There’s a lot one can be justifiably angry about when it comes to Iggy Azalea. Before issues of cultural appropriation started to rear their ugly head within the contemporary hip-hop landscape, Iggy was the queen of casually committing microaggressions. She adopted a more ‘urban’ accent when she rapped, attempted to play the victim of white-racism in rap, and even got in Twitter spats with fucking Q-Tip of all people; suffice to say, there’s a reason we haven’t heard much from her recently. In My Defense attempts to serve as a preservation of what little cultural clout the Australian instigator still has, nearly half-a-decade since she first blew up, with Iggy (in an act of hubris so grand it’s borderline jaw-dropping) arguing that it’s not her who’s been wrong all these years, but the ‘hating’ public. Which all could possibly be fun, in a sorta campy way, if Iggy had any sense of humor throughout this whole lament. “Clap Back” has her reciting a litany of transgressions that she’s supposedly committed (“’Cause I talk like this and my ass fat / They be saying Iggy tryna act black”), only for her to ignore the brunt of these issues and just stick with lame punch-lines: “They call me racist / Only thing I like is green and blue faces.”
When Iggy isn’t responding to some ridiculous straw-man argument, grumbling about how she’s a woefully misunderstood artist, she’s aiming for radio play. And often the results are woefully trite and unoriginal: “Sally Walker” steals the beat from “Humble” and the piano melody found on Cardi B’s “Money,” and lacks the immediate swagger found on both of those tracks. “Freak of the Week” feels like the first draft of Megan Thee Stallion’s “Big Ole Freak” (which has only about half as many groan-worthy one-liners), and is also the third song in the past 24 months to interpolate “Slob On My Knob” — which really just feels emblematic of how phoned-in the majority of this project is. Iggy even asks, on “Started” — another lame attempt at a retort against her enemies — “Do you hate that you love me or do you love that you hate me?” She expresses this sentiment with a self-aggrandizing menace, as if she’s actually enamored with being this much of a cultural troublemaker. It’s essentially the guilty pleading guilty to their crime, and I can’t think of a more fitting punishment than continuing to be an irrelevant laughing-stock.
Published as part of What Would Meek Do? | Summer 2019.