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How Patti Cake$ undermines Iggy Azalea

I flew from California to Minnesota yesterday, and en route I watched the film “Patti Cake$,” about a young New Jersey rapper desperate for success.

I’d never heard of “Patti Cake$” before, and I certainly had never seen the starring actress, a 20-something woman with freckles and wavy hair. I happen to be a big hip-hop fan, but I assumed I’d merely overlooked this person. Maybe she was big and I was blind. Or maybe she was underground and on the way up. I mean, clearly she was a seasoned rapper, because the film’s soundtrack is amazing and her skills are impressive.

But … no. Turns out the actress is named Danielle MacDonald. She’s from Sydney, Australia, she attended the Australian Institute for Performing Arts, she lives in Los Angeles, she’s 26 and—before “Patti Cake$”—she’d never rapped. Like, not one time.

I bring this up because, like MacDonald, Iggy Azalea is an Australian female rapper who sounds distinctly American when she performs. I’ve never actually been a fan, because it’s always felt so … fake. I mean, you have this person who’s soft-spoken and proper and Australian, and suddenly—lights on—she’s a hard-core hip-hop artist from the mean streets of somewhere who sounds an awful lot like a Minaj tribute artist.

As I read up on “Patti Cake$,” I just kept thinking of Iggy, and how is some non-rapping Australian actress can become a capable hip-hop artist for a film, then maybe what Azalea has done is easily explained.

Maybe it’s just acting.

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