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Is the success of Iggy Azalea a step forward or a step back for hip-hop

Iggy Azalea Performing
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET

I have no preference either way on the music of Iggy Azalea. I'm not a fan nor a detractor. This isn't so much about her music, as it is about the color of her skin.

As a huge Hip-Hop fan, I love it when Hip-Hop garners any sort of positive mainstream acclaim. As of today, Iggy Azalea, now holds the record for longest Top 100 reign for a female rapper with 'Fancy'...

Looking at the list you will see 'Lady Marmalade' which featured Lil' Kim as the former record holder at five weeks, surpassed by 'Fancy' which has now been on top for six weeks. Of course, 'Lady Marmalade' is about as much of a rap song as Justin Bieber's 'Baby.' A song that featured a quick verse from Ludacris. That point is neither here nor there. The point I am trying to make is the point that whenever rap has a huge breakthrough mainstream success, it tends to be behind a white artist.

First Vanilla Ice had the biggest rap record of all-time until Eminem came along. Eminem is also by far the highest selling rapper of all-time as well as the most decorated awards wise. Now you have Iggy Azalea, quickly becoming one of the biggest female Hip-Hop artist of all-time.

Of course, you don't have to be white to be successful in Hip-Hop. Jay-Z, Kanye West, Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G. and a whole host of other non white Hip-Hop artists have had major success in breaking through to a mainstream audience. Dr. Dre has more money then any white Hip-Hop artist, if you are one who tends to judge success in terms of financial stability. But the question still seems to linger, could a black artist of equal footing, become as big of a mainstream success as a white artist?

Or is our society still not over our hang ups when it comes to racial issues, even when it comes to something as unifying as music? This isn't a knock on Iggy's success at all, nor is it a question of race relations. This is only about putting the idea out there for people to think about. I'm sure somebody out there has to be just as surprised as I am to find that the artists with the most mainstream success in a music that is dominated by the voices of African Americans, tends to be the few white artists.

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