Iggy Azalea on Race and Gender in Hip-Hop: “A Lot of People Don’t Want to See a Woman on the Mic”

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By: Vibe / April 5, 2012

Iggy Azalea is certainly not your average emcee. In a recent interview with DAZED, the Grand Hustle signee talked about what it’s like to be a white female rapper in the game, and why gender may play a bigger role in hip-hop stereotypes than the color of one’s skin. —Stephanie Long

On falling in love with American hip-hop:

“I heard a Tupac song at a friend’s house down the street and it all really started from there. There was something about it that truly touched me. From that day, I got every video, album and magazine related to hip-hop that I could get my hands on. I was obsessed.”

On being a white rapper in Sydney:

“Being a teenage white girl didn’t make me stand out as much as you’d imagine – Australia has a lot of white kids in it! There weren’t too many girls on the mic but there were definitely a lot of girls at the events because it was a cool place to hang out; and a place to meet boys and look cute. I always felt in my heart that I was a champion, so hearing boo’s from a crowd just made me want to prove them all wrong and get better.”

On being a female in the rap game:

“Race to me is a low blow that people just use when they have nothing real to hate on. To me, being a woman is the biggest hindrance; a lot of people don’t want to see a woman on the mic, just like they don’t want to see a woman play an electric guitar. There are a million and one things that I go through as a woman and as a human being that we can all relate to, and colour is just an extremely small thing to me. I have to view it that way if I want the rest of the world to take on that mind frame too.”

On being stereotyped for her appearance:

“There are a million and one stereotypes people try to put on me every day. How a woman should act, how an Australian should act, how a white person should act, what ‘real rap’ is, what we consider to be beautiful. I’m blind to them all in my creative process. A stereotype should never hinder art if you’re brave about it, and I try to be.”