She's gorgeous and one of hip-hop's latest fashion plates, but don't get it twisted: Iggy Azalea can flow with the fiercest of them. This rapper's triple-time Southern twang and lyrical brazenness is playful but powerful—part of her master plan to become rap's next boss.
How did you first get into music growing up? Do you remember the first time rap really affected you?
Yes, with Tupac and The Outlawz, "Baby Don't Cry." It was the song that made me fall in love with music and also what sparked my Tupac fascination. That would later make me pick up my own pen and write songs.
So, could I say that in your track "The Last Song," you are actually talking about Tupac when you say, "True love died in '96." Was he your true love?
I'm talking about Tupac in that line, yes, he's my fantasy man in many ways. But also I said it to kind of say, "This generation doesn't seem to have much faith in 'true love.'" Everyone talks about love although it died sometime ago. I hate that.
Gathering that Tupac has had a big impression on you, have you been influenced by any female rappers?
I love Missy Elliott. She created her own spot and her own brand of style and sexy.
Like a lot of Missy's themes, did you mean for "Pu$$y" to be an empowerment anthem? I've also noted these ideas in some of your other lyrics in songs like "Hello." Or were you just like "Let me brag about my prime punani"?
I just thought I wanted to write the things I want to say as a woman, that make me feel powerful. My vagina makes me feel powerful. [laughs]
You grew up in Australia, but have been living in the US since you were a teenager. How much do you still identify with Australia?
To be 100% honest, I don't have any friends in Australia, just my family. I identify with Australian culture, of course; I was raised there. But there are parts of other cultures I identify with more, which is why I moved. I don't think it matters where you or your fans are from in order for you to have things in common; we are all people no matter where we live, and we go through the same major things that shape the type of people we are. Love, loss, frustrations, being misunderstood, etc. These are all universal things that stick us together as human beings.
Rumour has it your dad owns a banana plantation in Australia. Did you grow up on it? What was that like?
No, I didn't grow up on a banana plantation my father hasn't always been a constant figure in my upbringing. As I've grown older and able to comprehend a lot of my childhood better, he and I have became closer. Sometimes, the people who aren't in your face everyday are the ones who have the biggest affect on you, which is why I guess I speak about his influence a lot. He recently took a liking to bananas in the last two years and has about 50 to 100 trees now.
You sound pretty Southern when you rap, but quite Australian when you speak. How did you cultivate the Southern in your music? How did you develop your style?
I lived in the South for five years; you pick up things from your surroundings and teachers. The people who taught me to rap are all from the South and so was the music I had listened to as a teen.
Unrelated, but I've heard you own a weave company?! How did that happen?
Yes, I own a hair importing business; a lot of my friends wear weaves and it was something saw an opportunity to make profit doing. My best friend and I got together one day and decided to buy a few kilos and see how we went at selling it—we had success and grew our business together.
Not sure if you've done this on purpose, but you are always eating candy in your videos. Cotton candy, popsicles, etc. Do you have a sweet tooth?
That's funny you mention that because I'd never noticed until now! I suppose I do eat it a lot in videos, but I don't have a sweet tooth. I rarely eat candy.
Candy definitely goes well with the Iggy image. Who are your style inspirations?
I don't really try to have a sexy image; I just try to dress in a way that makes me feel good and shows of the parts of my body that flatter my figure as a woman. As far as people whose style interests me I'd say Grace Kelly, Gwen, Spice Girls, Victoria Beckham, and that nanny called Fran.
Moving the subject to music again, it's been recently revealed that T.I. is executive producing your next album. How do you think that's going to change the vibe of your album?
It's not going to change the vibe of my album at all; he is there to help me find things I like that suit my sound—not his. My album will sound, similar to my mixtape, "Ignorant Art"… that's my sound, and it will be a progression of that. I'm not sure about collaborations yet, that's something i don't think too much about until I've actually finished the songs.
So, you are not gonna surprise us all and go pop?
I've never compromised my musical style and "gone pop" before—which would have made life a lot easier—so I don't plan on backtracking now. I don't believe in "picking" a sound—I just get in the studio and make what feels right to me at the time.
You once gave a quote to Global Grind saying you sound more like Shawnna than Kreayshawn, which I think is totally true. But you also said that it sucks because "music isn't supposed to be about race or colour." Do you ever bump up against race issues independently of that?
I don't really think too much about that—I just make music that I love and be me. Rap is music for people, period. This is 2012—the people making it are all races and so are the people listening.
Similarly, people are kind of putting you up with Azealia Banks. Like with white rappers, there's an impulse that the press has to compare women rappers. Why do you think people want to do that?
You'd have to ask them. Why other people do what they do is another thing I don't spend a lot of time pondering. I try to spend most of my time thinking about the important stuff and the things I have control over.
Your last tattoo was ASAP Rocky inspired; what's gonna be your next piece?
None, fingers crossed.
If you could be reincarnated into anyone else, living or dead, who would you be?
And if you couldn't be a rapper, who would you be?
Wife and mother.