Iggy Azalea, one of the world’s most in-demand rappers right now, is on a winning streak. Her debut The New Classic has spawned five UK Top 20 hits, including the ubiquitous summer anthem ‘Fancy’ (featuring Charli XCX) and current flame ‘Black Widow’ (featuring Rita Ora), but could she squeeze a few more in with this repackaged edition?
It seems like only yesterday that the Australian rapper was venting her frustration on Twitter about The New Classic‘s repeatedly delayed release but now she is finding herself in quite the opposite situation. What a difference a string of global hits makes.
Instead of slowing down to record a full second album, Iggy is reupholstering her debut with five new songs just seven months after it hit stores. All in time for Christmas, of course.
The new body of work is appropriately christened Reclassified and is led by a bossy single ‘Beg For It’ featuring Danish indie-electropop singer MØ. The song builds on the new-generation female brat pack vibe Iggy has fostered with the aforementioned collaborators Charli and Rita with dominant choruses like: “I know you like the way I turn it on. I’m out here with my friends. I’mma make you beg, I’mma make you beg for it! If you don’t do this right, you’re going home alone. I guess you’ll have to beg.” It’s a proven hit formula and not just for Iggy. Just ask Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Meghan Trainor. Rhythmic female-led songs with empowering lyrics are what platinum-gilded hits are made of in 2014 – haven’t you heard?
Elsewhere on Reclassified, Iggy ropes in Jennifer Hudson for a piano-fronted soul track ‘Trouble’ (the pair also hooked up for Hudson’s newest album) and Ellie Goulding for ‘Heavy Crown’, a sumptuously produced record that hears the rapper head in a more Jay Z Blueprint direction. In fact, Iggy’s slight Southern drawl is noticeably toned down on the newer material.
A few of the personal songs that chronicled her struggle for success have been scrubbed from the new tracklisting (see: ‘Walk The Line’ and ‘Impossible Is Nothing’). They’re replaced with more current sentiments that reflect Iggy’s winning state of mind, see: ‘Iggy Szn’ where she spits over rump-shaking beats: “Haters gon’ hate while critics critique. I pay them no mind whenever they speak. What they make in a year, I can make in a week. I know you can’t stand it, just get you a seat… Everywhere I go they say it’s Iggy season! I ain’t worried about shit, it’s Iggy season!”.
Reclassified remains predominantly produced by The Invisible Men and The Arcade, the same UK-based songwriting and production team that carved the original album. There is a freedom with their production that allows Iggy to experiment with different EDM and hip hop fusions while maintaining a level of cohesion. The result is still a global-sounding pop and hip hop sound that doesn’t sound weighted to specific regional influences, which is very much Iggy Azalea‘s stamp. As an Australian woman who grew up in America and saw her career blow up first in Europe – we would expect nothing less.
Reclassified does a decent job to win over those who are yet to fully convert to Team I-G-G-Y, however for those already on board, it’s just a moderately appetising snack until Azalea’s next album. Judging by her hunger and beastly work ethic, we’ll give it another half a year before a new batch of tunes are serviced.
Stand out tracks: ‘Iggy Szn’ and ‘Beg For It’.