It’s been almost two years since a Caucasian, female, Australian rapper named Iggy Azalea burst onto the US Hip Hop scene, dropping her mixtape Ignorant Art, which instantly became a cult classic. Iggy Azalea’s musical journey began at the age of 15 when she left her native town of Mullumbimby to move, without any parental supervision, to the United States to pursue her Hip Hop dreams.
In the eight years since her stateside arrival, Iggy Azalea has established herself as an unmistakable member of rap music’s next generation, joining the ranks of Kendrick Lamar, Wale, Wiz Khalifa, and A$AP Rocky. Needless to say, the platinum blonde Azalea, is the only female among them. MOBO met Iggy Azalea at Chime For Change and we instantly knew she was destined for big things.
In 2012, she was placed in the renowned XXL Freshman Class. This was a huge accomplishment for the Aussie rapper as it signified the first female MC to grace the cover, which was achieved based off of her underground hit ‘Pu$$y’ and breakthrough mixtape Ignorant Art.
Ignorant Art was a superb introduction to the amazing talents of Iggy Azalea. It felt more like a mini-album and she delivered as she promised she would. Tracks like ‘The Last Song’, ‘Treasure Island’, ‘Backseat’ and her breakout hit ‘Pu$$y’ showcased her distinctive rap flow alongside tongue in cheek lyrics. The release of ‘Ignorant Art’ created a huge buzz for future projects from the rising Hip Hop star.
Nearly a year later, Iggy has been on the steady climb to the top of her game. After releasing impressive projects- Glory and TrapGold- Iggy caught the attention of US Hip Hop star T.I and he wasted no time in signing the swagged out MC to his label Grand Hustle. With assistance from her mentor T.I, Iggy’s career has continued to go from strength to strength. With her move to Def Jam in April, the 23 year old is well on her way to Hip Hop royalty. Two singles into her mainstream Hip Hop career, Iggy Azalea is already generating a huge buzz.
Her debut single ‘Work’ reached the top 20 in the UK singles chart and instantly caught the attention of UK listeners. Lots of rappers tell us their life stories in their music, but Iggy kept it interesting on ‘Work’ by constantly mixing up her flow. Sometimes she would rap fast and make intricate rhymes, and sometimes she’s slowing it down, stretching one word out for a ridiculously long time.
That makes her style of rapping interesting and surprising, which is what you want in an MC. Her follow up single ‘Bounce’ was another chart-topper and peaked at number 13 on the UK singles chart. ‘Bounce’ was the perfect summer song, completely with and Indian themed video.
In the three years since she uploaded her first freestyle videos on YouTube, Azalea has gone from just another girl with rhymes to the face on more than a dozen fashion and music magazine covers and a talent signed to the prestigious modeling agency Wilhelmina Models.
Iggy Azalea has had co-signs not only from king of the South T.I, but rap royalty, from Dr.Dre to Snoop Dogg. Music royalty Beyonce also gave Iggy the official co-sign as she was recently announced as the support act for the Australian leg of her Mrs Carter Tour. Iggy also supported Hip Hop legend Nas on tour and was the opening act for MOBO Award winner Rita Ora on her Radioactive tour.
To me, Iggy Azalea has carved out her own niche. Her cultivated look could best be described as aggressively feminine, which is not a regular feature in the Hip Hop game. Iggy successfully mixes infectious beats with boundary-pushing lyrics, so that we’re dancing and thinking at the same time.
There has been a recent influx of females vying to be the ‘‘Next Big Thing’’ in Hip Hop and twenty three year old Iggy is proving to be a strong contender. Aside from her undeniably striking looks, Iggy combines lyrical skill, heaps of attitude and a dash of high fashion- easily a rather appealing recipe for further success.
Although she may be something of an outsider to the world of Hip Hop, it’s appropriate that she’s risen to the status of one of the most promising MC’s in an era when Hip Hop has never been more open to artists from a diversity of backgrounds. As we await the release of her debut album The New Classic, it will be exciting to see what else is in store from the rising star.
Iggy Azalea will be performing at this year’s MOBO Awards. To purchase your ticket to the 2013 MOBO Awards click here.
Iggy Azalea has been nominated for Best International Act at this year’s MOBO Awards. To vote for Iggy Azalea click here.