Editorial / Main

We Changed: Why You’re Responsible for Iggy And Macklemore

It’s no secret that I’m a real hip-hop head. I was born in the early 80’s, and I grew up in the 90’s surrounded by what I consider to be the best of hip-hop as a genre – and I feel that it (for the most part) still is. With that in mind, I’ll now proceed to finally weigh in on the whole Iggy vs the world conversation.

Is she a deep thinker who makes the thoughtful, well-written brand of hip-hop I love? No. For that reason, I don’t consume it. So much so, that it’s almost unfair for me to analyze it. What we can say with certainty though, is that her fans buy it. They shower her with undying adoration, buy tickets to her shows and (violently) defend her honour 140 characters at a time. When is the last time you did any of that for your favourite artists?

Instead of tweeting about how much you hate her [Iggy Azalea], perhaps you can tweet about the latest record by Skyzoo or D’Angelo?

Music is a business, which means it’s a for profit outfit that enjoys generating return on investment. There was a time when artists we worship and consider architects were in expensive studios recording big budget projects, because that’s what we wanted. That’s right – we were actually going to stores and buying their shit, packing up their shows, etc. That all stopped though; albeit it was kind of gradual. Nowadays people love to scream about how hip-hop isn’t real – but didn’t purchase Sadat X’s past release, or rush out to support that latest Craig G effort. You catch my drift? Hip-Hop changed, but so did it’s core of paying customers.

My hypothesis is that we grew up – let’s face it, nobody young is that upset about any of this. It’s us real heads who watched hip-hop grow from nothing into a feared outcry from black America. We watched as the highest powers tried – and failed miserably – to silence hip-hop. We’re the ones who are mad that the thing we loved is being perverted into this corporate behemoth that appears to be shutting us out. That isn’t hip-hop though. There I said it. All that shit we’re protesting is about as hip-hop as Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, PM Dawn, etc. Wack hip-hop irregardless of race, has long sold millions and been awarded Grammys and AMAs.

Hip-Hop is a culture, and it still thrives (in its purest form) today – but it needs our help. Are you mad that corporate America (i.e a group of old white people with suits) is allowing (for the most part) talentless rich kids take over the thing you love? Why not support the hundreds of real artists out there? Why don’t we all band together and support all the artists who are preserving the culture? Why don’t we stop just sitting around and actually make a change? Hip-hop was born an underdog, so going against the machine really shouldn’t be something that scares us.

In an attempt to round back, I’ll say that Iggy Azalea is a cog in the machine. None of this is her fault. She is making music, and people are buying it – it’s supply and demand and it’s the way business works. TI is no worse than Akon, who brought us Lady Gaga and Usher, who brought us Bieber. Instead of tweeting about how much you hate her, perhaps you can tweet about the latest record by Skyzoo or D’Angelo? Just saying.

Riley About Author

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns