The New Classic
Iggy Azalea is more of a très chic emcee than a cerebral rap nerd and that alone is why it’s imprudent (and foolish) to call her label debut a “dud”. Sure, The New Classic aged on the shelves but the pressure has helped the 23-year-old Aussie transplant secure a focus on her imprint. The album itself is flirty, getting its taste of the different sectors of chart pop (“Fancy”, “Work”) and its only noticeable blemish is the weak snap of its production, which smothers with processed VH1 beats (“100”, “New Bitch”) and discount trap (“Black Widow”). Some of the same recordings are well-stocked with co-authors (Timbaland, Katy Perry) but a new Gucci clutch from a bodega is what it is: a knock-off.
Sub in Trap Gold‘s marquees (Diplo, Flosstradamus) and a few appropriate guests (YG, Pusha T, Travi$ Scott), and The New Classic would be able to uphold its bravado. Azalea’s dominance as a rapper stems from the way she tussles with the drops and ruptures of a beat – zoning out like MJ in the fourth and triggering a snappy Bad Boy flow that bares more confidence than Lil Kim’s La Bella Mafia. That lack of subtlety is what makes the woozy thump of “Don’t Need Y’all” and the steel pan killer “Goddess” spill over the monotonous peaks, falling in sync with Azalea’s bossy quips and “road to riches” honesty. It’s a little direct for radio promos but her come-up is far from basic.
Listen: “Goddess”, “Don’t Need Y’all”, “Fuck Love”, “Work” || Watch: “Fancy (ft. Charli XCX)”