There's no denying that Azalea has suffered the type of media assassination reserved for pop stars with a bit more stamina.
Mediocrity is kind of Iggy Azalea's brand. If Big Sean is the Nickelback of rap, Azalea is his warm-up playlist bumped through Nick Cannon headphones. The once Grammy-nominated rapper is back and this time, she's looking for salvation. "Savior," her latest single since the twerktastic "Mo Bounce," is generally unremarkable and severely derivative; however, the change in sound is…well, another commercial rebranding of the singer. Her culturally appropriated Southern American accent is still there, don't worry, backed by Cirkut's production and a healthy dose of global ambiguity—a muddled pop song that's sedated by its own lackluster sound.
Since mastering her "blaccent" and perusing Urban Dictionary's most searched slang and colloquialisms, Azalea's career post-"Fancy" is still dragging itself through a sophomore curse. Similar to single "Switch" and its accompanying leaked music video, "Savior" is packaged for international play with a club beat that's agreeably ethnic, you know, salable to white and black kids; this time, thankfully, Azalea opts out of a Pan-African costume design and set—one of her more comical moments of colonial memory.
Migos' Quavo collects his feature check, yawning through the chorus; his absence in the music video leaves more room for fluorescent crosses, in case Azalea's serviceable verses ("Had a dance with the devil and he got a grip on me") don't communicate her pseudo-spiritualism. An ode to her bumpy breakup with basketball star Nick Young and shelved sophomore album, "Digital Distortion," "Savior" wants to be a let's-party-through-the-bad-times anthem, but settles for you've-heard-this-song-before-done-better background noise.
"I wrote it at a really heavy period in my life where I'd had a lot of changes that had happened overnight," she told iHeartRadio in a recent interview. The single is to appear on her upcoming album "Surviving the Summer." There's no denying that Azalea has suffered the type of media assassination reserved for pop stars with a bit more stamina. Unfortunately, Azalea's Twitter beefs, public meltdowns, and embarrassing live performances eclipse her artistry (or rapping? If that's what we're calling it). As an entertainer, Azalea is hard to listen to and fun to watch: Will she get her bars right? Will she try her hand, again, at a Jamaican accent while rhyming "dutty wine" with "grind"? Who knows!
Her label change from Def Jam Recordings to Island Records is telling of her contractual inconsistencies, her many leaked songs, videos, and delayed album releases. Rap is a genre of change, always reinventing itself through language, whether incoherent, mumbled, or a complete lack thereof. Maybe one day Iggy Azalea will find her sound in rap, maybe not. Maybe she'll settle for twerk videos and the occasional hosting gig on Aussie's "X Factor." Maybe she'll wake Quavo up from his nap.
Shaun Harris is a poet, freelance writer, and editor published in avant-garde, feminist journals. Lover of warm-toned makeup palettes, psych-rock, and Hilton Als. Her work has allowed her to copyedit and curate content for various poetry organizations in the NYC area.
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