Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
If it’s one thing Twitter has an abundance of
aside from random hatred for strangers, it’s musicians. This is a gift & a curse, though, because with so many rushing to find the “newest” outlet to broadcast from, the one’s who would usually stand out don’t get a chance to. One late night on Twitter, I cracked a half joke about who’s next up in this rap shit, & my buddy @SneadsByRee (check out his site) hit me with the name of somebody. I checked Youtube (as one should always do) & was immediately drawn in to a series of high energy rap videos, animated onomaetapeias, & a lone girl rapping her ass off. A girl who I’d come to find out is Iggy Azalea. We chatted briefly over Twitter, & after her manager’s approval, she’s granted me an interview.
So, without further ado, introducing Iggy Azalea…
Tony Grands: Thanks for taking the time to talk with RAWIFDP. Let the people know who you are.
Iggy Azales: My name is IGGY AZALEA and I’m a 21 year old rapper from Australia, living in [the United States of] America. I make music accompanied by interesting visuals and animations.
How long have you been living in America?
IA: I’ve been living in America since I was 16, I moved alone from Australia to Miami to try to have a better chance at rapping.
TG: How did you come to start rapping?
IA: I started rapping because I was teased as a kid in school, I was a pretty quirky dresser and that lead to me being singled out. I used to write poems about all the things I’d do to the people who’d give me a hard time. This eventually evolved into rapping.
What are some major differences in the rap/Hip Hop communities between Australia & the United States?
IA: The Hip Hop communities as I remember them in Australia are very small and close-knit. Hip Hop is not that popular there and a lot of the rappers are immigrants from Sudan and other parts of Africa who’ve migrated as refugees so it’s really interesting. I feel that the Australian Hip Hop culture still looks to America for cues on what’s trending so I decided I would go live there and really find what its authentically about, not the watered down version the media leaves us with when its all said and done.
TG: What/who influences you to do what you do?
IA: Andre 3000 is a rapper that influences me a lot because he has such original style, musically and in dress, etc. I’ve always tried to make my visuals equally important as my music. Andy Warhol, classic Disney soundtracks/movies, and Alfred Hitchcock have all been big influences on my creating.
TG: In 3 words, describe your style.
IA: The. New. Classic.
TG: What separates you from the current influx of White, female rappers, & do you think “they” help or hinder your movement?
IA: Every artist has a story to tell, my skin color is not my story. I may have similar skin tone but have my own journey to share. I come from the other side of the planet, I’ve lived all over America alone as a teenager and so I have a pretty unique perspective. I’m not going to say that makes me ‘better’ but I will say it makes me drastically different from most other artists: Black, White or Purple. I think anything that sheds light on what I am doing as an artist is positive for me. Good music prevails and I feel I have that.
TG: Do you create the concepts for your videos alone? & do you plan to go into directing videos/movies/tv shows one day as a profession?
: So far, yes. All the concepts have been my own. I would always like to be heavily involved with the art direction of my projects because I feel it plays a major role in what makes me unique as a rapper. In future I would like to collaborate with other minds and learn from some greats, both painters and film makers. I feel something can be gained no matter the medium. You can take something from a painting and put it in a song or use the coloring you saw and add that to your video. I take things from everyday life and I evolve them into something that’s then authentic to me. I’m not interested in directing other peoples projects or tv shows because thats not related to my music. It’d be like asking Edvard Munch if he wants to paint a Da Vinci. He only really wants to do HIS expression for his art, not be hired for other mediums or styles and thats how I feel. My calling and passion is to make MY music with interesting visuals, not produce tv shows.
TG: What producers or other Hip Hop artists are you working with right now?
IA: Right now I’m working with D.R.U.G.Z production. They are [also] executive producing the entire ‘IGNORANT ART’ project.
TG: Any other artists you’d like to work with, dead or alive, rap or otherwise?
IA: I’d really like to work with Kendrick Lemar, I think he’s an amazing talent and I love his vocal tone. Also, of course, Kanye [West]. I love his use of visuals and his birthday is a day before mine so we are both Geminis, in my mind, this means we get along great. I’d really like to write with David Bowie or a classic original rock star. I think there are a lot of great song writing and metaphors that can be found in old rock songs.
TG: What does the future look like for Iggy Azalea?
IA: I’d love to get rich enough to create a cartoon world and just live in it forever, but in the mean time I have a mixtape called ‘IGNORANT ART‘ which was a inspired by [the artist] Jean-Michael Basquiat. Im also doing a duo mixtape with [rapper] YG called “1990” that’s going to showcase us really spitting over all the classic 90’s songs.
TG: Last question – What did you think of “Watch The Throne?”
IA: I think “Watch The Throne” wasn’t what people expected, but thats okay because in my opinion it was two greats doing a passion project. Every artist dreams of being able to have complete creative freedom and I think they had that with this. They’ve been in the game along time and they’ve earned the right to be able to do that. People didn’t think [Jay-Z’s] “Reasonable Doubt” was a classic until years later and “Watch The Throne” just may be ahead of its time, too. ☑
You can experience more Iggy Azalea at Youtube.com/IGGYAZALEA, & you can follow her on Twitter @IGGYAZALEA & Facebook here. Be sure to keep an eye out for ‘IGNORANT ART,’ executuve produced by D.R.U.G.Z.