Questlove Defends Iggy Azalea, Declares "Fancy" Song Of The Summer

Questlove’s new show Soundclash is premiering tonight on VH1 and the Roots drummer sat down and talked to Time about the new show and, more importantly, what he thinks is the song of the summer. “You gotta know what the difference is between a good song and a bad song. Songs that I consider personally bad are also effective, and songs that I think are great don’t stick.” He admits that even though he wishes Chromeo’s “Jealous” took the crown, it has to go to “Fancy,” which spent 8 weeks at the top of the Billboard 100, even if it wasn’t your pick. “Here’s the thing: the song is effective and catchy as hell, and it works,” he said. “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.” Read more about what he thinks of “Fancy” and the wealth of music coming out of Australia below.

Have you weighed in on an official Song of the Summer?

I’m really caught in between, because this is what you gotta understand: I’m a DJ, and I’ve already established before on Twitter and elsewhere that you gotta know what the difference is between a good song and a bad song. Songs that I consider personally bad are also effective, and songs that I think are great don’t stick. For me, I think it’s a crime that Chromeo is not up there, because their level of pop songs — aw man, it’s everything I could ever want. It isn’t sticking. I want “Jealous” to win so bad, but it’s obvious “Fancy” is pretty much ruling the summer.

Are you pro- or anti-Iggy Azalea?

Here’s the thing: the song is effective and catchy as hell, and it works. 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. 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.

And to tell the truth, I was saying this last year, I don’t think it’s any mistake that four or five of my favorite singers are from Australia. Like between Hiatus Kaiyote, there’s a bunch I can name for you right now, but I don’t think it’s a mistake that a lot of of my favorite artists are coming from Down Under. A lot of them more soulful than what we’re dealing with now. When you think soul music and Aretha Franklin and the Baptist-born singer, that’s sort of an idea in the past. As black people, we’re really not in the church as we used to be, and that’s reflected in the songs now.

I’m not going to lie to you, I’m torn between the opinions on the Internet, but I’mma let Iggy be Iggy. 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.

[Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty.]

Comments (3)
  1. i think it’s an improvement when the dumb song of the summer steals its chorus melody from Hard Fi’s “Cash Machine”. good on ya, Charli.

  2. Gonna have to disagree with Quest on this one, though I do like his whole hipster Teletubby look

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