Is Iggy Azalea's Career a Hip-Hop Conundrum or An Inspiration?

Categories: Hip-Hop

iggyazalealead.jpg
Nick Nuk'em
Iggy Azalea at the Observatory
It's hard to sum up exactly what Iggy Azalea means to music just months after releasing her debut album, The New Classic, which to date has sold over 100,000 copies. Her single "Fancy" is now double Platinum. Most critics, rap journalists especially, have had nothing but negative things to say about the 23 year-old's commercially successful effort for reasons that are quite obvious. The white Miami transplant from Australia sounds and looks different than other emerging emcees before her, still she is lumped into categories with other fair-skinned, "Thrift Shop" rappers who catch flack for having a ghetto pass that's invalid everywhere but the Hot 100 charts.

Let us not forget about the 2012 track "Murda Bizness" featuring her then label head T.I., where she proclaims "If you was on fire, wouldn't piss on y'all hoes." Even T.I.'s verses on that song didn't get anywhere near as gutter and grimy as Azalea's. It was a song that quickly showed she could write lyrics that could at least keep up with the status quo of hip-hop's biggest mainstream artists. In the time before "Fancy" commandeered radio waves, Iggy also collaborated with rap contemporaries YG, Problem, and Wale while Miley's "hood" antics continued to be the laughingstock of TMZ.

Wind your Rolex watch a year forward though, and see that the rising star has ditched the down south imprint Grand Hustle Records for Island Def Jam, where a shot at the show was astronomically more plausible. With the album that would become "The New Classic" in the works, Iggy was picking up steam and even performed "Blurred Lines" alongside Robin during the MTV Europe Music Awards. Sound familiar? Perhaps the Aussie was now on a mission to win over the mainstream by displaying her rap skills or the red flags a traditional rapper with a pop song might raise. Her public persona became pop flavored, yet urban-tinged; something labels and mainstream media outlets loved and the exact thing rap traditionalists hated. And the visuals for "Fancy" inspired by the movie Clueless would get Azalea invited through corporate America's front door, while more commonplace rappers and their crime-filled story arcs remain on the porch.

Now, 2014 has become the year of Iggy and talking hip-hop heads are screaming "andale" hoping her flame cools as if her product isn't "real" hip-hop would like for it to come to a close though the undeniably dope "Fancy" was mistaken for a DJ Mustard beat when it first released, and his music's been deemed the requiem for '90s rap on plenty of occasions. After all, Iggy's almost completely backed off of the tough talking since the explicit bar in "Murda Bizness" and spends a lot of her time discussing issues more pertinent to a former vagrant looking for a big break in a Black metropolis in hip-hip, still largely considered a "Black" industry who the press to adhere to stereotypes is always present.

Gary Suarez, writer for the entertainment blog Flavorwire, raised a good question in an article he wrote on Azalea back in April by asking just "how many Swiss-cheese narratives have we been fed from rappers alluding to their mastery and prominence in the drug trade, the pimp game or some other criminal enterprise?" In Iggy's case, the only reason to dismiss the autobiographical ode to pulling up your bootstraps, "Work", is unfounded hate.



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15 comments
sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

1) thanks for taking on the racists who down her b/c she is white


2) as far as "credibility" goes


ITS ALL HOLLYWOOD ALL THE TIME


is jayz a sellout b/c he made it big and then makes sure he isnt called one by "staying in touch" with people doing wrong?


thats what passes for kool? good? 


she might sing she is Jenny from the block,, but thats an insult NOT A "IM KEEPN IT REAL MOMENT


how is it an insult?


b/c the idea , the object is not only to make it but to become a better person , to wise up etc



you're not any "wiser" b/c yo do something wrong to stay "in touch and be a playa"


your just a scam artist IF YOU KNOWINGLY DO SOMETHING WRONG TO CREATE AN AURA


btw  that girlll has one fine azzzzzzzzzzz




weirdough
weirdough

Man, just by looking at the comments below, I only seen 3 intellectual ones. IMO, I agree with @longbowman because he actually sees it like I do & sadly to say, its hard for me to say who am I a fan to & why would I really SUPPORT any artist when it comes to what they really represent. Although its true that MOST artist do it because they believe in themselves they can  due to their "talent" its inevitable to say that once the $$$ becomes bigger, their "talent" truely shows within. Anybody will do anything & everything to stay in the limelight :/

Lies
Lies

EXCUSE YOU AUTHOR. YOU HAVE A SERIOUS FLAW IN THIS ARTICLE.

