After postponing the Great Escape Tour and delaying Digital Distortion indefinitely, our girl is busy again: Iggy Azalea is going to be a judge on X-Factor Australia. “I really want to be able to pick unique people and hopefully have them connect with everybody watching,” Azalea said. And though some of you might be annoyed that Azalea’s pushing the pause button on rapping, I can’t help but think that maaaaaaybe this might be a good career move for Azalea right now.
Consider, if you will, the very fast rise and fall of Azalea. Though the singer already had a solid fanbase by the time she debuted "Fancy," the Charli XCX collab become the low-key song of summer 2014, boosted to the start status in part because of that Clueless themed video. It was good debut into the peak into American pop culture. Unfortunately the key word there is "peak."
A lot of messiness followed when old videos of Azalea's attempts to freestyle circulated the internet in a meme-like fashion. One particularly popular video is a viral vine showing her rapping the lyrics to "D.R.U.G.S" in an illegible rapid-fire fashion. Another Azalea freestyling mishap? A very bitter Azalea dropped a weird, stilted line on The Wake Up Show after much resistance. The Twitterverse was quick to pounce on Azalea's non-freestyle with plenty of impressions.
There was also no shortage of (to be expected) hate towards Azalea in light of her success. It started rolling in around May of 2014 when Forbes declared that the new face of hip-hop was that of a blonde, white, Australian woman, something that basically screamed privilege from the mountain tops. Twitter trolls banded again to celebrate her losing the Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2015, with some users threatening to stop listening to music altogether if she won.
So all this, and let's never forget when she tag-teamed with Britney Spears for "Pretty Girls" and later blamed the single's flop on a lack of promotion. Also let's never forget that that song is just... mediocre at best.
Is all this backlash justified? Objectively, it's hard to say. Azalea definitely has an abrasive persona that rubs people the wrong way, and clearly her rapping talent is... questionable. It could totally be assumed that her success does, in part, lend itself to privilege, which would still SMH in a lot of people. Being a white Australian woman in rap is a precarious situation at best, but what can she do? It was her dream, and as her debut single "Work" recounts, she was brave enough to ditch her native land at the age of 16 and try to make it on her own terms with her mother in Miami. That's all good.
But given how much slack she's gotten in the aftermath of "Fancy," maybe it's time for her to take a breather from rapping. The filming of the X-Factor Australia is slated to only take up a week of June for auditions and all of November, so it's not like she's going to disappear into the void entirely. Still, it might give us a chance to actually miss her, and give her a chance to regroup. Fingers crossed that she'll return to the states with some fresh and fancy material... although if not, I'm sure the internet will have plenty to say about it.
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