Tag Archives: hip hop

Tryna Get That Rich//I’m Obsessed with Iggy Azalea

26 Sep

I knew Iggy Azalea existed somewhere in the popular music sphere; she’s one of those names I was vaguely conscious of but to whom I never sat down and listened intently.

I’m embarrassed to say this, but I listened to Iggy (for real) for the first time on iTunes Radio when GUEST DJ KATY PERRY played (spun?) ‘Work.’ I must have heard it before, because I knew before even looking down at my phone that it was Iggy Azalea, and then the pieces sort of fell into place. I suddenly recognized why this woman was highly regarded in the music industry right now and why her talent is naturally disputed at the same time.

I can really appreciate the message in this part of  “Work”:

You can hate it or love it
Hustle and the struggle is the only thing I’m trusting
Thoroughbred in a mud brick before the budget
White chick on that Pac shit
My passion was ironic
And my dreams were uncommon

Iggy grew up in Australia in a tiny mud brick house built by her father. She’s white and female, yet she listened to Tupac growing up and wanted to be a *famous* rapper. I like and lust after a lot of things, including  hip hop, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to try and make it as a hip hop artist. I respect this woman who had the odds against her in terms of her career choice, but was so passionate and believed in herself so much that she actually went out and made it happen. Mostly, I like this sentiment: take it or leave it. It’s understandable why people wouldn’t immediately accept a white, Australian, female who also happens to be incredibly beautiful as a reputable rap artist– but not everyone needs to. She is talented and she continues to be recognized for it, whether you hate it or love it.

Her first mixtape, Ignorant Art (2011)  pays homage to  many different artists and  still manages to be complex and innovative. The album came out two years ago, and still had such a strong late 90s influence– you can pick up on some musical references to Writings on Wall (1999) and Outkast’s Aquemini (1998). Ignorant Art feels like the album she was meant to produce for a long time, and I say that positively.

Today, it’s unheard of to be a popular artist and to stand by idly while your music takes the stage. Nearly all musical artists are also performance artists–if your music is popular, so too is your public persona. Critics stand at every media outlet and try to make sense of some amalgamation of style and appearance, tweets, music videos and interviews. While I don’t necessarily want to buy into the gawking and speculating, I do appreciate Iggy Azalea as a public persona. She was formerly a model, but she’s not at all waifish or subdued. She’s has an Amazonian-Beyonce thing going on–when you look at her it’s apparent that she’s a very powerful presence and could one day rule the world.