Iggy Azalea's meteoric rise in the mainstream this year has sparked questions about cultural appropriation and her role within hip-hop. And while that discussion -- about the way white artists exist and function within hip-hop -- is nothing new, it has been gaining momentum lately.
In many ways, though, we were engaged in a similar discussion following Macklemore's ascent last year and Grammy wins this past February. And it's something he's certainly thought about and addressed, including this week.
"You need to know your place in the culture," he said in an interview with Hot 97. "Are you contributing or are you taking? Are you using it for your own advantage or are you contributing to the culture -- and that's subjective, that's completely subjective."
"But, I think it's clear who has contributed and clear who is taking. I'm not gonna comment on Iggy in that regard, but what I will say is I saw a tweet it was something along the lines of, 'hip-hop was birthed out of the civil rights movement.' This is a culture that came from oppression that came from white oppression, it was the by product of that. We can say that we've evolved and that we've come along way since the late '70s and early '80s, but [evidence suggests] that we haven't. So you can't disregard that."
"Just because there's been more white rappers, just because there's been more successful white rappers, you cannot disregard where this culture came from and our place in it as white people."
In addition, he discusses why white parents think his music is "safe" but other rappers' isn't; police brutality; his "mistake" posting a screenshot of his text with Kendrick Lamar the night of the Grammys; his thoughts on J. Cole's "Fire Squad" lyric; new music and more.