Iggy Azalea received a ton of backlash after using the following line in one of her songs: “Tire marks, tire marks / Finish line with the fire marks / When the relay starts, I’m a runaway slave / Master” on “D.R.U.G.S.” As discussed here, Azealia Banks was very vocal about pointing this out.
In response to those who felt that her line was disrespectful, Iggy decided to pen a letter, which was originally posted on MissJia.com, in which she calls the line a “tacky and careless thing to say.”
She stated that the line was inspired by by Kendrick Lamar’s “Look Out for Detox,” and that she was playing on his line “When the relay starts I’m a runaway slave.”
Check out what she had to say below:
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, sh**ting 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. have been mastered, or overcome, and that you may feel my line was ‘sh**ting 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.
I’m sure Kendrick Lamar is probably not too happy that he was the inspiration for the controversial line. While I don’t know whether Iggy meant to be offensive by using the line, I do believe that someone on her team should have let her know that that line was inappropriate, especially in this not-so-post-racial society.