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Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, May 2nd, 2014

Iggy Azalea: The New Classic

iggy aIggy Azalea
The New Classic
(Island Records)

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Naming your album The New Classic would be a risky move for any artist, especially for your debut. If it turns out anything else than “classic,” it will be seen as a failure. But at the same time, the over-confidence is endearing. It’s hard to believe that Iggy Azalea imagines that history will view her debut record on the same level as Illmatic or Hard Core. Instead, we should take the title as a sign of Azalea’s high ambitions.

Still, one can’t help but feel underwhelmed while listening to The New Classic. After years of watching Azalea rise through the system with her faux-Southern drawl and outlandish music videos, much of her debut album fails to live up to the hype she rightfully set up for herself. Her skills as a rapper are certainly present, and she continues to prove that she has masterful control over her flow, but her subject matter feels stale and tired. She raps about her doubters (“Don’t Need Y’all”), she raps about stealing your man (“New Bitch”), and she slips into motivational speaker mode (“Change Your Life”). None of it is particularly original, and it comes across as a watered-down version of the Azalea we saw on her early mixtapes. The sound tries to go for a pop-rap crossover, but Iggy’s not a good enough singer and the songs aren’t catchy enough for the radio. This approach prevents her from really embracing her core rap side, leaving her The New Classic in an unpleasant middle group.

Iggy Azalea is still a massively talented rapper and I’m hopeful that she’ll keep experimenting until she finds the perfect sound for herself. But until then, The New Classic is anything but.

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Iggy Azalea: The New Classic