Iggy Azalea and the Sophomore Slump

Iggy Azalea and the Sophomore Slump

Iggy Azalea is plotting to return with a vengeance in 2016 and there are a number of reasons that her ‘career’ should be over before it begins.

Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora

According to many sources in the industry, Azalea could be headed for a major sophomore slump that many will pick apart and dissect for years to come on how a major star can go from fabulous to passing fad in less than a year.

One can read between the lines here and assume that Iggy will concentrate on a non-American market, which is far behind the curve when it comes to truly knowing Hip Hop and the black community inside out. Unlike stateside, Iggy can ride out her fame far longer with ignorant statements as there won’t be many non-blacks there to call out her foolishness and f*ckery.

In what can only be called referred to as the diss heard ‘round the world, Erykah Badu said what many have had in their medulla oblongatas for quite a while now. While hosting this year’s Soul Train Awards, Badu had this to say about Iggy Azalea:

“Who is this? Oh Iggy Azalea, hey! No, no, no, no, you can come ’cause what you do definitely is not rap.”

Iggy Azalea vs Nicki Minaj

And although Iggy Azalea attempted to brush aside the comments, the fact of the matter remains that many in the community – and even outside of it – question whether or not the Aussie native has what it takes to make Hip Hop a true career or just a blip in the history of the genre.

There are many reasons why Iggy Azalea has been singled out over the past year, many of them directly her own fault, and others a matter of timing. Although she has had plenty of radio love and hit singles, she is not regarded as the Queen of Rap – that title goes to her rival Nicki Minaj. So when Forbes, considered by many to be a white magazine, claimed Iggy was the female frontrunner of Hip Hop, of course sparks were bound to fly. Minaj’s team, understandably, clapped back, and the two have been trading barbs directly and indirectly ever since.

Another thorn in Azalea’s side is the flack she received from making remarks that many deemed homophobic, which led to the cancellation of appearances at LGBT events. To add further fuel to the fire were various comments made by the rapper that were seen as racist.


Exhibit A: D.R.U.G.S.


“Or maybe if you’re black, start singing like a country singer and be a white person.”  – Iggy Azalea


Azealia Banks, T.I., and Iggy Azalea

Another rival came to the forefront to confront Iggy Azalea over these comments, this time courtesy of Azealia Banks, who has become one of the most vocal critics of the Aussie-born rapper. With cultural appropriation such a big issue in America these days, it has become more difficult for many in the community to sit idly by and watch as Iggy Azalea make millions from the black community, yet has little to say about the dire situations affecting them on the streets and in the political process. Banks, as well as other artists like Macklemore, and Q-Tip have called out Iggy Azalea’s lack of words over these issues and the fall-out has been substantial enough that she has issued statements after the fact. But evidently, this is a case of too little, too late, which has led to her management (or new management depending on who you believe) re-directing her upcoming efforts to a possibly new market.


But arguably the biggest enemy of Iggy Azalea’s?




Through her social media, Azalea has placed her foot in her mouth so many times that it would be nearly impossible to list all of the faux pas and missteps she has made over the last year and a half.


Exhibit B: Ghostwriting


Before releasing their latest studio creation to the masses, Iggy’s handlers probably should have deleted and destroyed all evidence of her previous attempt at other genres, which showed that Azalea was being primed for a career in music somehow, somewhere. It was only a matter of choosing a direction. How many times have mainstream artists been thrust into the spotlight without the necessary paperwork to back up their claims of true talent? Ghostwriters have come forward and put Iggy’s already precarious position in Hip Hop more into question. The final death knell in a career, that may be over before it began, centered around Iggy’s ghost of a disappearance during the state of race relations in America. As an alleged Hip Hop artist, many were waiting for Iggy to make a statement, and her refusal to do so only turned more would-be fans against her.

For those still unsure of Iggy’s talent, this video all but assured her critics that her talent was built and baked in a lab by ghostwriters that desired a white face to sell their product. Again, Hip Hop fans have seen this before and apparently are not about to take it again.



Exhibit C: The Diss-tancing


Iggy Azalea and T.I

There is nothing sadder than when a pimp detaches himself from his former meal ticket, and in a similar parallel, rapper T.I. – who had already come under fire for supporting Iggy Azalea in the first place – finally gave in to the loud throngs demanding her ouster and officially removed himself from her support base. After defending her against a barrage of artists in the community from Snoop Dogg to Q-Tip, Nicki Minaj to Eminem, the mini-mogul released The Iggster from his camp, offering this up as an explanation of their current relationship:

“It took a bit of a rest stop. After the Q-Tip thing, after that kind of hit, I smoothed it over — ‘OK, well what is really meant to be said here is ….’ — then after everything was cool, then they kind of came back and undid what I had just did. I’m a loyal partner and if I ride with you, I’m gonna ride with you — right, wrong we’ll discuss that in the car — but we’re gonna get out of here right now though, you know what I’m saying?”

Iggy, for her part, contends that, haters aside, she is ready to start 2016 on a high note. The current plan is to release her new album and then follow it up with a tour. But in a move that has many raising an eyebrow, Team Iggy appears to be concentrating her upcoming efforts overseas. So the question now is whether her new album Digital Distortion set for a possible detour from previous relevance?


Stay tuned.









Triston Brewer (@Triston212) is a performance artist, journalist, and activist. He has been published in The Huffington Post and featured in publications such as the New York Times, Vogue Italia, to name a few. His memoir about living overseas, Heaux Confessionals: The Sintroduction, is available on Amazon.