Iggy Azalea’s multiple chances
On October 22nd, 2015, a Jezebel headline asked the question: Will Iggy Azalea Ever Have a Good Rap Verse? On Friday, “Team” - the Iggy comeback single no one asked for- dropped and answered that question with a solid NOPE.
I’m not going to rehash the fact that she’s an Australian whose given name is Amethyst Amelia Kelly (hilariously, the most privileged rich girl name of all time) who “raps” like a SNL character parodying a stereotypical black Southern American accent. I’m not going to write a think piece on cultural appropriation (read a great one here) or even rage about Iggy’s constant ignorance when hip hop greats like Talib Kweli or Q-Tip or R&B goddess Erykah Badu or even Macklemore politely try to school her on her obliviousness.
No, I'm going to do what Azalea so desperately wants us to do and that is focus on the music. Careful what you wish for Iggy. The dance video for Team actually isn’t that bad since it doesn’t feature the pop star herself. Focus on the hot, denim clad dancers and meet me on the other side.
So, the worst thing about Iggy Azalea’s new song is, well, that it’s an Iggy Azalea song. The second worst thing is the lyrics. Some highlights:
Keep on shooting, Reggie Miller
You gotta set the score right, call it Hans Zimmer.
I took a chance like I'm from Chicago
100 plus in that Murcielago
‘Bout to go ape, hey, turn it to the Congo.
Iggy needs to publicly apologize to Hans Zimmer and Reggie Miller for associating them with this mess. Google tells me she also rhymes “dutty wind” with “land mine” in Jamaican Patois but I think I blacked out at “Congo.” But Iggy isn’t the only one to blame for this glorified nursery rhyme. It took 12 people to write Team, 3 are credited because it’s a sample of Juvenile’s Back That Ass Up. I know that most pop songs have stupid lyrics. I get that hip hop doesn’t always have to have a message but I think it should at least be somewhat coherent and clever. The saddest part is that beat is actually pretty dope. Imagine what Nicki Minaj could have done with this. The strength of the song’s production also probably means we’re going to be hearing it over and over – sorry if you just threw up in your mouth a little bit.
Along with the brand new video, we were also hashtag blessed with a new Iggy interview with Schön! magazine, where she opens up about her tough 2015. In some weird pop culture karma, 2015 saw Iggy Azalea go from award winning chart topper to generally hated celeb to punchline. Iggy tells the magazine:
“Last year, I felt like I was definitely not in control of the media's narrative of me… You don't want someone else writing your narrative and making you the villain.”
It sounds like Azaelea went through some serious sh*t last year and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone BUT my biggest problem with Iggy Azalea is her constant inability to take ownership of her role in the “media’s narrative.” It’s never her fault. If anyone dares to take a critical look at her influence, she calls them haters. At least when her male musical counterpart Macklemore was getting similar criticism, he took the time to question his own responsibility and channelled that into his music.
Iggy’s cancelled tour in 2015 was rumoured to be due to low ticket sales. Her single with Britney Spears flopped. She failed multiple times and was given multiple chances to redeem herself. Other artists don’t get that luxury. But 2016 is already looking up for Iggy. Team already hit number one on the Billboard Twitter Trending 140 Chart, whatever that is.