As society at large has worked to sever its ties with Iggy Azalea in the wake of one too many embarrassing public flameouts, it appears that T.I., the Australian rapper’s former mentor, has had a similar idea.
During an interview on radio show “Ebro in the Morning,” T.I. acknowledged that their relationship had taken “a bit of a rest stop” and that they haven’t "personally" spoken recently. T.I. pointed to last year'’s Q-Tip incident as the breaking point, in which the legendary Tribe Called Quest co-founder wrote a lengthy missive attempting to educate Azalea about hip hop history, and Azalea responded with a dismissive tweet.
"After I kind of had smoothed it over like okay, 'What is really meant to be said here is…' After it was cool, everything was cool, and then they kind of came back and undid what I had just [done],” he explained. "I’ma be all the way real, I'm a loyal partner. If I rock with you I'm gon' rock with you … I really do feel that they [Iggy's team] just needed a little more time to adjust, which I feel they can do. They have the talent, they have the charisma."
Still, T.I. recognizes that Azalea has been put through the wringer during her short career. "It's very difficult to be the new kid and to be the butt of the jokes,” he conceded. “[Iggy] came at a time where culturally, this nation — which, she's not from here — we were looking for a source, for somewhere to place some pent-up aggression. They just kind of got it for no reason, in some cases — some stuff they brought upon themselves.”
It's interesting to note here that T.I. refers to the beleaguered rapper not as "she" but as "they," perhaps a rare public acknowledgment that Azalea isn't an individual artist as much as the face of a business team — Iggy, Inc. simply needs a bit more time in the incubator to revamp its interface so it can jumpstart its appeal to investors, after which a reboot of the product line will be imminent.
Listen to the full interview below. T.I.’s remarks about Azalea begin at 2.18: