Music Business

Who Owns Hip-Hop Music? Iggy Azalea, Azealia Banks, T.I, Q-TIP and the Misappropriation of Black Culture

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Azealia Banks on Hot 97There is this heated ongoing debate over the misappropriation of Black culture in the music industry, specifically hip-hop. We’ve heard it in recent times through rapper J.Cole, but rapper Azealia Banks goes all out in this Hot 97.7 interview where she takes on Iggy Azalea, Macklemore and rapper T.I for promoting Iggy.

Now, as you read and understand the recent spat between these artists, I have one simple question for you. At this stage of the music and with its reach going to almost every far corner of the earth, Who owns hip-hop music?

I want to also hear Nigeria/Africa’s music industry weigh in on this. So please get into the debate.

Cheers,
Uduak

First the interview with Azealia Banks

1. She likes to “dibble and dab” with women.

2. She grew up with a heavy influence by Dominicans in Washington Heights.

3. Interscope dropped her because she overspent on the record ($2million on an album) but did not produce what they believed could cross over into the top 40.

4. She did not have a 360deal, she kept her touring and wanted to keep her creativity.

5. Interscope was upset she was giving music for free. All Interscope had to do was listen to her and they could have recouped their investment.

6. Once she got dropped off the label, she used Tunecore, digital distribution platform, to release her music.

7. Some quotes: “I feel, just like in this country, whenever it comes to our things, like black issues or black politics or black music or whatever, there’s always this undercurrent of kind of like a, ‘F*ck you. There’s always like a, ‘F*ck y’all, n*ggas. Y’all don’t really own sh*t. Y’all don’t have sh*t.”

8. As to Iggy she said, “That Iggy Azalea shit isn’t better than any f*cking black girl that’s rapping today, you know? When they give those awards out — because the Grammys are supposed to be accolades of artistic excellence, you know what I mean? Iggy Azalea is not excellent…When they give these Grammys out, all it says to white kids is: ‘Oh yeah, you’re great, you’re amazing, you can do whatever you put your mind to.’ And it says to black kids: ‘You don’t have sh*t. You don’t own sh*t, not even the sh*t you created for yourself,’ and it makes me upset.”

9. More quotes: “Everybody knows that the basis of modern capitalism is slave labor. The selling and trading of these slaves. There are f*cking huge corporations that are caking off that slave money and shit like that. So until y’all motherf*ckers are ready to talk about what you owe me,” she said while breaking down in tears. “At the very f*cking least, you owe me the right to my f*cking identity. And to not exploit that sh*t. That’s all we’re holding on to with hip-hop and rap.”

10. T.I is a ” f*cking shoe-shinning coon.”

STRONG Language but Must Watch

Iggy’s Response

Q-TIP Steps in to Explain Black Culture & the History of Hip-hop  to Iggy

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA HipHop is a artistic and socio-political movement/culture that sprang from the disparate ghettos of NY in the early 70’s
10:32 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA Coming off the heels of the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT and approaching the end of the Vietnam war it was a crossroads 4 America
10:33 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA specially for blacks in the US our neighborhoods were PROLIFERATED w/a rush of HEROINE
10:35 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA our school systems here in NY dungeon traps with light for learning
10:36 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA 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..)

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA these men had families but due to these events and throw into the mix the public emasculation…
10:41 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA they proved to be handicapped parents. The surrogate parents? The STREETS
10:42 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA the streets of gangs, crimes, and the hustlers coddled us and swept us up
10:43 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA but! Being a spirited, rhythmic & expressive people music art dance outlined our existence
10:44 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA it proved a way for us to exhault to scream to dance to laugh and find OUR VOICE
10:45 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA we weren’t at the time skilled musicians as kids. We had records, turntables, ideas and INGENUITY
10:47 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA being natural chemist we took from whatever was availed to us and we created something mighty and special
10:48 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA we cut breakbeats back n forth we took a hybrid of Jamaican toasting along w/ radio jock rap( hank Spann, Gary Byrd, ect.) and
10:50 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA we put our rap down..
10:51 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA it was a neighborhood thing really. Black and Latino Kids were carving out their space and it became infectious
10:52 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA eventually Keith Cowboy coined the phrase hiphop . Yrs later the first rap record was recorded and now we r moving
10:54 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA but during these strides this country still had the monster of racism and racial insensitivity breathing and ruling
10:56 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA believe it or not young black n Latino lives specifically weren’t acknowledged in mainstream American culture unless Ofcourse..
10:58 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA the convo was abt gangs , being criminals or uneducated. And hey! Like I stated early our families were rushed our schools
11:00 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA sucked and we were left to put devices to survive
11:00 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA but HIPHOP showed that we had DEPTH, fire, and BRILLANCE
11:01 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA the music was undeniable! It moved from NY N became national and even GLOBAL
11:02 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA hiphop now was FOR EVERYBODY!! All of those who cld relate to the roots, the spirit, the history, the energy.. It reached YOU
11:04 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA it touched your spirit n took u up. We magnetized you! That’s what BRILLANCE does
11:05 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA now u are fulfilling your dreams … BUT!
11:05 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA you have to take into account the HISTORY as you move underneath the banner of hiphop. As I said before
11:08 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA 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
11:09 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA is being a SOCIO-Political movement. U may ask why … Well
11:11 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA once you are born black your existence I believe is joined with socio-political epitaph and philos
11:12 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA based on the tangled and treacherous history SLAVERY alone this is the case
11:13 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA it never leaves our conversation… Ever. WeAther in our universities our dinner tables our studios or jail cells
11:15 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA the effects still resononates with us. It hurts… We get emotional and angry and melancholy
11:17 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA did u know president Clinton was the ONLY PRESIDENT to apologize for it?
11:17 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA did u know that remnants of slavery exist today thru white privilege? When certain “niceties” r extended your way because of
11:20 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA 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
11:23 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA this is not a chastisement this is not admonishment at ALL this is just one artist reaching to another hoping to spark insight
11:24 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA into the field you r in. I say this in the spirit of a hopeful healthy dialogue that maybe one day we can continue
11:25 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA I’ve been on twitter a long time and this will probably be my last series of tweets pretty much but
11:27 AM – 20 Dec 2014

QTip ✔ @QtipTheAbstract
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@IGGYAZALEA I’m Kool with it as long as I got to share this w u. Zzzzzzz’s up! Peace

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law website and podcast show empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

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ABOUT THE FOUNDER

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at https://msuduak.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Winston Balagare says:

    How can an entire race lay claim to a style of expression? It doesn't make any sense.

    Imagine if Whitney Houston's version of "I will Always Love You" was never recorded, simply because someone felt she didn't have the right to sing the music of white country musician Dolly Parton?

    People like Azealia Banks and J. Cole should sit down and shut up, and stop acting as if they speak for black people on earth as a whole. We are not all the same, just because we might happen to look similar.

    This argument they are making sounds similar to when some white people are upset that blacks are playing hockey. It's ignorant and offensive.

    Iggy Azalia may not be the best rapper, in the eyes of some, but many do like her. And black people should not rely on some man-made award to validate them as human beings. Stop crying over trophies, and instead worry about your empty pockets.

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