Iggy Azalea defies stereotypes. It’s probably best not to categorise her at all, because apparently the only person allowed to define Iggy Azalea is herself. At just 23, Azalea is masterfully taking over the commercial rap game, putting out on point music videos and seeing her new single ‘Bounce‘ ride high in the charts. But all superstars (or at least, those destined for superstardom) come with a character trait that stops them from being entirely superhuman. So what’s Iggy’s? And what exactly is her signature shade of red lipstick? District MTV have all the important facts…
“The first time I ever rapped in public, I felt good. I definitely got booed some times after that, but I didn’t get booed the first time, which was important to me,” Azalea explains to DMTV, when recalling her rap debut in a small-town Australian youth club. Despite not fulfilling the classic (young, black, male) criteria, nothing was going to deter her from her rap dream. “I’m so used to being told that I can’t do something that it didn’t really deter me, because I thought ‘fuck this shit. I like it and I’m doing this’” she says, before elaborating on the issue. “White girls are deterred from rapping because of the general approach to women in hip hop, which sucks. We are the ones going to the shows and buying the records, but how would a girl ever get the confidence to sing this stuff when the music you’re listening to is telling you that you fucking can’t?”
Having left Australia aged sixteen(“for a reason“, she says, with no invitation for discussion) to light the spark of her talent torch paper in Miami, this girl has always been resolutely in charge of her own future. “I didn’t become a rapper because I wanted to tell people to live their dreams, I became a rapper because it was my dream.” Working with Azalea also means playing by her rules – “you come into my world, I don’t come into your world,” she says. The mistress of her own definitive vision, Azalea was 100% involved in the concept and creation of the forthcoming ‘Change Your Life‘ music video, as well as those previously for ‘Work‘ and ‘Bounce‘.
Having just returned from shooting ‘Bounce’ in India when District MTV first spoke to Iggy, we enquire as to whether it was her dream destination. “It’s visually stunning and I’ve always wanted to shoot a video there,” she says, honestly. “But I’ve never really wanted to go there; I only really like to go to places where you can buy a tonne of designer clothes.” Specifically Balmain leather jackets, which were a particularly memorable purchase for Azalea in London earlier this year. “I can’t remember how many times I ripped up pages of those jackets out of magazines and wished that they were mine,” she explains. “I’d tell myself that there was ‘no way you’ll ever even get to wear one‘. So for me to be able to buy one now, just because I wanted it and felt like I deserved it, is a big marker in my life.”
Iggy Azalea is putting every effort, every part of her existence into her music, to the point of being dangerously upfront in writing about her burned-out supernova romance with fellow hip hop star A$AP Rocky. Rapping about love, rather than just sex, is another Iggy Azalea USP. “I love love,” she says, ruefully. “I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, but I can get obsessed with someone – I mean, I have my ex-boyfriend’s name tattooed on my hand. Perhaps growing up feeling isolated, with parents who split up, you want a sense of belonging and you can belong to somebody. I get melancholy about that, because maybe I romanticised that idea.”
It’s an intriguing chink in the armour of the usually unstoppable Azalea, a vulnerability that keeps the concept of ‘Iggy Azalea‘ real and human. Speaking of which, why not stick with the unusual ‘Amethyst Amelia Kelly’ name on her birth certificate? “It’s a twisted and sick part of fan culture that people ‘redo’ your name,” she tells DMTV. “I’ve seen the shit they call people and it’s all fucking horrible. ‘Lana Del Taco’… I don’t need you to make like Amethyst into Hamethyst or whatever. If you’re gonna do that shit to my name, which you will, then you can do it to one that I made up, but not to one that my mum gave me.” Iggy Azalea – astounding talent, dazzling beauty and caller of every single one of the shots.
PS. Her favourite red lipstick is Estee Lauder Stay Scarlett Number 2. FYI.