The video that female Aussie-via-L.A. rapper Iggy Azalea gets for her Ignorant Art mixtape cut “The Last Song” is the kind usually reserved for only the most elite class of pop stars. Black-and-white and most artfully photographed, Azalea looks at different points strikingly reminiscent of Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani and (mostly) Lady Gaga, already an expert at appearing alluring but disinterested. It’s a beautiful clip, filled with instantly memorable imagery, and it does for Azalea what all music videos should do for the artists behind them—it makes you want to know more about them.
It’s the kind of clip that you’d expect to burn up the internet, and have every pop blog within a 100-mile radius (now including this one, natch) scrambling to determine just how Next a Big Thing she is. But unfortunately for Ms. Azalea, there’s a hitch: The song kinda stinks. It’s got a ceratin narcotic flow to it which at least makes it a pleasant head-nodder, but there’s no real hook to speak of, and though Iggy’s certainly not lacking in personality, she doesn’t appear to be that impressive a MC—her rhymes are mediocre and rhythmically awkward (“It’s you that I’m trying to get to heaven with / They say that you’re a hindrance / But I think that you genuinence”), and her lyrical sentiments are unremarkable (“Life’s a trip and baby you the plane / I’m just trynna get a seat next to you to stay”).
OK, so it’s just a mixtape cut, but neither of the earlier songs that got promotion from Ignorant Art—”Pussy” and “My World”—are all that great either, seemingly more concerned with being provocative (the former starts with a repeated intonation of its titular phrase, oh boy) than being interesting. The existence of gangsta Caucasian females in the post-Kreayshawn era isn’t exactly headline-worthy—you need songs, too. Lana Del Rey and Azealia Banks might be the two hottest new pop artists of 2012 among the internet set, and while a lot of that has to do with their respective backstories and crit-friendly images, it’s also because “Video Games” and “212″ were awesome, striking pop songs. We should make sure Iggy is capable of the same before getting her to that level. Just a word of mild caution.
Still, like we said, pretty video. Respect to director Bell Soto.