On Wednesday, a corner of political and NatSec Twitter resurfaced a 2013 interview Azalea gave to HipHopDX, in which she cites Fukuyama’s writing as an influence on how she approaches the hip-hop industry.
“I like to read,” Azalea told the online magazine. “I’m currently reading The Origins of Political Order [by Francis Fukuyama]. It starts at the beginning of time and goes up to the French Revolution. It’s about how religion turned into politics and politics turned into religion. Actually, it’s really informed how I look at the music industry.”
“Ever since I heard her opening line ‘first thing’s first I’m a realist,’ I knew [Iggy Azalea] was a foreign policy wonk,” Foreign Policy reporter John Hudson tweeted, parodying the lyrics of Azalea’s hit song “Fancy.”
The fact that the Australian hip-hop artist and noted cultural criminal is an admirer of the 62-year-old author of The End of History and the Last Man might strike people as…odd.
But Fukuyama himself seems flattered.
“Well, if she likes my book, it’s great,” he emailed The Daily Beast. “Now I’m sorry she was beaten out for the Grammy for top white rapper.” (Fukuyama was referring to how Azalea lost the 2015 Grammy for Best Rap Album to fellow white person Eminem.)
“Or I guess that was top rapper who happens to be white,” Fukuyama later clarified.
Fukuyama is perhaps best known for his End of History, in which he saw the triumph of Western liberal democracies as the ultimate and final form of government. His work became influential in American neoconservative circles—a movement he wasn’t eager to embrace following the disaster of the Iraq War.
I asked Fukuyama if he had a favorite Iggy Azalea song. “No, I don’t really listen to hip-hop, I have to admit,” he responded.