Monday, February 3, 2014

Iggy Azalea – a white girl's love story with hip hop

This past year has been an incredible, almost surreal year for Iggy Azalea. As she puts it - “It's the year I got legit”. If you didn’t know her already, you should remember her name because you're going to hear it a lot this year! 

Let's hope she's not just the flavor of the month in the rap world, but rather someone that's here to stay. She certainly has the image part locked down - I find her look fresh and original, especially compared with what's traditionally expected from a hip hop girl.

Her ascent into the music business was incredible, but it wasn't an overnight success - she’s been trying for a while now. The white girl from Australia has become one of the most recognized hip hop voices in the USA. That’s really something considering her upbringing and geographical “shortcomings”. It’s hard enough for an American born artist to succeed there, so imagine how difficult it must have been for her. But Iggy Azalea took a chance on making it happen in America and now her struggle is finally paying off.  

Sure, she’s a high school dropout with a bit of an accent, she’s a white girl rapping, but looking like a supermodel and having a booty that makes people wonder if it’s real or not and a whole lot of perseverance, have transformed her into an unlikely success.

She was born on June 7, 1990 in Sydney, Australia and then, when she was very young, moved to Mullumbimby, New South Wales into a house that her father (a comic artist and painter), built by hand. She really hated that town: "It's a two-street shithole, where I worked on the farm and looked after cows. Nobody wears high heels there."

Her real name is Amethyst Amelia Kelly. Her stage name, Iggy, was inspired by the name of her family dog. She started rapping when she was 14 and she tried to make it in a group that she formed with two other girls from her neighborhood
before going solo. She later learned that she was better off alone as the other girls weren’t taking things seriously enough. 

She dropped out of school because she hated it (she said she was miserable, had no friends and was bullied in high school manly because of her homemade outfits), and started cleaning houses with her mom in order to raise enough money to move to America. 

When she was 16 she finally moved to Miami. She told her parents she was going on a short holiday trip with a friend, but had planned to escape Australia for good all along. "I was drawn to America because I felt like an outsider in my own country, I was in love with hip hop, and America is the birthplace of that, so I figured the closer I was to the music, the happier I'd be. I was right."

After a few years spent in Atlanta, she moved to Los Angeles and in 2011 she started uploading videos on YouTube. People started paying attention after her music video for her controversial songs "Pussy" went viral. She then released a mixtape entitled Ignorant Art, her first big project, that she created "with the intent to make people question and redefine old ideals".

In 2013 Iggy Azalea was signed to Mercury Records and she was also snatched by Wilhelmina Models, who started representing her as a model (later that year she became the "New Face of Levi Jeans"). After label conflicts she changed her record label and went on to sign a deal with Island Def Jam. 

Iggy Azalea was the first female, non-American rapper to be featured in XXL magazine's annual "Top 10 Freshman" in 2012. She was the fans voted pick. This nomination lead to a Twitter feud with Azealia Banks, because Banks didn't like Iggy being featured in the magazine and didn't hesitate to speak up. Iggy fired back and the conflict began. Or so I thought, because the rivalry is apparently older than this outburst on Twitter and it started at the CMJ Festival in 2011.

It was then that Banks first threw a dirty shot at Iggy over Twitter (which she does a lot): "It actually started at CMJ Music Festival back in September when she went on Twitter and said, 'I’m next level, I had a song about being a Barbie before Nicki Minaj had a song about being a Barbie. Here’s the link to my song. And fuck Iggy Azalea, I had a song called "Pussy" before she ever did. Here’s a link to my song. It’s better. Iggy doesn’t seem to care much about it nowadays and I give her props for that.

Iggy Azalea launched her second mixtape, TrapGold, in October. It was considered one of her best releases yet, with a more mature and confident sound: “I was so mad and frustrated and angry, that’s why it’s so aggressive. I felt mad at people who’d fucked me over, I was mad about people shitting on me for being on the XXL cover; I’d broken up in my relationship. After I did TrapGold I felt like I’d let it all out. My album will definitely be like that, because I liked the way that made me feel…” 

Her provocative songs and videos made her a controversial artist and most of her material makes a lot of eyebrows raise. Since her songs are hyper-sexualized and lyrically provocative, the controversy comes as no surprise. She knows she's gorgeous and as many other female artists uses it to her advantage and she's being pretty literal and sometimes extreme about it. Nothing wrong with that! If you have it, flaunted it! I personally love her choice of skimpy outfits in all her videos, especially Change your Life and Murda Bizness (both of them featuring T.I.).

Iggy Azalea’ debut studio album, The New Classic, is set to be released in March 2014. The initial idea was for the album to be release in October 2013, but she revealed that the delay was caused by other commitments: "The official date? Fucked if I know! It's done, it's so depressing to say this but it's the beginning of March, it's so far away but I just have to accept that." 

It’s quite impressive that, coming from a small town of only 3000 people, Iggy managed to rise as one of the most promising artists in the hip hop arena, gaining not only fan's respect, but also the approval of rap’s biggest names. And to think she was only 16 when she came to America and knew only one person there, a friend she met online while searching for rap music (a boy named Derek), a teenager from Bahamas, that let her stay with him at her arrival, and whom she is still friends with. 

You must be really brave and a little bit crazy to have the guts to take such a life changing decision: “You’re a kid, so you don’t have any idea how big things are. I was scared, but I was more scared of what would happen if I stayed where I was. It wasn’t just about going somewhere to be a rapper. It was about going somewhere to feel like I could fit in. I was more scared of being unhappy and stuck.

