Lorde & Iggy Azalea Don't Care About Journalism, They Just Want Positive Reviews
On Sunday, Lorde took a break from calling out her peers like Lana Del Rey, Drake, and Nicki Minaj in order to take on Complex Magazine. Lorde made a post on her Tumblr explaining that she doesn’t think that it’s fair that Complex featured rapper Iggy Azalea on the cover of their October/November 2013 issue, and then went on to give her debut album, The New Classic, a poor review earlier this April. (The review’s headline reads, “Iggy Azalea’s ‘The New Classic’ Isn’t Really.” Ouch.) Lorde said:
bugs me how publications like complex will profile interesting artists in order to sell copies/get clicks and then shit on their records? it happens to me all the time- pitchfork and that ilk being like “can we interview you?” after totally taking the piss out of me in a review. have a stance on an artist and stick to it. don’t act like you respect them then throw them under the bus.
Given her enormous success, it’s easy to forget sometimes just how young singer-songwriter Lorde really is. That is, until she says something really juvenile and misguided in an interview or on social media. You know, like dismissing the work of several major artists in the music industry today as "completely irrelevant." (I'm not saying that she didn't have a point, it just wasn't particularly well articulated.) She is only 17-years-old, after all. Still, being relatively new to the scene, you’d think she’d be a little more interested in making friends...
Musician Grimes reblogged Lorde’s post on her own Tumblr, and later in the day, Azalea took to Twitter to express her agreement, as well:
Thankfully, Insanul Ahmed, an Associate Editor over at Complex, had a few things to say about Lorde and Azalea’s portrayal of the media and their thoughts on the role of journalists in general:
Contrary to whatever Lorde may think, for Complex to give a cover to an artist like Iggy Azalea or current covergirl Jhené Aioko (or even Lorde for that matter) it simply boils down to Complex thinking the artist is someone our audience is interested in. Giving someone a bad review basically boils down to thinking someone our audience is interested in didn’t make a very good record.
Lorde declaring “have a stance on an artist and stick to it” is a bizarre notion for an organization like Complex, which is to say bizarre for any media organization that claims to have any journalistic integrity. No one should stick to their opinion when new facts (possibly in the form of new music) are made available that can alter your views.
If Complex — or the media at large — operated the way Lorde wished, it would do away with journalistic integrity all together.
Ahmed goes on to say that Complex is “not going to treat artists like they’re above reproach” just because they profiled them. That says it all, really. Do Lorde and Azalea really expect publications to give their music positive reviews just because they've granted them a few interviews or given them a couple free tickets to a show? That hardly seems fair or just.
In Lorde and Azalea’s defense, I can’t imagine what it’s like to live your life under a microscope, to have your work and your words constantly scrutinized and criticized, day in, day out. I understand their frustration. Still, no publication with a shred of integrity is going to ever feel obligated to give their work a glowing review. That's just not the way journalism works.
Sorry, Lorde and Iggy, the press can't always be on your "team."