Iggy Azalea Defends Lorde Over “‘Royals’ Is Racist” Attacks

Iggy Azalea has come to the defence of Lorde and her breakthrough single Royals, whilst discussing what she sees as the “liberal” attitude that some people have towards accusations of racism. Royals was described as “deeply racist” by Feministing‘s Veronica Bayetti Flores last year.

Back in October, Flores took Lorde to task for what she viewed as racist undertones in her song, writing, “We all know who she’s thinking when we’re talking gold teeth, Cristal and Maybachs. So why shit on black folks? …Why not take to task the bankers and old-money folks who actually have a hand in perpetuating and increasing wealth inequality? I’m gonna take a guess: racism.”

“I didn’t know Lorde was a big old racist,” Azalea now proclaims in an interview with The Guardian. “Me, I’ve been called everything but it kind of irks me to think that they said that about a 17-year-old. Don’t say that about a kid! You cannot erase those things, they are there forever.” Following the publication of Flores’ article, many outlets penned responses both endorsing and decrying her view.

“I also think it is a generational thing, a misunderstanding,” Azalea added. “When I think of Royals – ‘gold chains, diamonds on your timepiece‘ – I think about Tumblr kids. She was talking about the aesthetic of Tumblr. The people writing the music see it one way, the consumers see it another.”

“Is rap really that much of a stereotype?” she asked. “To say that rap is a guy in chains and baggy pants popping bottles in a club is stereotyping black culture. That has never been my aesthetic… I love the fact that I don’t rap the way I talk – I think it’s completely hilarious and ironic and cool.”

Azalea was herself accused of racism by fellow rapper Azealia Banks in early 2012. “Getting the word racist put on me sucked,” said the Australian hip-hop star. “And it’s hurtful for other people to have to hear it. And it is hurtful for other people’s families to have to hear it. I think people seriously need to rethink that word. We are very liberal in flinging it around and it is pretty fucking heavy.”

Azalea had also previously criticised Lorde for her performance during Nirvana‘s induction into the Rock Hall of Fame. She claimed that since the singer was not one of the band’s peers, the performance wasn’t “appropriate,” though insisted that the comment was not intended as a “dig.”

Watch: Lorde – Royals

Gallery: Laneway Festival 2014 – Brisbane, 31/01/14

Photos by Charlyn Cameron

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