"If you was on fire, I wouldn't piss on you" WAS STOLEN FROM EMINEM'S TRACK "SUPERMAN". Where HE said "wouldn't piss on fire to put you out". Iggy just twisted the words. Iggy is an UNoriginal thief in EVERY sense of the word, that everyone seems to be letting slide and I don't understand why. She doesn't write her lyrics either, TI does. 

Get it right & STOP PRAISING GIMMICKS !

Lies
Lies

"If you was on fire fire, I wouldn't piss on you" WAS STOLEN FROM EMINEM'S TRACK "SUPERMAN". Where HE said "wouldn't piss on fire to put you out". She just twisted the words. Iggy is an UNoriginal thief, that everyone seems to be letting slide and I don't understand why. She doesn't write her lyrics either, TI does. Get it right.

danielcruzphotograph
danielcruzphotograph

Nice article, the hate Iggy is getting is absolutely ridiculous. People will try to find any absurd reason to be offended and hate on a successful young woman.

onyxnoir666
onyxnoir666

@Lies " I wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire" is an OLD saying, I remember my grandmother using it on occasion.  It's been around before either of these artists.  
Nothing is new anymore, it's all been recycled. 

longbowman
longbowman

@Lies Yeah you're delusional if you think modern hip hop is entirely original. A good deal of artists take inspiration from, or copy one another. The tactful ones do it subtly to pay tribute; the tacky ones outright steal '80s songs and poorly remix them.

danielcruzphotograph
danielcruzphotograph

@Lies Why are you so mad? Dear lord, thanks for proving my point about Iggy's unnecessary hate. Lines get recycled and reinterpreted ALL the damn time on hip-hop, not sure why that's such a big deal especially when it's not that original and not that hard to come up with while being unaware of that Eminem one, sit down.

Lies
Lies

@danielcruzphotograph She stole the freaking line, IF she even wrote it. Since 80% of her music is written by either TI or ghostwriters. Some people deserve hate.

Lies
Lies

@longbowman There is something seriously "delusional" if anyone can sit there and defend this chick with a straight face and a clear conscience. I mean, who are you kidding? Yourself? Because you are NOT kidding me. What she doing is offensive on so many levels & she doesn't even have the talent at least, to back it up. So you MUST be kidding yourself.

Lies
Lies

@danielcruzphotograph Excuse you but she is WORSE than Vanilla Ice.  At least he didn't use a fake accent and call himself a slave master. She also does not write the majority of her music and I've read her many racist tweets. You really defending this chick? Really?  That's on YOU. But once again, SOME hate is necessary. That's how we keep our integrity by calling out what feels OFF or wrong. What you call "hate" is another person's honesty. So suck it up & deal with it. Go "Sit down" yourself.

onyxnoir666
onyxnoir666

She didn't steal that line, it's been around for years.   Lol, youngsters.

longbowman
longbowman

 @Lies The fact is that a good deal of artists, in any genre, steal each other's riffs, lyrics, etc, and make them into something new. That's how music works. However, the decent ones do it subtly, admit to doing it, and don't simply copy; they take inspiration and run with it in a new direction. There's not really such thing as "new" music in the sense of complete originality. Every note has been played before. Do some sober reading into the history of hip hop lyrics and sampling. It's everywhere.
And you're so upset that I'm not sure you even said anything in that last comment. Are you trolling?

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