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Published on October 15th, 2019 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


Questlove & Black Thought Clear Up Comments Made About Iggy Azalea and Cultural Appropriation

Photo: Maro Hagopian with SiriusXM

Yesterday The Roots members Questlove and Black Thought spoke with SiriusXM Urban View Host Clay Cane about their new AMC docuseries Hip Hop: Songs That Shook America and Questlove cleared up comments he made back in 2014 about Australian rapper Iggy Azalea and the artists’ cultural appropriation accusations.

During the interview host Clay Cane says, “What do you think about this cultural appropriation conversation that comes up? …  I remember what you said Quest about Iggy Azalea, you said something like ‘Hip-hop is contagious and if you love hip-hop you gotta let it go.’”

Questlove replies, “So, at that time, TIME Magazine was asking me, ‘What’s your song of the year?’ So, I had no idea that there was rumblings about Iggy’s position in hip-hop as far as that. I’m one of those guys that’s like, ‘Oh, what’s the song of the year?’ And I was like, ‘Well everyone knows it’s Fancy — like, is there a problem?’

In regards to cultural appropriation, he shared that  “This is absolutely nothing new. Just the fact that it’s still shocking people is more or less like — okay, I’ll let you have that moment on social media. But, for me, it’s almost like  — duh.”

Black Thought added, “It’s more than a tradition at this point. It’s woven into the DNA of not only this country, but the world. Black music, Black art, Black culture is going to be appropriated. What I have a problem with is when once it’s appropriated we abandon it. We relinquish said ownership because no matter how far it permeates to the outer limits of the globe, it’s still something that we created, so it’s ours….I feel like it comes full circle and we start trying to re-appropriate what’s been appropriated,  then that’s when it gets really tricky… Don’t let the Iggy Azaleas of the world become your barometer for what you should be doing as an artist.”


Content courtesy of  SiriusXM and SiriusXM’s The Clay Cane Show (weekdays from 12-1 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Urban View channel 126)

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Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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