Q-Tip's Tweets To Iggy Azalea About The History of Hip-Hop, Racism, and White Privilege

Q-Tip's Tweets To Iggy Azalea About The History of Hip-Hop, Racism, and White Privilege

After Azalea Banks HOT 97 interview, where she spoke about her displeasure with how Black culture is perceived and continued her "beef" with Iggy Azalea. Several artists have joined the conversation such as Solange, Tyler the Creator, and Q-Tip. Q-Tip took to Twitter to tweet an open letter. Below is that letter with punctuation and spelling corrections.

Hip hop is a creative artistic and socio-political movement/culture that sprang from the disparate ghettos of NY in the early 1970’s. Coming off the heels of the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT and approaching the end of the Vietnam war. It was a crossroads 4 America specially for blacks in the US. Our neighborhoods were PROLIFERATED w/a rush of HEROINE, our school systems here in NY dungeon traps with light for learning.

Black men, some of whom didn’t return from tours of duty and the ones who did came w/war baggage (agent orange, addiction, ect...) they proved to be handicapped parents. The surrogate parents? The STREETS, the streets of gangs, crimes, and the hustlers coddled us and swept us up. But, being a spirited, rhythmic & expressive people music art dance outlined our existence. It proved a way for us to exalt, to scream, to dance, to laugh and find OUR VOICE

We weren’t at the time skilled musicians as kids. We had records, turntables, ideas and INGENUITY. being natural chemist we took from whatever was availed to us and we created something mighty and special. We cut breakbeats back n forth we took a hybrid of Jamaican toasting along w/ radio jock rap( Hank Spann, Gary Byrd, ect.) and we put our rap down…

It was a neighborhood thing really, Black and Latino Kids were carving out their space and it became infectious. Eventually Keith Cowboy coined the phrase Hip hop. Years later the first rap record was recorded and now we are moving.

But during these strides this country still had the monster of racism and racial insensitivity breathing and ruling. Believe it or not young Black and Latino lives specifically weren’t acknowledged in mainstream American culture unless of course the convo was about gangs, being criminals or uneducated. And hey! Like I stated early our families were rushed our schools sucked and we were left to put devices to survive but HIPHOP showed that we had DEPTH, fire, and BRILLANCE.

The music was undeniable! It moved from NY and became national and even GLOBAL. Hip hop now was FOR EVERYBODY!! All of those who could relate to the roots, the spirit, the history, the energy. It reached YOU!

It touched your spirit and took you up. We magnetized you! That’s what BRILLANCE does. Now you are fulfilling your dreams... BUT, you have to take into account the HISTORY as you move underneath the banner of Hip hop. As I said before Hip hop is fun it’s vile it’s dance it’s traditional it’s lighthearted, but 1 thing it can never detach itself from is being a SOCIO-Political movement. U may ask why...

Well once you are born Black your existence I believe is joined with socio-political epitaph and philos based on the tangled and treacherous history SLAVERY alone this is the case. it never leaves our conversation... Ever. Whether in our universities our dinner tables our studios or jail cells. The effects still resonates with us. It hurts... We get emotional and angry and melancholy.

Did you know president Clinton was the ONLY PRESIDENT to apologize for it? Did you know that remnants of slavery exist today through White privilege? When certain “niceties” are extended your way because of how you look? Isn’t that crazy? I say this 2 say you are a Hip hop artist who has the right to express herself however she wishes.

This is not a chastisement, this is not admonishment at ALL, this is just one artist reaching to another hoping to spark insight into the field you are in. I say this in the spirit of a hopeful healthy dialogue that maybe one day we can continue. I’ve been on twitter a long time and this will probably be my last series of tweets pretty much but I’m Kool with it as long as I got to share this w u. Zzzzzzz’s up! Peace!
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