Is Iggy Azalea racist? Rapper accused of 'blackfishing' in 'I Am The Stripclub' music video

Azalea appears noticeably darker, surrounds herself with Black dancers in the 'I Am The Stripclub' video leading to widespread condemnation


                            Is Iggy Azalea racist? Rapper accused of 'blackfishing' in 'I Am The Stripclub' music video
Iggy Azalea in 'I Am The Stripclub' music video (@boohoo/Twitter) and her at an awards ceremony (Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

Iggy Azalea is no stranger to controversy, but it appears as if she has failed to learn from her past. The Australian singer is once again being slammed for being a racist, after her new music video, 'I Am The Stripclub' released on July 2. However, the good news has often been overshadowed by Iggy's more questionable music career. On numerous occasions, Iggy has co-opted Black culture with mixed results. While we've had several great hits, we've had an equal number of controversies. In the latest instance, viewers immediately took offense at Iggy's appearance, which was noticeably darker for the song. 

Iggy became a hero of sorts in April 2021, after revealing a string of DMs she received of celebrities begging her for sex. Last year, she announced she became a mother for the first time, after having a son with rapper Playboi Carti. In October, we learned Iggy would raise her son on her own after splitting with Playboi Carti

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Iggy Azalea performs onstage during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 20, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

 

Is Iggy Azalea racist?

This question is not so simple to answer. At the heart of the issue is Iggy's appropriation of Black culture. She isn't alone, throughout history, artists have always appropriated culture that isn't theirs to create music, films, and other works of art. As The Daily Beast noted in 2017, "She is making a huge career for herself by mimicking the vocal patterns and phrases of a Southern black girl." It's no secret Iggy's style and even personality is derived from Black culture, even though she is a White woman. In fact, her 'blaccent', something which Billie Eilish was accused of lately, has often become a topic of debate

In the past, Iggy has brushed off those concerns of appropriation. "I’m still going to make the same type of music and still be ridiculous and larger than life. So I can’t be that f------ sorry about it," she told Cosmopolitan in 2019. Unfortunately, it's not just her cultural appropriation that people have taken offense to. In 2011, she sent out a series of racist and homophobic tweets that went largely under the radar until 2015.

Once again, the problematic singer found herself courting controversy with 'I Am The Stripclub'. In the video, Iggy appears several shades darker than her actual color. Adding to the 'blackfishing', she appears surrounded by Black men in leather. For those unaware, blackfishing is a term used to describe a White person attempting to appear Black. It's unclear why Iggy chose to appear this way, but it didn't take long for social media to notice, and slam her. 

To answer the question though, there's a fine line between cultural appropriation and racism. Iggy herself has made it clear she won't ever apologize for appropriating Black culture, so it is really up to her fans and the wider public to determine where she has crossed a line. Judging by the reactions to 'I Am The Stripclub', the video appears to be one of those moments where she has.

Iggy Azalea in a still from 'I Am The Stripclub'. (@boohoo/Twitter)

 

Twitter says Iggy was 'not slick at all'

"Someone please let Iggy Azalea know that just because "somewhere down the line someone in my family was aboriginal" doesn't mean you can do blackface," one person tweeted. Another said, "Yikes. Vocal blackface isn't enough for Iggy Azalea anymore? She gotta go all the way?"



 



 

 

One person tweeted, "Cannot believe iggy azalea did blackface in her vid lol I’m sorry that shit was not slick at all." Another replied, "Oh my god this isn’t even blackfishing it’s just full blown blackface Jesus Christ iggy."



 



 

 

"I didn't recognize Iggy Azalea from these photos. She got rid of the blonde hair and has a spray tan darker than Amber Rose. She is hardcore blackfishing and trolling with the look and the song. Lol. She hid her Black baby for a year too," one person claimed on Twitter.



 

 

This isn't likely to be the last time Iggy courts controversy over her appropriation of Black culture and appearances. Whether she is racist though, is certainly a subject for debate. Iggy joins the long list of celebrities, like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and  Ariana Grande who have controversially adopted blackfishing in the past, and continue to enjoy fame.  

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