There’s absolutely no denying Iggy Azalea’s ambitious drive in the rap game. And even if you did deny it, Iggy’s lyrics constantly proclaiming her prowess on “The New Classic” will eventually make you accept it.
Let’s get real for a few minutes, though.
The Australian born Iggy’s first album is, on the surface, a massive hodge-podge that owes a major thanks to T.I. and his Grand Hustle Record label. Being one of the major purveyors in Atlanta rappers and Trap artists, Grand Hustle’s influence is all over “The New Classic” ranging from the generic Killer Mike and B.o.B. synth based instrumentation on “Don’t Need Y’all” and “100” to the guest appearances by T.I. and Watch The Duck.
The overwhelming lyrical narcissism prevalent across the entire album becomes boarder-line campy and begs the obvious question: can Iggy rap about anything besides herself? Lines like “I’m already in love with myself” and “first thing’s first, I’m the realist” are rather gaudy for an introduction from a budding young artist, and sets the bar pretty high for any future albums she may have. Her delivery doesn’t really take off until the album’s midway point, and she isn’t necessarily a bad rapper. It’s just very hard to take her seriously amidst the “me me me” subject matter that serves as a form of irony for the album’s title: Is this album a “new classic” because she says so, or is it because she considers herself to be a “new classic” throughout? The world may never know.
This being said, the production and instrumentation throughout “The New Classic” makes it a worthwhile listen. Watch The Duck’s trapstep brilliance resonates fairly well on “100,” and the impressive laundry list of live musicians on the album gives the album an interestingly polished 80s vibe at points. However, take away the 30-plus engineers, artists, and writers, and you have a semi-obnoxious self-indulgent album that doesn’t really deliver on the promise of it being a new classic. Such is the tragic tale of a contemporary summer toe-tapping artist. Here’s hoping for the instrumental version of the album.
Album Rating: D (just listen to the singles on the radio [while they’re relevant])
Meet Chris Ricci
I’m a Salem-based writer with a flair for visual arts and all things music. I’ve been working diligently at Salem State University to further my education and have served as the Managing Editor for North Shore Art*Throb for over a year.
I’ve been a very big fan of wordplay for as long as I can remember, and part of that is easily attributed to the eclectic array of music I grew up listening to. Artists like Talking Heads, David Bowie, R.E.M., and Lou Reed were on heavy rotation while I was younger, and their bizarre and (at times) playful lyrics sparked a love for writing that continues today.
The only thing I love more than listening to music is sharing it with others, and I hope that some of my reviews help some people expand their musical horizons and get over the whole “there’s no good new music” cliché. Some personal favorite artists include Peter Gabriel, Tom Waits, Scott Walker, Beck, and Animal Collective.