Guys. GUYS!!! Something big happened the other night. Something that I achieved. I finally did it; after countless concerts flying solo and sticking out like a sore thumb (Especially at the Commodore), I was finally able to – in disguise as the Plaid Overlord – make friends with another human being. I have been reading a fantastic book – Subliminal by Leonard Mlodinow – and having discussions with my old man about it, as well as other neuro-sociological/psychological issues. So perhaps that played in a part in my sudden boldness. That, and I had a Molson in my hand – something also rarely seen at a Commodore show. And this wasn’t type of meeting where we say hi, hang for a bit and part for the rest of the show; this was different. We danced the entire night and then some. After witnessing Iggy Azalea being off the shit, we went for a post-show party at Republic and danced until 3 am. Needless to say, I was a little groggy for my interviews with Sam Seder and Tracy Morgan this morning. But to Asha the life coach and her Russian BFF Maria, thanks for a fun time.
And what a fun time it was. After DJ Whiz Kid set the mood with some killer rave tunes, Iggy made a grand entrance and turned Vancouver’s legendary ballroom into a frat house. Or rather, The House of Iggy. With back up-dancers, strobe lights and, midway through the show, stripper poles, we were suddenly transported in a gangsta version of Celebrities. (Or at the very least, a rapper’s Go-Go hut). Like any respectable Commodore show, the smell of Vancouver’s finest kush filled the air and, judging by the actions of certain ravers, MDMA was probably in effect as well.
Iggy is more than just a trash-talking Australian rapping model with a penchant for black men. She can be described as Lilly Allen meets Selah Sue and Kate Nash, with a pinch of Gwen Stefani. From the moment she walked through her double door a la Madonna, the audience was hooked. She was sexy, engaging and even the token rap show middle finger wave. The crowd was raising the roof the entire night. (Along with their bodies as well).
Like so many artists are doing these days, Iggy has created a persona for herself. Or rather, Iggy is the persona. Her birth name is a gem stone and she changed it mimic a 60+ rock legend. She is from Sydney, yet raps with a southern American accent. If her songs “Pussy” and “Two Times” are anything to go by, she is also incredibly vulgar. But classy vulgar. Stripper-pole-in-a-west-end-gay-bar Classy.
Another thing I noticed, mostly when I was in line to pick up my ticket, was the incredible variety of fans. There were the dressed-up business casual ones (mostly women) to the extremely flamboyant chap clad in leather, uh, chaps. As for me, I had on my best pair of ripped jeans (the ones with a hole at the knee), a red and white plaid shirt, and my plaid hoodie to with it. Captain plaid. There were also your average, regular guys (and girls) as well. Quite a mixed bag. Which I’m sure is just how Iggy likes it.
I was unfamiliar with Iggy’s music. And while rap still isn’t my favourite genre (although I do enjoy Macklemore & Lewis, and yes, even Eminem, but for God’s sake no Drake), Iggy’s total command of the room, her amazing set and her gangsta-chick personality allowed me to grant her a great respect and appreciation for her artistry; even if I spent more time dancing and chatting with my new friends then paying attention to her lyrics. And I also agree with Iggy when she says that hip-hop is evolving and that she represents a new style. I would actually say that hip-hop is evolving the most out of any music genre (with the possible exception of electronic music – which didn’t so much as evolve as rise up from nowhere)
Did I mention she models as well? She is signed by Wilhelmina Models and was the “New Face” of Levi Jeans. She has also appeared for House of Holland’s first eyewear line. While her musical styles all are gangsta brits (as well as influences like Missy Elliott and Tupac), her fashion sensibilities are quite varied and according to her include Princess Grace, five British spices, Gwen Stefani again, David Beckham’s wife “and that nanny called Fran”. She is so cool. And, she likes to Twerk.
Iggy Azalea’s debut full-length album “The New Classic” was released on April 21st, 2014 on Def Jam Records and is executive produced by TI.
Public Service Announcement: Even with all her cool gangsta-ness, Iggy still has her boundaries. For one thing, she doesn’t appreciated being fingered by strangers:
1) What is Iggy Azalea’s birth name?
2) TI produced her debut album. Which electronic musician and rapper produced her mixtape?
3) Although born in Sydney, what Australian did Iggy grow up in?