Who 22-year-old Aussie ex-pat beating the locals at their own game
Sounds like Dirty South hip hop with a big-room electro injection
Gratuitous imagery and crude language in hip hop usually stems from one of a few predictable sources. For Eminem, it’s his turbulent relationship with his mum and ex wife. For Snoop, it’s the tough LA neighbourhood he grew up in. But for 22-year-old Iggy Azalea, it’s the sinister British cult comedy, The League of Gentlemen.
“Papa Lazarou is such a sicko!” she blurts down the phone as we try to locate her penchant for potty language.
“My parents were British and had a really black sense of humour, so I probably get it from them,” she adds.
It makes sense: the Australian blonde bombshell deals more in the cartoonish hyperreality that made Missy Elliot and Busta Rhymes household names, rather than hood street realness.
Growing up in Queensland, Australia, Azalea was captivated by American hip hop from a young age. So much so that at 16 she tricked her parents into thinking she was visiting Miami on holiday with an older friend, only to go it alone and never come back.
After surviving by what she describes as “running a few scams”, she set up a business importing hair extensions from Thailand to Atlanta before heading to LA. It was there that she came into contact with Dr Dre and TI, soon signing to TI’s Grand Hustle label. Work with Diplo and Steve Aoki soon followed, and – as now seems mandatory to anyone new in hip hop – a war of words with Azealia Banks.
But she’s keen to rise above the Twitter spats and promises a debut album that showcases more than just her love of crude language and dark humour. Just don’t ask if she’s local.
Iggy Azalea’s debut album ‘The New Classic’ will be out this summer on Mercury Records