Iggy Azalea: The New Classic

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Posted June 25, 2014 by in Hip-hop
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Rating

Overall
 
 
 
 
 

3/ 5

Details

Genre: , ,
 
Producer: , , , , , ,
 
Label:
 
 
 
 
Genre: Hip-hop
 
Producer: The Invisible Men, The Arcade, 1st Down The Messengers, Watch The Duck, StarGate, Reeva & Black
 
Label: Island
 
Format: Digital download, compact disc
 
Time: 51:11
 
Release Date: 21 April 2014
 
Spin This: "Fancy," "Walk the Line," "100"
 

Pros:

Iggy discovers her sounds resuscitating by old school grooves; "Fancy" is probably this year's "I Love It."
 

Cons:

Heavy with midtempo tracks; personality and trite lyrics eat away at the New Classic
 

Iggy is no Nicki, but deserves attention on debut disc

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Iggy is no Nicki, but deserves attention on debut disc

Since Nicki Minaj landed on pop’s Plymouth Rock, the renaissance of female rap stars – ranging from Azealia Banks to  Angel Haze – skyrocketed to epic heights. So big is the femcee game that Mic.com recently dubbed 2014 as the year of the female rapper. Listed inside that endorsement was the Australian-born, American-bred rapper Iggy Azalea. Born Amethyst Kelly, the 24-year old rising star jumped from a world of pro modeling into rap overnight into a land of Darling Nicki (Minaj) mirages on her debut LP, The New Classic. It’s obvious that Azalea is inspired by Minaj’s brand of hip-pop, something she yields towards on the transparent confessional of “Don’t Need Y’all.” With dreamy Drake-esque beats doing grand jetés in the background, Azalea opens up about “all this money that we into.” On this track, she spits the rhymes with a hint of slow jam mentality, even if it’s done at her fastest on record.

But that pace is pretty slow when compared with Minaj’s Red Bull energy, proving exactly why Azlea is not a Minaj clone. Azalea is not as swift as Minaj when it comes to her lyrical executions; she prefers mid-tempo bangers. She also isn’t multi-dimensional like Minaj. Sometimes that’s a double-edge sword in the Minaj universe since it sometimes flexes way too much muscle and exposes an awkward bi-polar slant.

Despite the Miami Vice fonts used on the front cover, The New Classic feels like a throwback kind of rap album. “100” shows off acoustic guitar licks and a ‘90’s-inspired hook featuring Watch the Duck’s Jesse Rankins dressed in Bobby Womack-type grandeur. “Fancy,” a naughty slice of Icona Pop and ratchet beats, is devilishly appealing when the sing-a-long chorus settles in: “I’m so fancy, you already know/I’m in the fast lane from L.A. to Tokyo.” She even rises to Kanye West-Black Dark Twisted Fantasy glamour on the album opener “Walk the Line.” Set to ethereal strings and big Timbaland beats, Azalea proves she’s more than just a one-trick pony. If Top 40 listeners thought “Fancy” was a farce, “Walk the Line” is enough evidence that Azalea has more tricks up her sleeve.

But The New Classic is weary of the discontentment that burdens modern-day rap albums. When “100” plays out, Azalea floods her verses with an overbearing pouring of “shit” (she uses the word seven times in the first verse). She isn’t afraid to call herself ratchet. “Yeah I’m a fancy bitch, but I’m ratchet,” she says right before rhyming the verse with – you guessed correctly – shit. “New Bitch” tries to shine with its catchy chorus, but is plagued with a shortage of new ideas as it finds the easiest things to rhyme about. And sometimes when she spits the bucket loads of profanity, it doesn’t sound exactly hood enough. Instead it comes off as a Valley Girl with an attitude. But with a New Orleans twerking track (“Fuck Love”), a rap cameo from T.I. (“Change Your Life”) and slick lines like “classic, Sinatra/bad, Phantom of the Opera,” Azalea’s debut disc is still in good standing. It’s not worthy to be crowned with the essential rap albums of our lifetime, but it probably will be a classic in her discography.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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