*With hit singles, awards and massive exposure and radio play, 2014 has been pretty good to Iggy Azalea.
Yet, she’s also been on the receiving of a lot of criticism, most notably from Azealia Banks, who accused Azalea of “cultural smudging” during an recent interview on Hot 97.
Although he didn’t bash Azalea, Q-Tip took a different route and educated the “Beg For It” rapper on the culture of hip-hop via Twitter. From its origins to why many black artists are unhappy with how she uses hip-hop to advance her career when her lyrics and image are very questionable in terms of being genuine and real, the veteran lyricist basically devoted a huge set of tweets to get his point across to Azalea. In his eyes, he hopes a “healthy dialogue” about the real meaning of hip-hop can result between the two of them.
The following is Q-Tip’s message to Azalea in its entirety:
@IGGYAZALEA HipHop is a artistic and socio-political movement/culture that sprang from the disparate ghettos of NY in the early 70’s. Coming off the heels of the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT and approaching the end of the Vietnam war it was a crossroads 4 America, specially for blacks in the US our neighborhoods were PROLIFERATED w/a rush of HEROINE. Our school systems here in NY dungeon traps with light for learning blk men some of whom didn’t return from tours of duty n the ones who did came w/war baggage (agent orange, addiction, ect..) These men had families but due to these events and throw into the mix the public emasculation…The proved to be handicapped parents. The surrogate parents? The STREETS. The streets of gangs, crimes, and the hustlers coddled us and swept us up but! Being a spirited, rhythmic & expressive people music art dance outlined our existence. It proved a way for us to exhault to scream to dance to laugh and find OUR VOICE. We weren’t at the time skilled musicians as kids. We had records, turntables, ideas and INGENUITY. Being natural chemist we took from whatever was availed to us and we created something mighty and special. We cut breakbeats back n forth we took a hybrid of Jamaican toasting along w/ radio jock rap( hank Spann, Gary Byrd, ect.) and we put our rap down..
It was a neighborhood thing really. Black and Latino Kids were carving out their space and it became infectious. Eventually Keith Cowboy coined the phrase hiphop . Yrs later the first rap record was recorded and now we r moving. But during these strides this country still had the monster of racism and racial insensitivity breathing and ruling believe it or not young black n Latino lives specifically weren’t acknowledged in mainstream American culture unless Of course…the convo was abt gangs , being criminals or uneducated. And hey! Like I stated early our families were rushed our schools sucked and we were left to put devices to survive but HIPHOP showed that we had DEPTH, fire, and BRILLANCE. The music was undeniable! It moved from NY N became national and even GLOBAL. Hiphop now was FOR EVERYBODY!! All of those who cld relate to the roots, the spirit, the history, the energy.. It reached YOU it touched your spirit n took u up. We magnetized you! That’s what BRILLANCE does.
Now u are fulfilling your dreams … BUT! you have to take into account the HISTORY as you move underneath the banner of hiphop. As I said before hiphop is fun it’s vile it’s dance it’s traditional it’s light hearted but 1 thing it can never detach itself from is being a SOCIO-Political movement. U may ask why … Well once you are born black your existence I believe is joined with socio-political epitaph and philos based on the tangled and treacherous history SLAVERY alone this is the case, it never leaves our conversation… Ever. WeAther in our universities our dinner tables our studios or jail cells. The effects still resononates with us. It hurts… We get emotional and angry and melancholy. Did u know president Clinton was the ONLY PRESIDENT to apologize for it? did u know that remnants of slavery exist today thru white privilege? When certain “niceties” r extended your way because of how u look? Isn’t that crazy? I say this 2 say u are a hiphop artist who has the right 2 express herself however she wishes. This is not a chastisement this is not admonishment at ALL this is just one artist reaching to another hoping to spark insight into the field you r in. I say this in the spirit of a hopeful healthy dialogue that maybe one day we can continue. I’ve been on twitter a long time and this will probably be my last series of tweets pretty much but I’m Kool with it as long as I got to share this w u. Zzzzzzz’s up! Peace!