First things first, Iggy Azalea never really went away.
After a landscape-shaking release in 2014 with The New Classic, the Australian rapper became a star, notching number ones and becoming a go-to feature. Songs like "Work" and "Fancy" earned her GRAMMY nominations and made her a household name, but leaks and label issues made for a bumpy road to her sophomore album. Azalea has overcome it all, releasing a few loose bangers and an EP with success. Now, "the realist" is back in album mode with sharpened skills and thickened skin, ready to demand your attention and show she never left.
"My new album is a long time in the making" she laughs in the exclusive interview above. "I don't have to tell anybody that." This week Iggy announced that it is finally ready to unwrap. In My Defense will arrive on July 19th, with pre-orders starting on Friday June 28th.
"The reason for the title 'In My Defense' kinda comes from the internet" explains Azalea. "I think when you're a person that's a public figure, sort of your life becomes about, defending yourself. So this is kind of saying my piece, but it's not a serious record."
Early examples like "Sally Walker" and "Started" show part of the plan for her latest outing, showcasing the stinging flow of Iggy over menacing beats, but often with a smirk and a sense of levity and experience. "I think it's fun and it's got a lot of energetic songs. It's not as heavy as you might assume based on the title."
"It's referencing a lot of my older stuff and its energy, and I think will be very familiar to a lot of the fans that have been there from the beginning, before I even had a record deal."
Azalea also shared some of the inspiration behind her latest video, the mansion-sized "Started" which finds Iggy outlasting her old man husband to inherit his wealth. "I like to always think outside the box and do the unexpected" she tells us. "So I thought to myself, what is the absolute opposite of my life, doing a million jobs as people know that I did to come up. It would be to marry an old guy. Gold digger is the classic, didn't lift a finger road to riches, and it's the most unexpected thing you would think a video would be hearing this song."
Looking for someone to base her character on, Iggy found the blueprint in the "ultimate gold digger," Anna Nicole Smith. "She was a legitimate model too, but the whole marrying the old guy thing, it was ridiculous and hilarious and a moment in pop culture looking back in retrospect. So I did take some things from that in the video and implement them" explains Azalea. "But, it's not suppose to be verbatim based on Anna Nicole, she's an inspiration."
For more from Iggy Azalea including the women that inspire her and who she would have join her Spice Girls group, check out the full interview above.
In My Defense is out everywhere on July 19th.