Speaking with VladTV about this year’s Grammy prospects for Hip Hop albums, Charlamagne explained his take on the issue of Whiteness in the genre and the specific possibility of another white emcee winning the Grammy for Best Rap Album.
Asked about his reaction to J. Cole’s “Fire Squad” song and the rapper naming white artists as cultural appropriators in one of the verses, Charlamagne detailed why he thinks the discussion about White rappers is overblown.
“This is the thing, man,” he started, “White rappers in Hip Hop, the fear that Black rappers have of White rappers in Hip Hop is the same fear that America had over Ebola. The threat of Ebola in America was never really a threat. It was two people in America who died from America. Two! If this was West Africa, I could totally understand the media doing the fear-mongering they were doing…That’s how I feel about White rappers in Hip Hop. He named four people. He named Eminem, Macklemore, Iggy Azalea, Justin Timberlake whose not even a rapper. Let’s eliminate Eminem and Justin Timberlake for one reason: they’re talented. You can’t take away that Eminem and Justin Timberlake aren’t talented. I don’t care if Eminem was Spanish, I don’t care if he was Mexican. I don’t care if he was Indian. Eminem is dead nice. Period. Can’t nobody argue that. You could possibly argue that he don’t get the props he deserves because he’s White. I don’t ever mention Em as a GOAT. I just don’t.
“Iggy and Macklemore,” he continued. “Listen, I would have signed Iggy four years ago. I told y’all Iggy Azalea was gonna be a star. From a business standpoint I would have signed her. She really reminds of Charli Baltimore. Rapping-wise she reminds me of Charli Baltimore. Go listen to old Charli Baltimore and listen to Iggy. Charli wasn’t wack. And Iggy’s ain’t wack. I would have signed her.”
Speaking specifically about the Grammys, Charlamagne said, “Iggy probably is gonna win. But who gives a shit?”
“Why is all of a sudden this Grammy shit, why does it mean so much to y’all?” he said. “The Grammys have historically never gave a fuck about Hip Hop. They’ve never gotten it right when it comes to Hip Hop. I remember OutKast winning album of the year. I remember Lauryn Hill winning five Grammys. What I’ve noticed from the Grammys is they usually give it to the most commercial artist of that year. At that time OutKast was the most commercial artist of that year…Same thing with Lauryn Hill at that time. Listen, do we not remember when ODB rushed the stage at the Grammys? And took the Grammy and said, ‘Yo, Diddy is cool but Wu-Tang is for the children.’ P. Diddy’s No Way Out album beat Wu-Tang’s Forever that year. Like, c’mon.”
Later in the interview, Charlamagne joked that there are actually two White artists up for a Hip Hop Grammy this year.
“Let’s be clear, it’s two White people up for a Grammy this year: Iggy Azalea and Childish Gambino,” he said with a laugh. “I would much rather have Iggy win the award. If Childish wins, you think Kanye embarrasses himself when he goes on stage and tries to say some political deep shit? Childish Gambino gon’ go up there and you gon’ be like, ‘Boy I wish he was White.’ Y’all gon’ be saying, ‘Hey, trade Childish for Iggy please.’ Y’all gon’ be begging.”
Clarifying his stance on the because the internet rapper, Charlamagne said, “I don’t have no problem with Childish Gambino. For some reason he wants me to have a problem with him. I can be sitting there talking to Childish and it’s like he’ll be arguing with me, telling me that I keep hating on him. I’m like, ‘Childish, I like you.’ You know why I like him? He’s a free spirit. He stinks. Don’t get me wrong, he got a terrible smell. His odor is horrible.”
For additional Charlamagne coverage, watch the following DX Daily: