The New Classic is the debut studio album by Australian recording artist Iggy Azalea. The album was released on 21 April 2014, under Island Records, and affiliated record labels. Azalea came to prominence after releasing her debut mixtape Ignorant Art and subsequently aligning herself with American rapper T.I. and his Hustle Gang imprint. Azalea first mentioned plans for the album in December 2011 but after numerous delays and label conflicts, Azalea eventually secured herself a record contract through Island Def Jam Music Group (now defunct).
The album was preceded by four singles: the album’s lead single “Work“, performed well commercially, charting at number 17 in the UK charts. The album’s second single, “Bounce“, saw a similar success in the United Kingdom, peaking at 13. The third release “Change Your Life“, peaked at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart, her first UK Top 10 single, and also made appearances on Australian, New Zealand and US charts. A fourth single, “Fancy“, reached top-five in the United Kingdom, becoming her highest charting single to date. It also charted in the top-ten of the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming her first major charting single in that territory.
The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 52,000 copies in the United States. The New Classic was the highest-charting female rap album since Nicki Minaj‘s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. Azalea also logs the highest bow for a female rapper’s debut album since Pink Friday, entered at number 2 with 375,000 copies sold.
The album debuted at number 5 in the UK and number 1 on the UK R&B album charts.
The opening number on the album Walk The Line opens with one of Iggy’s most hip-hop sounding songs to date. The personal song about her past about making it in the industry reminds everyone how she got to where she is now. The song that follows titled Don’t Need Y’all has a very similar vibe to DJ Khaled‘s ‘No New Friends‘ in the chorus which Drake is apart of.
After a string of new songs we haven’t heard yet we get to hear some of the singles released that made us a fan of Iggy in the first place. Track 4, Change Your Life featuring T.I. is one of albums best tracks so far. The single with the very sexy video has some of Iggy’s best verses as she goes on to the say in the first verse: “You used to dealing with basic bitches. Basic shit. All the time. I’m a new classic, upgrade your status!“
The single is followed by her biggest to date, Fancy featuring Charli XCX which is the best collaboration on the whole record. The fun song with video to match is very tongue ‘n’ cheek. Charli’s vocals in the chorus makes the song a huge hit that it has become. With Iggy’s rapping alone, I do not think this would be as special.
Up next is Next Bitch which very single worthy. Not far off to her debut single Work but more a dance-pop version. The instrumental on it’s own is very catchy and the chorus’ lyrics flow so well.
Black Widow featuring her friend Rita Ora which is one of the most talked about collaborations on the album has a slight Katy Perry ‘Dark Horse‘ beat to it. The chorus build up with Rita is very similar. The song isn’t instantly catchy but has potential to be one of the albums finest tracks with a lot more listens. This might be a contender for a summer smash.
A couple songs later we get to the last track on the standard edition, Fuck Love which is a total anthem and the perfect album closer. The song was made for the clubs. The meaning behind the song might be meaningless and pointless but we all are carefree when we let loose, right?
Now for the deluxe, there are three extra’s. Bounce, Iggy’s second single fortunately made the cut. This single is too good to not be included at all. Though the song is a lot different to all her other singles released so far, it shows she’s willing to experiment within genre’s and sounds.
The final deluxe song and complete album closer Just Askin‘ is really cute. The “I know it’s kinda weird, I’m Just Askin’,” in the chorus is real sweet.
Key tracks: Don’t Need Y’all, Change Your Life, Fancy, Next Bitch, Just Askin’
Album rating: 7/10
For a debut, this is a good effort. The album is very varied and showcases her potential. The question that I have in my head after listening to the record is, is Iggy trying to be a serious hip-hop rapper or just a carefree pop rap artist? Or possibly both? The record has a mix of both which isn’t a bad thing, it just seems this first record is her experimenting and potentially getting herself out there commercially like Nicki Minaj did.