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

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.”

 

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Jhene Aiko Taps Big Sean,Ty Dolla $ign, Ab-Soul And More For ‘Chilombo’ Album

After announcing the release date for Chilombo, Jhené Aiko unveiled the album's track list on Wednesday (Feb. 26). The project features appearances from Big Sean, Ty Dolla $ign, Nas, John Legend, Ab-Soul and Aiko’s father, Dr. Chill.

Last month, Aiko released the track “P*$$ Fairy (OTW),” which will be featured on the LP. The album's other interesting song titles include, “Happiness Over Everything (H.O.E),” “Tryna Smoke,” “Born Tired,” “LOVE,” “Mourning Doves,” and the Sean-assisted, “None of Your Concern.”

 

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March 6th ✨ #CHILOMBO 🌋

A post shared by Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo 🌋 (@jheneaiko) on Feb 26, 2020 at 9:17am PST

In a new interview with Essence, Aiko spoke on the “healing” properties of her music and discussed how she maintains privacy in the age of social media -- especially with all the chatter surrounding her relationship with Sean after the two seemingly broke up and got back together.

“The internet has made everyone aware of their opinion,” she said. “As many people as there are in the world, that’s how many opinions there are. If you let that many opinions affect your own opinion, and your own way of looking at things, you’re going to be so confused. I just love the feeling of taking that away from people; their need to have to say something or have to give their opinion because I personally have never been that way—well maybe when I was younger, or high or drunk.

“Whether it be something with me and Sean, or me and my daughter,” continued Aiko. “I share about one percent of my whole being with the internet. Even in my songs, that’s literally one moment that I’m talking about or when I felt that way. There’s so much more to my relationship with my [late] brother [Miyagi], or with my daughter, or with Sean. People hear a song like ‘Triggered’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, do we hate him now?’ In the grand scheme of things that was like a moment.”

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Wrongfully Convicted Kansas Man Awarded $1.5 Million After Spending 23 Years In Prison

A Kansas man, who spent more than half of his life in prison for a wrongful conviction, was awarded a $1.5 million settlement on Monday (Feb. 24). Lamonte McIntyre sued the state last year under a newly-implemented wrongful conviction statute.

“Today, Lamonte McIntyre has been declared, finally and conclusively, a completely innocent man. That long-overdue recognition, along with the statutory payment and other benefits will help lighten a bit the heavy load he has carried,” McIntyre’s lawyer, Cheryl A. Pilate, told CNN on Monday.

The settlement includes counseling, access to state-funded healthcare benefits for 2020 and 2021, and a tuition waiver to cover his post-secondary education up to 130 credit hours.

McIntyre was wrongly convicted in the 1994 murders of Donald Ewing and Doniel Quinn. He was just 17 years old at the time and served 8,583 days in prison before being released in 2017 at age 41.

“We are committed to faithfully administering the state’s mistaken-conviction law as the legislature wrote it,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a statement. “In this case, our office worked diligently to obtain and review all available evidence, including evidence identified but not provided in the earlier judicial proceedings. We were ultimately able to resolve all issues, satisfy all of the statute’s requirements, and agree to this outcome so Mr. McIntyre can receive the benefits to which he is entitled by law because of his mistaken conviction.”

McIntyre is the third wrongfully convicted man in Kansas to be awarded a settlement after suing the state under the wrongful conviction law, which was enacted in 2018. Three additional lawsuits remain pending in “various stages of litigation.”

Since his release, the McIntyre has completed barber school and founded Miracle of Innocence, a non-profit organization helping the wrongfully convicted. McIntyre attends Penn Valley Metropolitan Community College where he is pursuing a business degree.

“I feel like a new person, I feel like I’m actually starting my life now,” he told ABC news affiliate KMBC.

See more on McIntyre’s story in the video above.

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Snoop Dogg Addresses Gayle King Comments On ‘Red Table Talk’

Snoop Dogg visited Red Table Talk to address his comments against Gayle King. In the episode, which aired on Wednesday (Feb. 26), the Doggfather explained his social media fury against King for bringing up Kobe Bryant’s rape allegations in an interview days after the his death.

“I let my emotions get the best of me,” Snoop confessed to hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris. “I was frustrated on top of just venting.”

“I wanted to make sure that the message was across that we love Kobe, but be respectful of Vanessa [Bryant] and those kids. That’s what the whole intent was, to protect that woman and them babies over there because they are still grieving. Let’s give them some respect.”

Tyler Perry, Diddy, and Van Jones reached out to Uncle Snoop after he posted the blistering video calling King out of her name. “They didn’t bash me, they was just like ‘brother, we got your back if you need ‘anything’, but we think that you shouldn’t have said it.”

Snoop also received a phone call from his mother who checked him for his words about King. After the talk, he reached out to King privately before recording a public apology. Red Table Talk also reached out to King to invite her to appear on the show.

Nothing but love 🙏🏾🌹✨ tune in to @RedTableTalk today https://t.co/Ev7XsZQu7f pic.twitter.com/myEUwMLIO1

— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) February 26, 2020

Elsewhere in the interview, Snoop discussed the grief that he endured leading up to the deaths of Kobe and his daughter, Gigi, including the murder of Nipsey Hussle and the sudden death of his newborn grandson.

Click here to watch the full episode of Red Table Talk.

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