(AllHipHop News) In 2014, when “Fancy” was dominating the Hot 100 chart, it looked as if Grand Hustle co-founder Tip “T.I.” Harris had secured the next ruling female rapper on his roster. Unfortunately, Iggy Azalea’s turn as a mainstream act did not last as long as some pundits had expected.
The Australian-born rapstress turned some rap devotees off when she seemed to dismiss Hip Hop following her crossover to the Pop charts. Tip even referred to his business association with Iggy as a “blunder” in a recent interview which caused the Hustle Gang leader’s former protégé to respond on Twitter.
During a sit down with The Breakfast Club, T.I. further explained why he now looks back at the period overseeing Iggy’s career as one of his most difficult times as a record executive. The Rhythm + Flow judge/producer put a lot of those issues directly on the actions of Azalea.
“The question was, ‘What in your career do you think you still have to accomplish?’ I said, ‘Well, I gotta introduce another female to the game that can undo the blunder of Iggy Azalea,'” explained T.I. about his original comments published by The Root. “I really feel like she was meant to be great… I didn’t say this to really speak down on shawty. This is my truth, and I’m sharing it.”
The Grammy-winner added, “I feel like when she found out white people liked her and she didn’t really need black people to like her any more, she switched up and started acting different and made moves that I wasn’t proud of, that kind of place my reputation in the line of fire, and she was very arrogant about it. I feel like that energy led to motherf*ckers [to say], ‘We ain’t f*cking with that.'”
In 2014, rap legend Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest posted a series of tweets for the purpose of offering Iggy Azalea a different perspective on the history of Hip Hop and race in America. Iggy’s response to Q-Tip was seen by some observers as disrespectful and disdainful. T.I. even jumped into the fray by advising Iggy to absorb the information and apply it where it could be most useful.
Azalea admitted last year to making mistakes when it came to how she dealt with accusations of cultural appropriation in the past. The “F*ck It Up” performer also engaged in a conversation about racism and white privilege.
“I understand that in America there is institutionalized racism and there is privilege that comes with the color of your skin. That’s real. I grew up in a situation that didn’t involve any privilege and I worked really hard,” Azalea told GQ in 2018.
She continued, “A lot of my childhood is overlooked. People assume they know my life because Australia is a nice beautiful country. It’s tough because I want you to acknowledge my work and [to understand] that this wasn’t easy but I also don’t want to detract from or trivialize any people of colors’ position because that’s legitimate.”
After breaking out under the Grand Hustle/Def Jam umbrella, Iggy Azalea is now an independent act. She released her In My Defense album in July which was met with mostly negative reviews from professional music critics and only peaked at #50 on the Billboard 200. She has not scored a Top 40 hit since 2015. Her 2019 single “Sally Walker” stalled at #62 in March.