Over a month ago, Iggy Azalea released her new single “Team” from her upcoming album Digital Distortion. At first, I wasn’t chuffed. I do enjoy some of Iggy’s songs (they tend to have good beats to bike/work out to), but I wouldn’t call myself an Azalean (a giant fan of Iggy Azalea). When I heard the preview of “Team” on iTunes, it didn’t initially grab me. But judging a song based on the forty second preview (or however long they are these days) is like judging a book by its cover, so I listened to the below YouTube clip.
After I heard the song in it’s entirety, I immediately bought it. The thing I like about this song is that you can just blare it on repeat and dance (or bike) and lose yourself (also, my biking playlist was getting kind of stale, so I needed new tracks). It has a great beat and some interesting synth work.
This song also got me to think about a debate that started when Iggy Azalea was nominated last year for her Grammys: is she a true rap/hip-hop artist or is she more in the pop genre? There were many debates whether “Fancy” was more of a pop song than a rap song (I was confused why “Fancy (featuring Charli XCX)” was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance – I had thought it would fall under the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration). Personally, I think she’s distinctly rapping in that song – Charli XCX is obviously singing a pop melody, but the verses are not sung. They’re clearly rapped.
But if I compare “Team” to “Fancy,” “Team” sounds more like a pop song. I mean, she is rapping in the verses, but it’s more of a fierce sung rap (if that makes sense). They’re not like the traditional fast chant of a rap.
I bring this up not to discredit Iggy Azalea as an artist, but to point out that genre labels don’t really matter, especially in this current climate of music. Genres are crossing over, styles and elements of each genres are fusing together and we’re getting new sounds. I personally am all for this breaking down of musical rules and artists creating what’s true and honest to them. I grew up taking music lessons since I was five, and it always bothered me that there were so many rules, that music had to be played a certain way.
If it sounds good, who cares if it’s done the right way?