We reported two weeks ago that Harlem rapper Azealia Banks was pissed about seeing Australian native Iggy Azalea on XXL‘s Freshmen list because she rapped lyrics about being a “runaway slave master.” The line in question stems from Azalea’s “D.r.u.g.s.” song and is actually a play on a similar line from Kendrick Lamar’s “Look Out for Detox.”
Be that as it may, she has recognized the controversy surrounding the words because she’s, you know, white, and she came forward with an apology in the form of a letter to her fans. She explains the intent of her words along with how, “in all fairness, it was a tacky and careless thing to say and if you are offended, I am sorry.”
You can read the entire letter below. [HHDX]
Im writing you today to address a lyric I said a few months ago in one of my songs that I feel has been used to unfairly slander my character and paint me as a racist person.
Kendrick Lamar is one of my favorite artists and I loved his song ‘Look Out for Detox’ so much I decided to do my own version of it last year. The lyrics I wrote follow the original version closely; One lyric in particular has offended a lot of people and for that, I apologize.
The artist’s lyric was:
“when the relay starts I’m a runway slave”
My lyric was:
“when the relay starts I’m a runaway slave…Master, shitting on the past gotta spit it like a pastor
This is a metaphoric take on an originally literal lyric, and I was never trying to say I am a slave owner.
The intent was to say was that past histories have been mastered, or overcome, and that you may feel my
line was ‘shitting on the past,’ just as many feel pastors shit on the bible or biblical history…although they mean no ill and just have their own take, hence the lyric ‘gotta spit it like a pastor.’
In all fairness, it was a tacky and careless thing to say and if you are offended, I am sorry. Sometimes we get so caught up in our art and creating or trying to push boundaries, we don’t stop to think how others may be hurt by it. In this situation, I am guilty of doing that and I regret not thinking things through more.
I don’t hate any race of people, and it pains me to wake up to other young people being misled to believe I do. I am for unity and equality. People should get a fair shot at whatever they want to do no matter what color they are; rap and hip hop as a culture is not exempt from this.
It is unfair to say other races who also grew up listening to rap don’t get a place too. We have a place and the Azaleans and myself are evidence of that fact. All people have a voice and equal right to use it.
In your lifetime you will say a lot of things you will wish you hadn’t too. I have to have my poor choice of words live with me forever on the internet. Please know that I have grown from this and hope to have your continued support in life and my mission of bridging the gap.
As one of my lovely azaleans said last week: we are the prototype and far beyond the stereotype.