It was only a matter of time before T.I. weighed in on recent discussions surrounding Iggy Azalea, which were sparked by accusations of cultural appropriation during an Azealia Banks interview last week, and furthered by tweets about hip-hop's history from Q-Tip over the weekend. And on Sunday night, he did just that.
After acknowledging, with respect to Q-Tip's tweets, that "all these facts are true," T.I. mounted a bit of a defense for Iggy.
"Also what I think my big Bruh kinda left out is that OUR people (blacks in America,& HIPHOP) have had much less qualified White People come along & manipulate our culture for their own pers gain," he began. "This lead to an almost incoherent overly defensive, paranoid sense of...'All White People Wanna Steal Our Sh--' mentality."
Despite that fact, he stressed that, "not all white people out to steal our culture..There are some that merely wish to contribute to it. And I'd be less than ME if I didn't say that... If WE don't allow u guys the same......rights & respect we KNOW WE DESERVE in other areas of humanity... WE'RE ALL JUST A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES. AND THATS NOT HIP HOP!!!!"
The Paperwork rapper's response came a day after Q-Tip posted a lengthy series of tweets, in which he attempted to frame hip-hop's history, roots and importance for Iggy. "now u are fulfilling your dreams ...," the veteran MC wrote. "BUT! you have to take into account the HISTORY as you move underneath the banner of hiphop. As I said before 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 is being a SOCIO-Political movement."
The A Tribe Called Quest legend's messages, too, were a response -- to a back-and-forth earlier in the week between Azealia Banks and Iggy, jumpstarted by an interview the Harlem native gave on Hot 97. “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--k you,’” she said, referencing the major success of white artists like Iggy and Macklemore within hip-hop. “There’s always a, ‘F--k y’all n---as; y’all don’t really own sh--, y’all don’t have sh--.’”
Iggy retorted, in a series of tweets: "There are many black artists succeeding in all genres. The reason you haven’t is because of your piss poor attitude. Your inability to be responsible for your own mistakes, bullying others, the inability to be humble or have self control. It’s YOU!”
In the days since the initial exchange, questions surrounding the Australian rapper's understanding of her place within the context of the history of the culture have again been raised, most notably by Q-Tip. Despite those ongoing criticisms, though, T.I. left his "No Mediocre" collaborator on a note of positivity.
"So in a nutshell, absorb da info...apply it where most useful,and above all KEEP SHINING,FOLLOW YOUR HEART,& STAY TRUE TO WHO U ARE!!!," he wrote, addressing Iggy directly. "I know u don't deserve all da negative sh-- that comes your way. But like I've told u before, it just kinda comes wit da territory...when u gain so much positive attn SO FAST! It all balances out."