As for her personal life, Iggy is currently dating LA Lakers basketball player, Nick Young. Their relationship started after a few flirty messages on Twitter. In September 2013 Nick named Iggy his Woman Crush Wednesday. Then Iggy went on to tweet her support for Nick who was signed to his new team in July following a 12-month stint. The rest is history. 

  This is Nick Young! Not bad, right?

Before that, Iggy was in a relationship with rapper A$AP Rocky. Her finger tattoos - Live. Love. A$AP- was dedicated to her then boyfriend, Live. Love. A$AP being the name of his breakout mixtape.

After breaking up in 2012 she crossed the "A$AP" part of the tattoo. There have been rumors about Iggy Azalea and Kanye West at one point, but I’m pretty sure those were pure fabrication. Hell, the press has linked her to her mentor - T.I. - as well so I guess everybody’s up for grabs.

This one is A$AP Rocky, in case you we're wondering! The girl has a type! :)

Iggy Azalea has several others tattoos on her body (she got all of them after moving to L.A). She has “Trust Your Struggle” on her right forearm. She got the tattoo about 20 minutes after passing a wall with those words written on it: “Every single one of my tattoos I got the day I thought of it,” she confessed. I love her intention behind this tattoo:” It just means that you’ve got to kind of have faith in all the roadblocks that you come up against while you’re trying to reach your goal because there’s so many, and sometimes it just feels like its never-ending, and that’s how I felt when I got that tattoo. I just felt like I wanted to pack it in and give up but you’ve just got to keep persevering and trust that all the little things are just going to make you better. And that’s what it’s for, just to remind me when I’m having a bad day, “Don’t give up!” 

She also has “Color me free” tattooed on her foot, “The New Classic” which is the title of her debut album on her right-hand fingers and she replaced her previous flower tattoo on her right arm with a drawing of the face of Venus, from the famous “Birth of Venus” painting. 

I’m not completely sold on her music yet, but man, she sure knows a thing or two about making a great video. You better watch out, Lana Del Rey, there’s some real competition in town!

Iggy Azalea "Work" video 

I’m also a fan of the way she dresses, her fashion sense is a bit crazy, without going overboard and so eclectic, it’s quite fascinating! And I can totally see all the people she cites as inspiration when it comes to her fashion sense: ”As far as people whose style interests me I'd say Grace Kelly, Gwen, Spice Girls, Victoria Beckham, and that nanny called Fran".

Her quirkiness and over-the-top personality reflect in the way she dresses, she borrows bits and pieces from all her icons and combines them in a fresh and unique way. I also love the fact that she is tall (5ft10 - approximately 1,78 m), but she’s not afraid to wear killer shoes with her outfits. She always looks polished but in an exciting way. She's actually the same height and age as Taylor Swift (whom I find supremely boring fashion wise).

Iggy Azalea loves to show her curvaceous figure in crop tops, hot pants, short shorts, knee-length boots, micro-skirts, bra tops, floral and colorful prints, impressive jewelry, perfect makeup with red, pink or violet lips - her look it's on of those FreshTrends I actually enjoy. 

She’s basically feeding the question: Is Iggy Azalea's butt fake or real? (she denies any surgical intervention to emphasis her behind) with all those shorts and tight pants she’s sporting. 

And what do you know? Iggy might actually be the person that we have to blame for the twerking nightmare that plagues the world right now: “I’ve been doing that onstage for two-and-a-half years. She probably fucking watched my videos online and decided to try it.” (Iggy about Miley Cyrus’ ass-grinding shenanigans via Paper Mag:)

And, of course there’s also that long, flawless hair that she often wears in her now signature platinum blonde ponytail. I'm not going to lie -  I'm obsessed with her hair, even if I'm sure it's not all hers (lots of hair extensions have been sacrificed to make that happen).

She always looks like a glamorized Amazon and everything about her is picture perfect. I guess that’s why Vogue named her one of the ten Rising Style Stars of 2014. I’m always excited to see what Iggy Azalea will wear in her next video, on the red carpet and even "real life". I love the fact that she always has something up her sleeve; she can do it all, going from sexy dominatrix to sweet, ladylike outfits in a heartbeat. 

So let’s see: she’s been named one of MTV’s Artists to watch, got a major record deal, toured with Beyoncé and she’s preparing to debut her first album - The New Classic - this year. It's safe to say we can  expect great thing from this girl in the near future.  

 Photos and gifs: 1, 2.

Let me know if any of you was familiar with Iggy Azalea before? If so, what do you think?

20 comentarii :

Moonstyle said...

I like her hair styling, nice pics!

Content Director - Strong Female Leaders said...

I just watched the video. She's good. She's also beautiful. Thanks for introducing her to everyone.
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Mrs. Aa said...

she's totally gorgeous

stay fab,
Miss Aa

Tomboy Community said...

I think she's trying too hard to have an Atlanta accent. Love ASAP Rocky tho :))

Alice in vintageland said...

@Tomboy Community - Does she? Not being a native English speaker I don't really hear all the nuances in accents! You're probably right!:)

Anna and Klaudia said...

Wow!! Amazing <33

Andrea Fernández said...

Nice pics and Great post!!!

Tomboy Community said...

@Alice haha nici eu nu sunt, dar ea cand vorbeste are un accent australian. Cred ca era mai tare daca il folosea si in melodii :D

Alice in vintageland said...

@Tomboy Community - :))))Da, chiar am observat asta, probabil incearca sa fie cat mai "autentica", desi hip hop cu accent australian ar fi chiar cool din punctul meu de vedere.

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I am great fan of Iggy Azalea, She is looking too good. Can you tell me about Iggy Azalea Tattoos & Meanings...

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