janelle monae

Janelle Monae on Iggy Azalea: “She steals from us, we steal back”

Janelle Monae and Jidenna (the first signing to her label Wonderland Records) recently sparked controversy when his single Classic Man showed similarities to Iggy Azalea’s hit Fancy. Azalea has openly discussed the track on social media a number of times, declaring it is a sample and she receives royalties for the usage of her song.

Monae and Jidenna recently aired their side of the story in a Hot 97 radio interview, declaring the pair only gave Azalea and co. songwriting credits as a cautionary measure to avoid a repeat of the Pharrell Williams/Robin Thicke lawsuit, which saw a large payout to the Marvin Gaye estate over copyright claims on the track Blurred Lines.

“The truth is we actually didn’t sample it. But ever since the decision of Robin Thicke and Pharrell, we believe that it was important to make sure that we are safe… When that Robin Thicke verdict came out, we realised the game had changed in music. I’m glad we were safe,” says Jidenna.

Then, in a hard hitting burn regarding the common criticism about Iggy Azalea and cultural appropriation within hip hop culture, Janelle Monae stated: “Hey, she steals from us, we steal back.”

You can watch the whole interview below.

Want more? Read our feature on Iggy Azalea and the ongoing debate of cultural appropriation here.