven again and again. That is hurtful. That perpetuates racism. That is a gross lack of compassion. That is an abject lack of broad cultural awareness.

        Oh, and when we discuss these things, it’s not rhetoric, it’s real life.

      • Original Jenns says:

        Horseandhound: It’s more than the small majority being racists. Its an entire system based on supporting white persons’ cultural experiences. And trust me, as a person of color, it’s NOT a small majority. So you’re already starting the discussion with your head in the sand. If you don’t understand casual racism, then you should listen to the discussions in these types of posts. No one is saying you can’t experience pain. What people are saying is you can’t understand living in a world that can work against you because of the color of your skin. And you can’t and that’s ok. You’re lucky. Now go ahead and support those who aren’t.

      • horseandhound says:

        @Original Jenns, okay, I’m open to learning and listening. if you’re willing to give me a couple of examples of systemic racism you’re referring to, I would like to hear them so I could know what we’re talking about. I’m ready to reevaluate my position if needed.

      • stepup says:


        It’s not people of color’s job to spoon feed you the information. You are digitally connected to, literally, all the world’s knowledge. If you truely want to learn, start Googling and educate yourself. People all over these boards have given examples. Go back and start reading threads.

  7. Kitten says:

    Part of me wants to pick apart everything she said here but another part of me just doesn’t have the energy to waste on this chick.

    But this “On describing her fans as free thinkers: ‘They have to be because if you thought what everybody else thought, you probably wouldn’t be a fan of mine’ ” is so very telling in a million different ways.

  8. TIFFANY says:

    September cover? The biggest ad revenue issue of the season and they but her on the cover.

    How much did she pay for this?

  9. ME says:

    Should someone remind her of her twitter history? She used to tweet the most racist and homophobic sh*t. She’s woke now huh?

    • Original Jenns says:

      “So happy to hear a southern accent than a mexican one” “mexicans have box bodies”. Tell me all this again, Iggy, while you inject more plastic into your body and implore us to be free thinkers.

  10. Valiantly Varnished says:

    She’s acknowledging her white privilege now because she wants people to buy her music. Period. But it’s VERY telling that she still wont own her cultural appropriation and musical blackface. Because if she did…she’d hqve no career.

  11. Elisa says:

    She looks like Gwen Stefani now. It’s weird how these celebrities start to resemble each other…

  12. AnnaKist says:

    Come home to Byron Bay, Iggy! Boost Juice – smack-bang in Byron – are hiring now! $22 per hour to start! Management possibilities!