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Azealia Banks, Iggy Azalea and hip-hop's appropriation problem


Stashed in: Hip Hop, Beef Faux Pas de Deux (Fake/Humorous), Inequity & Inequality, Rival Claims (Disputes of Authenticity and Legitimacy), @iggyazalea

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Because my black story is deeper than the boat ride over, do you know what I mean?

“So this little thing called hip-hop that I’ve created for myself, that I’m holding onto for my dear fucking life,” she concluded, “I feel like it’s being snatched away from me or something.

“The blackness is gone.”

Hip-hop’s first commercial breakthrough was a record born partly of theft – Big Bank Hank’s stealing of Grandmaster Caz’s rhymes. It reached higher heights than black music had ever before achieved because of love – white love for a sound that grew from Afrodiasporic roots and spoke from, to and through black struggles.

Love and theft, as Eric Lott reminds us, are the overarching themes in an American popular culture born in minstrelsy and built, in large part, from the promethean creative labor of black people. But the power of American pop – and in this we should include non-Americans like Lennon and McCartney, Jagger and Richards, who have been influenced by and participated in its long, rich conversation – has always been in its ability to close the gap between and to transform the creator and the participant.

Big Bank Hank is Sugarhill Gang?

He died in November.

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