New Music: Black Widow - Iggy Azalea ft. Rita Ora
Your fave is problematic but Iggy has transcended the lines of problematic; whether it’s her homophobia or her racism, she’s never one to acknowledge any wrong doing.
In her newest video, “Black Widow,” Iggy partners with Rita Ora in a Kill Bill parody, playing off Beatrix Kiddo’s code name, Black Mamba. However, there are so many reasons why this is a nasty example of cultural appropriation. You might think the same of Kill Bill, except, I’d like to argue, that Kill Bill wasn’t an example of cultural appropriation, but rather of cultural respect and homage. Tarantino’s vol. 1 is a respectful nod, a tribute, to the classic Japanese samurai and Chinese kung-fu films that inspired him. Tarantino worked with several well known martial arts experts to train his yellow-haired warrior, had Uma work with tutors to speak the languages, and included some well known Japanese actors (Sonny Chiba and Kenji Ohba). Kill Bill is far from a mockery of Japanese culture (in fact, the film pokes fun at itself with O-Ren Ishii’s “silly Caucasian girl likes to play with Samurai swords”).
Iggy, on the other hand, seemingly handles a samurai sword but not the Japanese culture. She neglects Tarantino’s same respect. She uses a faux Japanese script to spell out “DESTROY,” white washing any authentic language. And for some reason, rather than taking place in a Japanese bar, the decisive House of Blue Leaves scene replica takes place in a club, with an American flag in the backdrop and Michael Madsen in cowboy attire.
Iggy successfully removes anything authentically or even vaguely Japanese from the music video. Nothing really respectful here: Iggy’s character takes the exotic and uses it to kill.
Gauche at best.