“You’re well done but bitch, I’m rare!” Just some words of truth you’ll hear Iggy Azalea spit on her knock out debut album: The New Classic.
The 23-year old Australian rapper is a curious specimen in the hip hop scene.
Alabaster skin, statuesque figure and platinum blonde hair often snatched up in a fierce high ponytail, she looks more like a runway model than a femmecee that raps with a dirty Southern drawl.
You might’ve seen her name thrown around the blogosphere, paired with mentions of mixtapes, but things didn’t really heat up for Azalea until her UK Top 20 singles ‘Work’ and ‘Bounce’ hit the fan last year.
She started becoming a fixture at fashion shows in London and minutes later, she was opening for Beyoncé on the Mrs Carter World Tour, which gave her greater exposure in her own home country.
The Aussie vixen’s debut album The New Classic is an international-sounding hip hop album that is mildly seasoned with EDM influences.
The bulk of the album was produced by London-based producers The Invisible Men (who has crafted tracks for Jessie J and Conor Maynard) and The Arcade (who has worked with Katy B and Tinie Tempah) – they should be credited for giving the album such a relevant, crossover sound.
‘Fancy’ with Charli XCX – her biggest single to date – is an ostentatious lifestyle anthem with finger-snapping cool that sounds just at home on mainstream pop radio as it would on a hip hop channel. The huge win for Iggy here is, of course, Charli’s involvement in bringing her petulant 80s pop star-style hook into the mix.
Watch the Clueless-themed video for Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX‘s ‘Fancy’:
The New Classic spouts plenty of materialistic must-haves, which is quite typical of modern hip hop albums, except Iggy’s take on it is often aspirational or at least, down to earth, with the young rapper reminding listeners of the unseen hard work that preceded her success.
She opens up on ‘Work’, “People got a lot to say but don’t know shit ’bout where I was made, or how many floors that I had to scrub to make it past where I am from. No money, no family. 16 in the middle of Miami!”
Watch the video for Iggy Azalea‘s ‘Work’:
These personal and autobiographical moments are what make The New Classic stand tall with substance.
It’s just as much a coming of age album as it is one about Iggy’s star in ascendance.
On ‘Walk The Line’ and ‘Don’t Need Y’all’, you feel her hunger to succeed but behind the bravado, you hear a great deal of vulnerability told from a girl who moved out at 16, had to toughen up real quick when record deals fell through and people around her changed when she became famous.
On the subject of love, the young woman keeps it very simple.
“Fuck love, gimme diamonds!” is what she blasts on the independent woman’s paper-chasing anthem ‘Fuck Love’. She spits over ratchet booty-bouncing beats, “Y’all dudes is a hot damn mess, I’m way too blessed to be stressed. So I don’t want no boyfriend! Just give me them cheques!”
Elsewhere, Iggy even does a Kelly Rowland circa ‘Grown Woman’ and makes it clear to trifling exes that she’s not one to be played with.
On ‘New Bitch’ she warns her boy’s exes to “cry a river and swim on through”. “It’s always jealous broads wishing they were in my shoes. But I’m a debut, you a déjà vu!”
Regardless of reservations of what a white female rapper from Queensland, Australia, can or cannot do – Iggy Azalea is slaying too hard on The New Classic to be ignored. The album is personable and inspiring, it is fierce, and above all, it is polished well beyond what you would expect for a debut.
The album topped several iTunes charts across the world in its first week and is slated to sell between 50,000 to 55,000 copies to debut in the Top 5 in the US Billboard 200.
Bow down, bitches!
Key tracks: ‘Fancy’ (feat. Charli XCX), ‘New Bitch’, ‘Work’, ‘Fuck Love’ and ‘Don’t Need Y’all’.