Black Eyed Peas star will.i.am has given Iggy Azalea something to smile about at Christmas after defending the Australian rapper from critics on Twitter.com and thanking her for "spreading our culture positively".

The Fancy hitmaker has come under fire from fellow rappers Azealia Banks and Snoop Dogg, who both poked fun at her for attempting to take on African-American culture issues in her songs.

Banks recently took aim at the Aussie star for failing to use her considerable fame to comment on the killings of two unarmed black men at the hands of white cops, sparking racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City.

Azalea's rap mentor T.I. jumped to her defence early on Monday and now will.i.am has waded into the war of words.

He writes, "hiphop Is global now... it doesn't matter if your white or black... thanks for contributing & spreading our culture positively... (it) saddens me that people are making a big deal about race in hiphop & not ethics... today's ethics goes against our foundation."

He added, "In 1980 a white girl from punk rock group @blondieOfficial helped #hiphop expand beyond the hood with a song called #rapture... @Iggyazalea at the end of the day who cares what people think... do what you love... stay #fancy...#congrats

"thank you .@BlondieOfficial expanding hiphop...we wouldn't even have an empire if this song didn't cross boarders."