In an interview with Time, Roots drummer Questlove details his role as an Executive Producer for a new VH1 music show called SoundClash. During the interview, Questlove also responds to backlash against Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” being unofficially considered the “song of the summer” by many and offers up his own view of the hit.
“Here’s the thing: the song is effective and catchy as hell, and it works,” he says. “Just the over-enunciation of ‘hold you down’? [Laughs] It makes me chuckle because all I can see is my assistant holding a brush in the mirror and singing it.”
“I’m caught in between,” he adds. “And I defend it. I see false Instagram posts like, ‘She said the N-word! She said the N-word!’ I’ll call people out—’Yo, don’t troll.’ I know you’re ready to give your 42-page dissertation on theGrio about why this is culture vulture-ism. You know, we as black people have to come to grips that Hip Hop is a contagious culture. If you love something, you gotta set it free. I will say that ‘Fancy,’ above any song that I’ve ever heard or dealt with, is a game-changer in that fact that we’re truly going to have to come to grips with the fact that Hip Hop has spread its wings.”
“I’m not going to lie to you, I’m torn between the opinions on the Internet, but I’mma let Iggy be Iggy,” he later says. “It’s not even politically correct dribble. The song is effective. I’m in the middle of the approximation of the enunciation, I’ll say. Part of me hopes she grows out of that and says it with her regular dialect — I think that would be cooler. But, yeah, ‘Fancy’ is the song of the summer.”
During the interview, Questlove also addresses how the SoundClash concept itself came about as a result of a back-and-forth with his former manager about the possible development of a music show.
“I said, ‘What if we have a show that took artists out of their comfort zone?’” he says. “They’re in a big, giant airport hanger and there’s three stages. You surround the audience so even the person in the back row will eventually be front-row once their artist performs…It’s sort of like Jamaican sound clashing. You do different rounds. Round one is the artist doing their song, round two could be a stripped down version of their song or a cover song. Maybe round three, you put Chris Martin with someone like Odd Future. And you take Earl Sweatshirt, what happens if he goes with Imagine Dragons? That was the mission. As we get further on into the episodes, I would like to go more extreme, have people come out of their comfort zones and do crazy collaborations.”
VH1’s SoundClash is scheduled to premiere tonight (July 23) at 9pm.