T.I. has gone to bat several times for his protégée, Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. Tip has defended the leggy blonde against criticism that alleges she’s a culture thief (while admitting that he signed her largely because she’s white), denied that she’s a racist (despite lyrics and tweets that are inflammatory and derogatory), and dismissed any notion that she doesn’t write her own raps. Now, T.I.’s wife, Tiny, is adding her voice to the mix. Speaking with VladTV, Tiny praised Azalea for her ability to appropriate a southern black accent when she raps — despite being a white girl from Australia.
“I talked to her a lot and she has a really thick Australian accent, of course, because she’s from Australia, but when I heard her rap, she sound like she’s from Atlanta,” Tiny says. “I’m like, ‘You sound like you from Bankhead! How does this work?’ But that’s just talent to me. She really can change her tone when she’s rapping. But when she’s talking, she’s back Australian again. So, she’s a dope artist to me, though.”
Tiny didn’t seem to think there was any cultural “thievery,” just a case of a young girl being influenced by what she heard.
“I guess she said she listened to a lot of Southern rap growing up,” Tiny adds. “I guess that’s where she picked up on it. I think that if she did rap with an Australian accent, it would be normal for an Australian person to rap like an Australian, but I just think it’s dope that she can sound so Southern … and be from a whole ‘nother country.”