MTV Artist To Watch: Iggy Azalea
Meet your new favorite smart-mouthed lady rapper: MTV Artist To Watch Iggy Azalea.
Generally speaking, when we see tall, willowy blonde girls, the last thing we’d expect is for them to be foul-mouthed rappers. But then again, we’ve never met anyone like Iggy Azalea: a tall, blonde, willowy rapper who is anything but submissive, generic, or cookie-cutter. For one thing, she’s not afraid to break song title taboos (“Pu$$y,” “Dirt In Your P***y A** B****”). Face it, girl’s got more bleeps than an entire season of “The Sopranos.” But you know us: We’re suckers for taboo-breaking, fast-talking, take-no-s***, strong, sexy women. Especially when they remind us of other pop music icons like Ke$ha, Missy Elliot, Nicki Minaj, and Azealia Banks.
Read more about Iggy Azalea after the jump.
Born Amethyst Amelia Kelly (now there’s a mouthful) in Sydney, Australia, Iggy started her rapping career at just 14 years old. Initially she joined up with some friends in the neighborhood, hoping to emulate Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez from TLC, but eventually left to do her own solo thing. (I mean, really, could YOU see Iggy sharing the fame?) And here comes the ballsiest part: In 2006, after saving up a bunch of money cleaning hotel rooms with her mom, Iggy permanently left Australia for the States, telling her parents that she was “going on holiday.” (Word to the wise, Iggy: It’s not a “holiday” if you never come back.)
After bouncing around the States for a few years, Iggy finally settled in Los Angeles in 2010, where she began uploading freestyle videos on YouTube, but things REALLY got going when her first official music video, “Pu$$y,” hit the ‘net in 2011. (Can’t imagine why…) Iggy’s Independent Art mixtape quickly followed, featuring guest appearances with everyone from Chevy Jones to Problem.
Now independently signed to Grand Hustle and transitioning to major label Island Def Jam (!!), Iggy’s got all KINDS of things going on. For one thing, she’s now a bona fide MODEL (signed to Wilhelmina Models), she’s opened for Rita Ora, she’s released two mixtapes (Ignorant Art, TrapGold), an EP (Glory) and is gearing up to unleash her first official LP, The New Classic, in September. All we can say is, it’s been a long time coming.
But for someone who hasn’t even released a full LP yet, the MTV Artist To Watch has PLENTY of material under her twerking belt. Just look at such club-ready, one-word anthems as “Work” and “Bounce,” two relatively new tracks that showcase the rapper’s no-nonsense, expletive-riddled verses. Iggy’s not afraid to push cultural boundaries either — her Bollywood-inspired “Bounce” video sparked up a lil’ controversy when the singer wore a full sari, bindi, and rode an elephant around Mumbai. (But, um, need we remind you that Selena Gomez basically did the same thing in her 2013 MTV Movie Awards “Come & Get It” performance?) No harm done, however — Iggy’s been through worse. After all, you don’t spend your entire first single talking up your ladyparts without inviting a little critical whiplash.
Download Iggy’s TrapGold mixtape for free on her website, watch two exclusive live performances below, and if you’re heading to Europe this summer (grrrr), look out for her upcoming European tour dates!
+ Watch Iggy Azalea perform “Work” live.
Photo credit: Island Def Jam