Iggy Azalea Says ‘Digital Distortion’ Is Grown-Up & Moody

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Iggy Azalea wish she could erase 2015 from her mind.

Azalea launched to super-stardom with her debut album The New Classic. Her rap persona packaged as a white, blonde chick from Australia was too much for the public to handle and eventually she was turned on. Azalea received a wave of backlash on social media for just being who she was, and it forced her to question the motives for continuing as a rapper. That's how she came up with the name of her next album, Digital Distortion, because of the Internet's misunderstanding of authenticity for appropriating black culture.

Azalea appears in the latest issue of Elle Canada to explain.

Are you looking for acceptance from the hip-hop commun­ity?

“Certain people who don’t like me think that I don’t love rap music, but I love rap music. I love it like it’s my fucking husband…. I think a lot of people in hip hop have a tough time finding something in common with me. At least white [and black] male rappers both have dicks and they’re American. But for me, I’m a white woman from Australia. I get it, but I think we have a lot more in common than they think.”

What kinds of stories do you want people to be talking about this year when they hear your name?

“I feel like I got villainized so badly last year, to the point where I wasn’t even a person anymore. I just became this thing that everyone laughed at and would write awful things about—I think people forgot I was a person. People don’t have to like me, but I would appreciate it if they would still consider the fact that I’m a human being. You think Nick likes to hear that his fiancée doesn’t care about Black Lives Matter? Trust me, it was not fun last year in this house. No one wants to be told that they should kill themselves and that they’re like Hitler a hundred times a day; it’s not nice. At that point it goes beyond criticism, and, trust me, I can handle criticism; if I couldn’t, I wouldn’t be here with a second album, still standing. I think after what I went through, most people would quit, and I definitely considered it, but I really love rap music and I’m not going to stop making it.”

So you never actually set out to build a persona?

“I started calling myself Iggy Azalea in 2010; it was around the time I started making stop-motion animated videos with my freestyle rap because I felt like I had found my sound. But I was never like, ‘Let me create Iggy!’ And in 2010, I was only 20—I was just a kid! I think it’s rare to find anyone who has their identity locked down at that age.”

Does the title reflect some of the “distortions” you experienced that year?

“The album has a bit of an electronic, digital influence, so the name fits sonically. But then, of course, topically, we all know the different things that were said about me in 2015—some of them were fair and some of them, I think, were unfair. I just think it’s interesting that we live in this age of digital distortion where we’re all distorting each other and distorting ourselves and our perception of who we all are, and none of it is really accurate anymore.”

Would you say that your persona of Iggy Azalea is a type of distortion?

“Not at all. It’s not like my alter ego or anything. It’s me. I’m not some quiet person or a complete introvert until I get onstage. Of course there are pieces of me you won’t see, but most of what you see in my music is present in my life. Maybe I am a bit more polite in real life versus online. I definitely don’t say ‘Fuck you’ all the time! It takes a lot to make me pissed off in real life.”

On her new album Digital Distortion:

“I wouldn’t say it’s an angry album. It’s still uptempo and fun, but it’s a little more grown-up and moody. I didn’t want people’s commentary to take me away from the style of music that I make…. There are some ‘Fuck yous’ and ‘Fuck yeahs,’ but I want people to hear it and feel good.”

“The album has a bit of an electronic, digital influence, so the name fits sonically. But then, of course, topically, we all know the different things that were said about me in 2015—some of them were fair and some of them, I think, were unfair. I just think it’s interesting that we live in this age of digital distortion where we’re all distorting each other and distorting ourselves and our perception of who we all are, and none of it is really accurate anymore.”

Plastic surgery:

“I think, in 2016, people should be more accepting of the fact that both famous and non-famous women are having cosmetic procedures. That’s just the reality. And I think more people need to admit that shit so it doesn’t have to be so taboo—because we’re all doing it anyway.”

“I wanted to change my nose because I didn’t grow up with a bump on it—that happened when I got smashed in the face with a soccer ball when I was 16. Now I feel like my nose looks the way it’s supposed to look. But for how long do we have to acknowledge that I got a nose job? For the rest of my life? Am I going to be 45 and people are still saying ‘Nice nose job’?”

“Everyone tells you that you should love your body the way it is, but then it is bad to say that you want to change something about yourself not because you want to look like someone else, just because you want to? What’s wrong with that?”

“There’s nothing black and white about beauty or plastic surgery. There are no guarantees that it will fix how you feel about yourself. All of those women [who criticize someone for having surgery]—if they had $10 million in their account tomorrow, I’d dare them not to change one thing about themselves or at least think about it. Yes, there are some women who wouldn’t change a thing, but, for the majority of us, we’d be thinking about that one thing. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I just hope that in 25 years the conversation will shift to where if a woman wants to change her body, all we say is ‘Good for her!’ instead of shaming her for making decisions about her own body.”

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