Iggy Azalea is here is defend herself. Her rocky career showed real promise through her early mixtapes ‘Ignorant Art’ and ‘TrapGold’ and even her debut album ‘The New Classic’ was actually a strong introduction to the commercial market that she was tapping into. With controversy following and some unfortunate career guidance from her then record company, the Australian rapper became an artist that was an easy target for memes and tabloid headlines which discredited the path she had paved.
Parting ways with her label and going completely independent has become the best decision Azalea could have made. Taking control of the music she wanted to create and release, she re-entered the studio with a fresh mindset. She wanted to go back to basics and back to her roots, and that’s exactly what she’s done.
‘In My Defense’ is a simple hip-hop record at it’s foundations and allows the rapper to spit her truth without trying to aim for mainstream rotation or viral hits. It’s just her re-finding her love for music again and releasing material that she’s clearly proud of without any influence of anyone else.
The unapologetic opener ‘Thanks I Get’ explores all the hate she receives and the actual impact that she’s made throughout her career which she believes deserves more respect. It then rolls into one of the records biggest standout moments, ‘Clap Back’ which addresses the controversy she’s enabled because people don’t agree with who she is. But she’s making a bold comeback and she’s standing by that with this anthemic hip-hop track which will also become a highlight in her live set.
The singles ‘Sally Walker’, ‘Started’ and ‘Fuck It Up’ are the bold moments that have commercial crossover potential with their strong hooks. But this is where the commercial potential stays put. The rest of the album is pure hip-hop based with ‘Hoemita’, Spend It’, ‘Freak Of The Week’ and ‘Big Bag’ standing out as strong moments.
One of the most impressive things about this record is that Azalea has written seven out of the twelve songs completely by herself, with the other tracks assisted by only one other co-writer. It’s something we don’t see a lot on albums as of recently and it’s refreshing to see her actually take control of what she wants to say and release.
This is a record for her day one fans. This is a record for the people who have believed in her through all the controversy and pop movement. This is the record she should’ve released as her debut because it’s completely her and revisits her roots without all the gimmicks in the music. She leaves all the gimmicks for the music videos, art and merchandise, which is the way it should be. This is not a record for the mainstream airwaves and that’s okay. It may not be groundbreaking in it’s delivery but it’s 100% authentically her.