Thanks to Marci & Samir we now have the full translation of German hip-hop website 16bars.de‘s exclusive report about Iggy’s “The New Classic” listening party in Berlin last week:
The New Classic – Iggy Azalea presenting new tracks from her new album in Berlin
Since Iggy Azalea was the first woman to ever be on the freshman-cover of the XXL Magazine, the tall Australian with her model-look became one of the most talked about personalities in rap business over night.
Regardless of her several label changes, alleged affair with A$AP Rocky, her mentor T.I. or Nas, feuds with other female MC’s or the realness of her impressive ass, she is somebody that is much talked about her place in the game. Rarely it is about her music.
While she was able to gain some chart success in Europe, especially in Great Britain and has toured a lot, she couldn’t find any chart success in the US yet and rap purists just dismiss her simplistic rap style and her sound that implies pop, trap and dance elements. Not without a reason, she joked during her interview with 16BARS.TV that she rather should have brought some male break-dancers with her on tour instead some twerking female dancers.
After a well-received gig during the Splash! Festival, Iggy was once again guest in Berlin doing some press and last but not least to present her new album The New Classic during a listening party. Pushed back and talked about for almost 2 years, it should be finally released in September 2013 and should vanish all doubt about her relevance.
But like Iggy told us during an afternoon interview, she wasn’t too happy about the timing of the listening party. In the morning she was informed that the press would also be part of it and since she still has a two-week recording break before it is finished, she would have been happier waiting for another month or two before presenting it. Like she claims the finished tracks are the ones that are more rap or pop sounding while the more electronic and trap sounding ones are more or less demo versions. Because she is not bitch she didn’t want to cancel it, so she agreed to do it. Reasonably she was concerned if this session could give a representative impression of how The New Classic sounds like.
The newly signed female Def Jam artist was visibly nervous when she walked out in elegant evening robe on stage at Prince Charles to introduce herself to the representatives of the industry and journalists. Like she said earlier on, she explained that some of the 7 tracks aren’t completely finished and that they will be part of a 12 song record that will be released end of August / early September.
Then it started:
WALK THE LINE
The first track that Iggy presents is a song that deals with her background from a girl from the Australian province that is about to become a internationally acclaimed rapper, who is about to become successful in the US. A straightforward beat with choral elements sets the background for an almost typical American dream. During the restrained hook you get a taste of Iggy’s vocal abilities. Just like Drake, Iggy doesn’t try to come of as a prolific singer, she more tries to harmonize her singing with the beat what in this case gives the song the needed depth. All in all it reminds us of T.I.’s trips to pop territory.
During the second of the listening session it becomes evident that TNC is still in the making period since Animal only exists as an unfinished rough instrumental demo. Vocals and the name-giving animal sounds will be added shorty during recording in LA. But the present version has a promising sound, much more reminiscent of The Prodigy than the omnipresent EDM sound in many rap and r&b productions these days. The Moombahton-influence made it pretty apparent what Iggy herself later revealed: the producer of this track is a so far unknown guy from the Diplo and Mad Decent label.
On this track Iggy processes the experience of dealing with former relationship where the mad ex-girlfriend played an important role, a much bigger one than usual. Over a slow, bass-heavy beat Iggy addresses to her that she is the new bitch. All in all with its slightly kitschy euro-dance harmonies that song has potential of maybe becoming a hit due to his universal sounding production.
Who has already seen the light skinned amazon Iggy live on stage, knows that the currently in the south of the us based rapper has learned some provocative dance moves and that she doesn’t shy away from showing it on stage. Like the title of the song implies, this is probably the twerk-song of the record. A male voice right at the start proclaims something like “my butt is big” and everybody who doesn’t like it is invited to kiss it. What follows is a club banger, that unfortunately has way less unique features than Animal made us wish for. Sound wise, it is a typical / standard Mad Decent production. A Trap-Moombathon-Euro-Dance-Hybrid, with his obvious topical similarities with tracks like Bubble Butt has definitely his place on big disco dance floors, EDM raves of Sweet 16’s, but due to the lack of artistic originality isn’t that impressive.
IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING
Atmospheric bells open up the track before a massive beat kicks in. On this more introspective track Iggy talks to her younger self and directs her advices to the 16 year old girl from Australia in retrospect, so that she can avoid some snares on her path. Not just because of the calm beats during the rap parts but also because of the self sung hook it reminds you a bit Eminem’s self reflecting storytelling.
CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Change Your Life featuring T.I. is going to be the 3rd single after Work and Bounce. Like Iggy has mentioned during an interview with 16BARS.TV, the video was already shot in Vegas on a location that was already the setting for the Scorsese-classic “Casino”. The storyline reminds a little bit of the trash movie “Showgirls”. The track itself sounds like a designed US radio hit. A song with slow, stomping stadium-beat with the obligatory 4-on-the-floor-handclapping, an anthem-hook and dubstep beat elements. During the 2nd chorus when the beat stops and Iggy masters the bridge with her limited vocal-range it becomes pretty obvious that this could be the track that could change her moderate success in the US establishing her into a household name in her adopted country.
Iggy reveals that the last track is about 50% done and Le Freak deals with problems that success brings: false friends that you get, friends that change and of course the gossip that is much more dominant in the case of a female mc compared to her male colleagues. The dominant slow, bass-heavy sound remains till the hook that shows characteristics of a typical Houston sound. A popping snare completes the sound till Iggy stops the track after the 1st hook.
Despite all the pre-warnings from Iggy, the heard material is convincing enough. The New Classic sounds like the Australian is continuing the path of her previous releases My World and Pu$$y on the one hand and continuing to grow as an artist on the other. Fans of the good-looking blonde that is famous for her mixture of southern-state bounce sound, simple but concise lyrics and contemporary sounds will definitely enjoy this. Some of these songs have potential to appeal to more people than her fan base, making it in the charts, radio formats and nightclubs. Based on what we’ve heard Work is more representative for the record than the poppy Bounce. For those who still hope that Iggy comes around the corner with some sophisticated rhymes and boom-bap production to get the acclaim of the purists, they will wait forever, cause Iggy has started to break with old ideals and throw them overboard.
Source: 16bars.de / iggy-azalea.net